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I could never take the place of your man May 11, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, conversation, strategy.
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When I made games, every now and then I’d see a project underway where all the code was written by a single individual. That individual would invariably write it in such a fashion that it was only decipherable by them. This became an issue when the project got sufficiently far along that there wasn’t time to re-write the core code (it became, in other words, “too big to fail”. Har har). The company would then be in an interesting position – they could fire the programmer and lose the work, they could assign someone else to work along side the programmer who would no doubt have the most miserable job in the whole building deciphering and documenting the spaghetti or they could…? I don’t know.

I was thinking about this as I reviewed the top 100 brands on Twitter. Upon investigation there should be a massive asterisk which leads you to “In April. Over a few days.” – but this is not the point. The list itself is a collection of the usual suspects, and where possible their Twitter name is included and linked to.

What I find interesting here is at #21 Ford appears. Not just Ford though – Ford’s social media evangelist, Scott Monty. Nowhere else on this list does an individual appear alongside a company listing, in fact nowhere else does an individual appear at all.

Is Ford or Scott Monty doing well here?

Is Ford or Scott Monty doing well here?

We can assume, at some point, Scott won’t work for Ford. This creates an interesting dillemma wherein an individual not tied to the company potentially takes the good will built up with them when they leave. We’ve seen this previously with community managers, but it has for the most part remained within the confines of tech companies. Less risky strategies have been seen from the likes of Southwest Airlines where they encourage their employees to blog and engage in social media, but do a good job of tying it under a single site.

Personally, I’m a big fan of putting a human face on this sort of initiative, in fact I don’t think it works without it. It will be interesting to see however how it plays out once Scott no longer calls Ford home.

I really believe you can’t pay someone to engage, you can only reward them for it. In this case, the reward is a job.

But this is why you can’t just pull in the new recruit from the marketing team to take up the mantle. If they don’t already engage, they’re not going to do it because of a paycheque, not in a way that resonates.

Because that can’t be bought.

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Comments»

1. Larry Irons - May 14, 2009

David,

I think of Scott as a persona as much as an individual. I wonder if he retains rights over the name.

Larry

2. David Gillespie - May 15, 2009

I love that idea Larry! “Hi, I’m the marketer formerly known as Scott Monty.”

3. This Week’s Digital Digs « Ad Lounge Talk - May 19, 2009

[...] How the Next Internet Revolution Will Save Your Favourite TV Shows, Newspapers and Magazines Television’s in denial. The only thing that has kept audiences glued to the screen is the fact that most people don’t know which wire to plug into the back of the TV to get internet on their screens. But all that’s about to change as more people are buying new, Internet ready televisions. Because of this, there’s a real danger that audiences will drift, advertisers will follow and traditional TV will crumble and decay. Saving the Dinosaurs ———————————— How to Use the Predictive Value of Buzz Online buzz (or lack of it) can predict future sales and help you change your marketing before it’s too late, according to a blog post called “People are Talking” (linked to in this article). What All the Buzz is About ———————————— Kindle Publishing Now Open To All Blogs Earlier this week, Kindle made it possible for anyone to have their blogs available via Kindle Publishing for Blogs Beta. Now, the everyday blogger can put their thoughts out there for the masses to digest. And while Kindle is still in it’s infancy popularity wise, studies show that one day we likely will all own one (or something like it). Which means that any little blog could be the next big thing. More importantly (as if you thought we were maxed out) access to information will increase tenfold as well. Here We Grow ———————————— Student Hoaxes World’s Media on Wikipedia When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news. His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked. Check Your Sources ———————————— Is Your Organization An Umbrella or Mixing Bowl? Organizations are facing some interesting new challenges when it comes to how they operate at a cultural level and how this manifests outside the walls of the entity. David Armano looks at two simple ways of thinking about this. Simple Thoughts that Work ———————————— I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man Can Ford ever let their social media evangelist, Scott Monty go? Of the top 100 brands on Twitter, Ford is the only one that connects to an individual. What will happen if he decides to pack up and cut his ties with Ford? Can anybody do what he does now that he’s done it so well and has become so ironically connected to the brand he calls home? David Gillespie lends his insight. Who’s Doing Well? The Company or the Employee? [...]

4. Case Study: Ford Motor Company extinguishes PR Fire via SoMe « So me, Ma! - March 18, 2010

[...] I could never take the place of your man (davidgillespie.wordpress.com) ← Case Study: Zappos on Twitter – WOM on Steroids Guidelines: Corporate Social Media Policy → [...]


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