Strung Out on Shiny Objects

Social communications news, links, quotes and thoughts from Kevin Hunt, the Social Media Manager for Global Communications at General Mills.

Few people in the communications world today have the experience and insight of Lionel Menchaca. At Dell, he helped chart the company’s course in the early days of social media, and as its chief blogger he was instrumental in showing how a blog can make a big impact for a business.

Arik Hanson and I had a great conversation with Lionel in the latest episode of The Talking Points Podcast. We asked him to be a guest co-host and easily could have talked far longer than we did.

Off the top, we catch up with Lionel on what he’s doing now at W2O Group, then we include him in our discussion of some news in the PR, social media and marketing world from the past week.

You’ll definitely appreciate his thoughts on a post that suggests company blogs should be scrapped if they are not getting many comments.

And, a presentation and provocative post from Jay Baer, who says companies should put down the rifle and pick up a shotgun for their social media content and engagement. We’ll explore what Jay means by that.


Let me know if you have any suggestions for future guests and co-hosts. Just reach out to me here, or on Twitter.

By the way, if you can’t listen to the show right now, you also can find it on iTunes and Stitcher, or through most podcatcher apps on your mobile device.

Just search for “The Talking Points Podcast” or “Kevin Hunt” or “Arik Hanson.” Thanks!

SHOW NOTES - July 31, 2014

“The Broken Art of Company Blogging (and the Ignored Metric that Could Save Us All)”

Minnesota Vikings/Instagram

Minnesota Vikings/Website

“Why It Might Be Time to Completely Change Your Social Media Strategy”

We’re experiencing “content glut” right now, and with so many choices, consumers grow fatigued. There will be more of a desire for/drive toward long-form content in the future as brands that take the time to do things deliberately create more demand for their services. You’ll always want more of something you can’t get enough of, and that’s going to be a really important part of how we counsel clients.
Social media offers your brand reach, but today’s social media is terrible at reliable reach. Reliable reach is the ability to send a message to a person who has asked to hear from you, and for that message to reach that person. Email has reliable reach. So does direct mail. And the telephone. And even fax. Social media does not have reliable reach, which is what makes it so challenging for marketers. Reliable reach is the ability to send a message to a person who has asked to hear from you, and for that message to reach that person.

Digital transformation isn’t just a buzzword at big brands - but is it truly taking place?

Altimeter just released a report on it, so Arik Hanson and I thought it would be a great way to kick off episode 4 of The Talking Points Podcast.

Also this week, we give our take on the messy communication of layoffs at Microsoft - how did that happen anyway?

And we spend some time on the trends Geoff Livingston laid out in a post this week, regarding the current and future state of social media.


Let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback.

SHOW NOTES - July 24, 2014

“The 2014 State of Digital Transformation”

“7 Signs of the Post Social Media Era”

"Stephen Elop’s email to employees"

“Bad News Should Not Come Packaged as a 1,111-word Letter to Employees”

"Text: Microsoft Executive Stephen Elop’s Email to Employees"

"Microsoft Just Laid Off Thousands of Employees With a Hilariously Bad Memo"

“Brand Journalism Is a Modern Marketing Imperative”

“You Had Me at the Subject Line”: New Reporter Survey on Press Releases Offers Best Pitching Practices as 100 Journalists Weigh In on How to Disrupt the Press Release”

“Pittsburgh Mayor Hosts Quite Possibly the Best Reddit AMA Ever”

I get a little worried that we’re so focused on content marketing that we’re leaving the engagement part maybe to the customer service department, as just one more channel where we’re going to be able to solve somebody’s customer service problem. We need to be more focused on that engagement part of the social media - not that we need to scale back necessarily content marketing. But this idea that ‘We do content marketing and therefore we do social ‘I think is going to lead companies down a bad path and we need to have a bigger picture view of how all of this can work to our benefit or to our detriment if we ignore it.

Did you catch “Walmart’s New System Will Buy Media for Retailer - And Its Suppliers,” in Advertising Age?

At the end of the process, while Walmart is still shooting hundreds of TV commercials annually as part of its local price comparisons, but it’s spending more time in pre-production to make sure everything from video content to Facebook to stills for Instagram are handled in the same production shoot.

"We don’t really shoot commercials now," Mr. Murray said. "We shoot content."

If your company and brands are not taking advantage of the behind the scenes opportunities on your commercial production sets for a host of content that you also can use in social media, what are you waiting for?

The future of our careers and our role in both the revolution and evolution is to start with an open mind to see what’s different, to see how things have changed. And then develop strategies that move us in new directions.