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Thank you very much for sharing this story, David. Coming from the guy who literally wrote the book on "Newsjacking," it's high praise for sure. The one bit of color I'd add is this: all night my CEO, VP of business dev (Annie Bourne) and marketing manager (Kelly Rice) talked about ways we could "newsjack" the following day's announcement. We all used your term throughout our planning, and we followed your blueprint to execute. You wrote the playbook, we just ran the play. -Joe
Hi Jonathan, At the risk of turning this into a mutual admiration society, I’ll say a quick, “Thank you” and move on. ;) I think you are right about the term “ethics.” It’s like Paul Newman’s line in the good, but not great, movie Blaze: “Never trust a man who says, ‘Trust me.’” Advertising that one stands for ethics could have a sanctimonious quality, it could come off as a bit pious. (I have always struggled with that line in my bio, “Look at Joe, he’s the most ethical speaker on stage!”) I also understand the subtle yet material distinction between “less unethical” and “ethical.” I think however there is a bit conflating happening. Word of mouth, at least as defined by WOMMA (and I am sure there are many definitions), isn’t about publicity stunts – from Brooke Shield’s “Calvins” to the world’s largest ice cream sundae – designed to trigger some “buzz,” but rather meaningful customer engagement over new channels (largely, but not exclusively, social ones) with recommendations and feedback being the desired outputs. I think marketers have been so overwhelmed by the pace of social and so terrified to be left behind that they sometimes take shortcuts and do ill advised / unethical things like tweet about themselves from fake handles. It’s imbecilic and contemptible, but without ethi-err, standards-based guidance, that fear-induced ignorance will continue, unchecked, until the FTC takes note. And then it gets ugly for everyone. If I felt like WOMMA’s objective was to make word of mouth slightly less unethical, I would spend my time elsewhere. We are without question aiming higher. It sounds like we could do a better job of showing the world what we are striving to accomplish. WOMMA’s membership is comprised of lots of PR firms. Maybe there’s a bit of a cobbler’s children syndrome at work? -Joe
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2011 on Ethical WOM? at Jonathan Salem Baskin's Dim Bulb
1 reply
Hi Joseph. Thanks for your perspective. I am confident Mr. Meerman Scott can speak for himself regarding his post. I will respond to the comments about my behavior. I believe there is absolutely nothing inappropriate about posting real-world images accompanied with real-world experiences in real time to the social Web. To suggest that my factually account of yesterday's incident should somehow be relegated to backchannel whispers or, more troubling still, suspended until after the elect (which was implied by a member of her team) is to nullify the very value of social media. In fact, Ms. Connaughton justly and fairly uses these very tactics to counteract the commentary of her opponent. Surely if the practice is acceptable for the power structure, it should be similarly valid for the public. To deprive the public of its ability to relay experiences, good and bad, in the name of propriety is to eliminate the "checks" from the "balances" in the symbiotic relationship Ms. Connaughton holds so dear. Yours, Joe Chernov
You weren't kiddng that you were gonna blog this question! Great stuff. In fact, this might just have been the most thorough answer to any question I've ever asked anyone, ever. Love the post, and the tips. -Joe
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2010 on Efficiency and cranking stuff out at Web Ink Now
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Jul 19, 2010