I've had the pleasure in the last two weeks of working with a dozen of the finest Brits in PR, branding, digital / Web, public affairs and news distribution. We've joined up to work voluntarily on an apolitical campaign in the run up to the UK general election (invincecable.org.uk if you're interested).

I'm telling you this because, having blogged about the convergence of marketing disciplines over the years (as distinct from "integrated"), this campaign of ours has revealed just how far the best practitioners' expertise is now "converged". Sure, there's still the need to pause to explain the occasional aspect or define a particular piece of jargon or inevitable acronym, but generally the group just understands what we're trying to achieve and how we can all work together to make it happen.

There is no bewilderment, misconception or diffidence.

And this is despite the fact that we haven't actually all met each other. That doesn't stop us. We're Skype'ing, IM'ing, emailing, wiki'ing, posterous'ing, tweeting, and quickly assembling the resources, ideas and timetable for a cracking campaign. And all in the open. And all whilst earning a living. Awesome.

This segues nicely into a couple of posts this week that take this idea further by exploring how marketing, or as I tend to say, influence, is now the responsibility of everybody in your organisation rather than just those people 'in marketing'. Both posts are well worth your time.

Brian Solis picks up the thread in "The Brand Dashboard" and David Meerman Scott in "Social business beyond just the marketing department".

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

What new skills are required for social media aware marketers?

by Andrew Grill of London Calling

As promised in a previous post “Why are clients still scratching their heads about Social Media?” I wanted to look at the additional skills that marketing leaders will need to possess from now on to understand the new world of social media and drive real benefit from it. This post has been prompted by some research by recruitment firm Major Players covered by Revolution Magazine that claims online marketing growth “may be stunted by a sheer lack of social media knowledge in the talent pool.” More...

Optimizing Brands for Social Search

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Faceboook recently overtook Yahoo as the second most visited site in the United States. And in doing so, Facebook along with other social networks set the stage for a confluence of social and search that fundamentally changes who we, as a society, discover and share information, and in turn, where our attention is directed and driven.
Source: Mashable

Make no mistake, attention is shifting away from traditional destination sites and instead, it is fixated on personalized attention dashboards that funnel social feeds, the activity and focus of social graphs into one clickable view. More...

Growing SMB Social Media Marketing Usage

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

eMarketer reports that U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting social media marketing in greater numbers, according to a market study by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland.

Social media usage increased to 24 percent, from 12 percent the year before.

It's interesting to note that the most common usage of social media among small business was a company page on a social networking site, followed by posting status updates.

SMB expectations of social media are in line with their experiences, although they are not quite as successful as they had hoped. More...

Redundant service launched for unemployed

by si crowhurst of We Love Mobile

Deciding on a technical strategy for a mobile campaign or service can be really tricky. We like to think we offer our clients a good level of insight, and we are often amused by some of the mobile technology choices made by companies and organisations. However, I think it is fair to say that I was shocked and a little outraged by the choice that the UK Jobcentre made when they decided to launch a job finding service as an iPhone and Android app.

For the uninitiated, one of the major challenges in mobile is the fact that different mobile phones have quite different technical capabilities and that consumers (even if they own the same phone) can exhibit quite different behaviours. More...

Why Layar is the coolest iPhone app in the world

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott


I have become obsessed by an iPhone application called Layar.

I first learned about Layar a few weeks ago when I spoke at the Marketing Pioneers event in Amsterdam.

Layar is a free application that uses your GPS location to show what is nearby by displaying real time information on top of the image on your mobile's camera (it works on other platforms besides the iPhone).

The founders of Layar call it "augmented reality." I call it "cool."

Watch this short video to see Layar in action. More...

Social business beyond just the marketing department

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

I've been thinking a lot about how organizations extend the use of social networking beyond the marketing department. You've probably thought about this too or are even implementing it at your company.

It seems there are three phases of development as an organization matures its social business:

1) Fear and distrust of social networking and a culture of saying “no” to tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. I’d say this is where 25% of companies are right now.

2) Putting a few people in the marketing department “in charge of that social stuff.” More...

University of Cardiff digital communication masterclass: media trends and PR skills

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

PR is the management of reputation. That used to exclusively mean using media relations to build trust between an organisation and its audiences. But traditional media is in turmoil: ad revenue is at an all time low thanks to the recession and the internet has reduced the cost of publication and distribution to almost zero.

The rise of social networks has led consumers to fundamentally change their media consumption habits. Consumers are becoming contributors.

The impact on the PR profession has been dramatic. More...

GAP: Turning shopping on its head

by Michael Litman of Dare Digital

Isn’t this brilliant? I thought so. It’s from a few months back now but no they aren’t a client, lets get that out of the way first.

To announce and promote their customer loyalty programme Sprize, the GAP store  in Vancouver, BC completely flipped everything upside down and adhering to their tagline rather nicely of turning shopping on its head. This I like.  So all of the mannequins, displays and signs were flipped, as well as some cars and a hot dog stand outside of the store. More...

The Brand Dashboard: A Window to Relevance

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Perhaps the most difficult aspects of Social Media to embrace are the changes in our behavior and overall philosophy it necessitates in order to earn relevance and ultimately prominence in consumer hearts, minds, and markets.

Simply put, Social Media makes us vulnerable and officially ends an era of perceived control threaded by the illusion of invincibility.

Everything we thought we knew and valued is now in dire need of reassessment. We are entering into a time when we are affected by voiced sentiment in the public spotlight and backchannels of the social Web. More...