I can’t believe the first SMO I have to deal with is my own!


Classic story…. Aug 13th 2010 @ 12:00pm, mumbrella publishes Mediabrands’ press release about my appointment to lead of social media.
That afternoon I am in a Nestle workshop. I do log on Twitter from time to time, just thinking I am going to post relevant comments that Craig Davies is passionately sharing with us about the Cannes Cyber Lions winners. I happen to see a RT from sparkyalice and understand that the press release had gone out…it looks really good, I am over the moon, instantly thanks Alice for her congrats and post the link on my Facebook wall. As the afternoon goes on I am overwhelmed by messages of support from my friends, peers and colleagues. 
Aug 13th @6:00pm It’s all good, well so I think!! I go on with my first night on holiday, innocently enjoying myself with my friends in Manly… 
Aug 14th @ 7:00am (the surf being too big for liking) I decide to write a note on my blog about my new exciting job. And there we go, I finally come across the comments that had been posted on mumbrella: “She follows 100 people on Twitter… most respected digital media experts”, but according to who?…” I read and re read and re re read. I can’t believe my eyes, until I come across good old Marshy’s comment (thanks Marshy!!!!). My ego boost from the day before is flipped into a panic attack! At this stage, I feel like any brand manager (who convinced their boss to launch a social media campaign by promising that everything would go smoothly and remain under control) discovering some insanely inappropriate comment about their campaign. Just imagine: I am not even on the job + it’s Saturday + I was supposed to relax on my first day off. 
Those comments don’t come from nowhere, however I am a little annoyed that people make such aggressive statements without displaying their identify. Let’s at least have an open dialogue about those things. Isn’t it the whole point of social media?
Thoughts rush through my mind: Shall I reply? What is my new boss going to think of me? I knew there was a chance for this to happen as I am not a very prolific content creator. True, I have only posted a few blogs since September… just because 2 things have gotten on my way:
Number 1: time
I haven’t been blogging that much just because I have been busy working on digital and social campaigns. Some might think that it is not good enough for an excuse… well, may be but it is the truth! I haven’t shared my opinion about stuff but I have been piling up experience and knowledge on how to recruit and engage communities, analyzing what messages and tactics resonate best which various audiences, I have been talking with marketers and decoding their fears about investing online… and none of that is visible when you Google my name.
Number 2: inspiration
I am not the kind to tweet about everything I do, see, hear, smell, feel and touch… I am all for quality vs quantity. Hence the 100 people. Those 100+ feeds that I follow are valuable to me. They deliver me the service and information that I need. I have no doubt that my needs will grow as I step into a role that is 100% social…
At least the good thing about this incident is that it has given me the inspiration to write a blog! So, thanks for that anonymous attackers! 
But, let me finish my story: 
It is now August 14th @9:30 am, I have pulled myself together. I am ready to face criticism. I draft a constructive and honest reply, along the lines of: “Thanks for your comments, I respect your opinion but it is not by the number of people I follow on twitter that you can judge the quality of my work…
Being more than new to the organization, I don’t want to burn my bridges. Mortified, I contact Richard who manages the PR for Mediabrands… By 10:30am we have had a conversation and I feel slightly better. Of course him and Henry had monitored the whole thing as it happened the day before. Their point of view is that those comments are purely aggressive and should have been monitored. They will die off shortly and we don’t want to inflame the discussion… Richard gets me across the line by saying that we will adopt a strategy of action: we will come back at them, but not now, not with words… later with successful campaigns and great results. I fully agree with this philosophy. 

I am quoted as being one the industry’s most respected digital experts. This is according to my peers and clients, however I fully understand and respect that some people might have a different point of view. There might be some people out there waiting for me to fail… I have always known that I was stepping outside of my comfort zone by accepting this job… and this is the very reason why I took the job: to step out of my comfort zone! 
I believe that corporations should bring Value- Utility- Entertainment to enter the social media world successfully and this is what I will lead the agency’s clients to do.

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