Posts Tagged ‘Craig McGinty’

The social media pool – just dive in?

Friday, November 14th, 2008 by Jon Clements


“Hungrier, less complacent and more willing to embrace new media” for business.

That’s just one view why the US’s fastest-growing private companies – The Inc.500 – are giving the Fortune 500 a beating in terms of social media uptake, including use of blogs, online video and podcasting.

The findings come from what The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth claims to be the first statistically significant reseach into the use of social media in companies.

Comparing last year with this, 11.6% of the Fortune 500 have a public blog against 39% of the Inc.500.  Only 3.6% more of the largest US corporations joined the blogosphere in the period, while 20% of private firms signed up. Now, nearly half (44%) of the Inc.500 companies reckon social media is “very important” to their marketing/business strategy – up nearly 20% on last year.

So, what’s bugging the bigger beasts in the forest about social media? And if this is the case in the States, where does that leave the biggest UK companies? The topic surfaced at this week’s Social Media Cafe launch (#smc_mcr) in Manchester, where it was agreed that large businesses tend to baulk at what they see as the uncontrollable world of social media.

Craig McGinty, with typical candour, told the assembled bloggers and social media-ites at the #smc_mcr: “It needs someone with the cahunas to get things going. But that means taking small steps, dipping their toe in and using a small team which can begin to feel comfortable with it.”

This suggests that despite the fears among gatekeepers, lawyers, compliance departments and whatnot within the larger organisations, the communications world is moving that way and companies run the risk of being left behind. 

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Social Media Cafe – a boost for blogging

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 by Jon Clements

Last night’s inaugural meeting of Manchester’s Social Media Cafe (#smc_mcr) suggested that the “death of the blog” has been greatly exaggerated.

And not only is blogging very much alive, it has graduated from the perceived image and PCs of young men whose bedrooms are adorned with model aircraft.

Craig McGinty, journalist, blogger on This French Life and panellist on the #smc_mcr’s first debate, described a blog as an online “base camp”: “It’s important that you have your own entity on the Internet,” he said. “You’ve got the opportunity to get an audience without going through the gatekeepers of newspaper editors and all it takes is time.” At a more fundamental level, McGinty feels that blogging is just the latest emodiment of a basic human need to communicate, which began with cave paintings. “The only difference is the tools,” he added.

Fellow panellist, Chi-chi Ekweozor, MD of real fresh tv, cited renowned blogger, Robert Scoble‘s use of blogging and social media to “meet one new person every day”. Clearly, a bigger task than is possible in the offline world, unless you have hours to kill and walk quickly.

But what about corporate blogging? Is there room for social media activity with professional funding and – potentially – an underlying agenda to sell? Chi-chi Ekweozor has been monitoring the FTSE100 for such activity, and while there are good examples of blogs at work  the UK’s major companies still lag behind the USA, where CEOs have readily taken up the blogging mantle.

But she sees a future for corporate blogging, “for communicating with staff and establishing credibility” with the wider world.

So, it’s agreed: both boardrooms and bedrooms will continue to hum with the creation of blogs and interaction with social media tools such as Twitter, but still leaving time to finish assembling that scale model of Concorde. 

P.S. Keep watching PR Media Blog for exclusive interviews from the Social Media Cafe event.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''