Tagged: social media goorooz

Twenty one (i)

I mentioned the Goorooz got me thinking about what they didn’t say as well as what they did; their disagreeable omissions. Perhaps they were just hoisted by their own platitudes.

I must have heard “facebook strategy”, “twitter strategy” and “social strategy” four or five dozen times during that meeting. I believe I was the only one to mention our business strategy in the vain hope there might be a connection. The hint garnered a brief nod but was by and large ignored. (I was tempted to ask if this meeting had been won on the back of a “telephone strategy”.)

Examples of “radical social success” came thick and fast – in confectionery, music, consumer electronics, retail and travel. Apparently we’re all the same people (agreed) and we all want the same “social engagement” with all kinds of brands (not as far as I’m concerned).

By the way, if engagement means the action of occupying or attracting someone’s interest or attention – and it does, I looked it up in a dictionary – what’s the difference between “social engagement” and plain old “engagement” exactly?

Can you tell my feathers were ruffled?

And I know I have a tendency to bang on about an organization’s mission (why we exist) and vision (what we want to be) a lot, but if social engagement is the be all and end all wouldn’t we expect more annual reports to feature Chairman comments like:

– “We’re totally stoked to have grown retweets 220% this year.”

– “Our brand ‘Likes’ are up significantly. Now I’m liking that.”

– “Our customer service platform coped successfully with a three-fold increase in social engagement this year.”

I’ve not seen a Chairman’s report with such apparently unmoored information, unmoored from the vision the organization is pursuing. And potentially flawed.

Take the ‘Likes’. It seems to me there’s real confusion here. I get the idea that brand owners think the ‘Likes’ come for one reason – “they love us!” – and Joe Public another – “thanks for the discount coupon”. Actually, make that: “Thanks for the discount coupon; now would you mind not getting in my face so much else I’m going to have to ‘Unlike’ you.”

And what about the engagement measure; is it necessarily a good thing? Might it not indicate the possibility that something was causing problems out there in the marketplace?


So, what was the disagreeable stuff I got from the Goorooz?

I won’t list it all, but here are two examples that typify an all too cavalier attitude.

The main Wikipedia entry for Attenzi isn’t the longest, or the shortest. It covers the firm’s history, change of ownership and key products. Amazingly, my appointment was recognized in the entry within a week of my taking up the job. I say amazingly, because Attenzi is hardly a big bank or retailer. Who are these Wikipedia editors?

It also documents a product recall in 2006 in factual terms. But because the facts are unflattering, this part of the entry is unflattering. Nevertheless, the Goorooz assured us this could be fixed. On my asking if they had both a time machine and the quality control abilities to rewrite history, they assured me that there was no need to have this part of our history documented at all. They just laughed gently when I pointed out that Wikipedia’s requirement that editors have a neutral point of view is actually one of its founding principles.

(Dom is a so-called Wikipedian with several hundred edits to his name, and he has conveyed his frustration on several occasions with edits by those without a neutral point of view, with a conflict of interest.)

And later the Goorooz walked us through a dozen or so slides describing ways we could find out as much as possible about customers and those who visit our website. Some of it was quite legitimate, like tracking the clicks each link in our newsletters accrues. We already did that. But some sounded like it bordered on the illegitimate, or at least the unethical, including ways to access our website visitors’ browsing history and ways to circumnavigate the way browsers treat cookies – the little bits of code we can quite legitimately leave behind to ascertain when the same person returns to our website for example. But in this instance, it was a way to reinstate the cookie as soon as the visitor decided they didn’t want our cookie on their computer any longer.

“Shouldn’t we ask their permission to do these sorts of thing?” I asked.

“It’s just the age we live in. It’s the consequence your customers pay for being digital. Everyone’s doing it.” Came the plainly uncomfortable response.

But how can we claim to be customer-centric while showing the customer such disrespect? I say this stuff is plainly uncomfortable, but apparently not for everyone.


I was wading through some email – Rachel is right about email – when Michelle (CMO) asked if I could join her and Yvonne (PR). Anything to get away from my inbox. They were half way through a meeting with a firm called… actually names should be changed; let’s call the firm Social Media Goorooz.

The Goorooz had just tantalized Michelle and Yvonne with their digital awesomeness and Michelle and Yvonne thought it would be good if I met them too. What was meant to be ten minutes turned into ninety, and time well invested I believe to save Attenzi from having to meet them again.

On shaking hands with a “Welcome to Attenzi” the main Goorooz chap actually replied “Welcome to the paradigm shift!”

I’m not kidding.

I won’t bore you with the stuff I agreed with. It was agreeable. They’d already worked out some of the stuff we were in the process of working out. Fair enough. It was the disagreeable stuff they added alongside, and the disagreeable omissions, that got my hackles up.