And then a coincidence. The first person I spoke to the very next morning, my fourth week, was Yvonne (Public Relations) and as we entered the lobby she said she’d been thinking about social media. We’d begun to listen intently to the (online) conversation, as modern parlance seems to have it, and we hung out on some of the most popular social networks, chipping in as and when. And she’d begun to think more about how well our customers knew each other. How did they exchange information and feelings about our products and our competitors’ products?

She told me that this kind of thing was as important as traditional media relations. Journalists, while important, were no longer the be all and end all as far as PR was concerned. We have media. And we have social media that ‘disintermediates’, if that’s not an oxymoron.

She was telling me in that way people have when they’re in the process of working it out for themselves.

Piqued by this new theme I gate crashed Marcus (COO) and Georgio (Product Development) in the midst of a design-for-manufacturing process. “How well do our suppliers know each other?” I asked. It turns out some know about the others, particularly those in closer proximity. But, as Marcus pointed out, ‘know about’ isn’t the same as ‘know’.

I returned to my office for my weekly update with Sarah (CFO) believing I’d stumbled on something important but not quite knowing what to do about it.