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I need professional help November 9, 2006

Posted by James Warren in work.
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In case you hadn’t noticed, recently I have been too busy working (and moving house, but that’s a different story) to blog very much.  The good news (from my perspective, at least) is that I am hiring.  Yay!  So if you want to work at Weber Shandwick’s central London office for some great brands, with some lovely people, please get in touch.  You can email me at jwarren [at] webershandwick [dot] com.  Successful applicants will be paid some money, become fully versed in the joys of social media and have the opportunity to work across all WS’s practice groups spreading some online love.  Oh, plus you get the opportunity to work with me.  But please (*please*) don’t let that put you off.

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1. david brain - November 10, 2006

James,

I hope you find some great people and I can vouch for the fact it is terrific place to work having done three years there myself. The reason I’m writing though is I just saw the sub-head to your blog name: Coming to terms with losing control. Brilliant. Best description of what we have to tell clients I’ve seen for a while. Another phrase we’ve been using is, “there is now an inverse and direct relationship between control and credibility”. Good luck with people hunt and say hi to Colin for me.

2. jameswarren - November 10, 2006

Many thanks David. ‘Coming to terms with losing control’ does seem to sum up the conceptual shift clients need to make in order to make the most of any interaction with/activity within social media. Which is a dog’s dinner of a sentence. Interestingly, I make exactly the same point as your control and credibility phrase, but using a graphical device called the control-credibility continuum (a long straight line with control at one end and – wait for it – credibility at the other, the idea being that a brand/story sits at a single point on the line and is able to move backwards and forwards. Clearly, the closer you get to one end, the further you must move from the other. Which is exactly what your sentence says. I think it was Paul Holmes that introduced me to the concept. Smart. Thank you dropping by – I’ll certainly pass your best wishes on to CB.

3. Lydia Mallison-Jones - November 11, 2006

James – having come across your plea for talent to join Weber Shandwick, I was wondering whether you wanted to get in touch?!
Indigo Red (co-founded by Steve and I) is ideally placed to help you find who you need.
On another note had you heard of the “Delivering the New PR” conference? It covers blogging, RSS, etc, and Second Life even came into play. We were headline sponsors, the event having taken place yesterday in London. Some interesting PR pros attended, inlcuding some prolific bloggers and online communicators. Neville Hobson (Hobson & Holtz) Philip Young (Uni of Sunderland), Tom Murphy (Microsoft Ireland), Chris Rushton & Stuart Bruce talked about transparency, trust and the loss of control. Have you checked out Second Life, now that’s an interesting place. Neville Hobson has launched his new business Crayon within Second Life, and as I said yesterday you have to go where the consumer / client / customer is, and we cannot ignore Second Life or CyWorld either. Wondering what your thoughts are? It would be good to hear from you. Lydia “aka Lydia Isabella in Second Life” 🙂

4. jameswarren - November 13, 2006

Hi Lydia. Thanks for your offer of assistance, but it looks as if I may not need Indigo Red on this occasion! Recruiting via this blog means people with an interest in the social media/PR space, an awareness of WS and a fairly good idea of what I’m about are applying directly. The calibre of approach I am getting is impressive. Could blogging be the future of recruitment? I’ll let you know how we get on…

As far as the conference goes, I was aware it was taking place, but did not attend. Without meaning to be arrogant, I’d like to think I’m fairly conversant with the developments and opportunities available in and around social media and PR (it would be sorry state of affairs if I didn’t!). I used to work with Tom and have met Neville briefly – I respect them both greatly and would have valued the opportunity to meet them again. But time (and more specifically, client commitments) greatly restricts my ability to attend such events in a primarily social capacity.

Second Life? I’m there (JB Montferrand – don’t ask ;-)) and appreciate some of the opportunities for PR therein. We’re looking at it, in the first instance, as an opportunity for our music and fashion clients. But – being entirely pragmatic – until there are (significantly) more UK-based SL residents, I’m not sure it’s worth the investment required (unless the objective is to build out of world, mainstream buzz around the fact they’re doing something in SL – which, to me, is already a little too ‘me too’). However, the role of virtual worlds is something I’m tracking with interest – but it’s my belief that most clients are better off sorting out their communications in *this* world before they begin engaging in a new one!

Say hi to Steve for me (I remember encouraging him to blog about a year ago – delighted it’s working out for you guys).

J

5. Stuart Bruce - November 14, 2006

James, you’re right the conference wasn’t really pitched for people like you. We all need to keep in mind the echo chamber and my experience is that the level of social media awareness and knowledge amongst PR people is still pretty low. The conference is aimed more at giving people a start. Next year we are planning another series which will take things a bit further.

And I agree with you on Second Life (Stuart Briers, closest to reality I could find). I’m talking to one potential client about taking them there, but it’s more to do with mainstream buzz and ‘looking cool’ (which according to last year’s Euroblog survey is what attracts most PR people to blogs). It isn’t something that would work for most clients, but in this case it fits with its existing brand values.

6. jameswarren - November 14, 2006

Hi Stuart – thanks for dropping by. Sorry, I should have mentioned that I’m very keen to meet you also. Would be interested in contributing to the next series, if appropriate. Either way, let me know when you’re next in London (regretably, I don’t often make it to Wakefield… but if I do, you’ll be the first person I call!) and we can sink a Black Sheep or two.


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