One thing I was really excited about, starting at FH Canada, was that I could start thinking social media in a more applied perspective. The first problem that I’ve come up against is the localised ownership of international content.
It seems to me that traditional, international, companies haven’t developed to fit the shrinking world where information has no restrictions. In a world where someone in Australia can read a blog by a Canadian or UK writer, companies are still constricted by international borders due to their management set-up.
For instance, imagine that you’re implementing a podcaster relations program, setting up interviews in target shows for an industry expert in the same way you’d conduct a traditional media tour.
Now a podcast is an international medium, and once an episode is on iTunes, anyone from anywhere in the world can access it. But a client’s internal team may feel constrained to only approach podcasts in their own market; even it’s their own initiative.
Working in a Canadian agency, I now face this peculiar disconnect between how companies view their organization and how people view their media (I may do a Hugh MacLeod/David Armano style cartoon on this later). If there is a relevant podcast or blog that I’d like to get a client onto, do I have to respect the international divide or can I go ahead and do it, knowing that the US team isn’t doing the same thing?
My personal feeling is that I’d like to act first, get the (presumably fantastic) results and then apologise and worry about hurting people’s feelings. If they don’t know enough about their industry or space to go after the influencers, why should my team’s performance suffer?
I’m cognizant of the fact that I now work in an international agency in a small market, but if we can blaze a trail and get the right results for our clients, why shouldn’t Canadian offices take the lead on certain issues if that’s where the expertise lies?
Is this another barrier to adoption of social media? If so what can we do about it? Social media programs rely so much on being done right there must be a way to make sure the office with the most expertise takes the lead, no matter where their geographical location.
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