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Do Big Brands Really Get This Social Thing?


… by Kay Madati, CNN Worldwide

A social media evangelist friend once told me, “big brands don’t incubate innovation, they covet it, so they buy it, then they try to ‘synergize’ and integrate it, all the while giving it a slow and eventual death by a thousand cuts!”

These were his unvarnished thoughts as I contemplated leaving a small but burgeoning social media company in New York, to join CNN Worldwide to help shepherd their forays into the social sphere.

Fast-forward 3 years, and here I am moderating a panel session at BlogWorld 2010 on a derivation of the exact same topic – namely, ‘Just how IS Corporate America leveraging the challenges and the opportunities that exist around the social web.’ And boy-o-boy what a meaty topic to take on! This year alone has seen the highest -highs and the lowest-lows of how brands have taken their social media leaps.

Would you have liked to have led PR at BP in the middle of this summer? I’m sure they have some new learnings about the power of the social web.

With that being said, we have assembled a strong cadre of some of the world’s biggest brands: Ford Motor Company, Kodak, Citibank, PepsiCo, J&J, and yours truly, CNN. Each of these companies has a compelling tale to tell of how social media is evolving their work product and their respective corporate cultures. Some things have worked, other things have not, and we are going to get into it all.

But ultimately, the goal here is to focus on the positive and prove my friend wrong by highlighting just how innovation and social media adoption has helped propel their evangelism of the changing media and communications landscape to the forefront of many of their companies’ marketing strategies and plans.

But don’t just take my word for it; join us live and in person at BlogWorld Expo, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Saturday, Oct. 16th. 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM, Conference Room Islander G Las Vegas, Nevada.

Panel Title: “Social Media & Corporate America – How America’s Companies are using Social Media to improve Audience and the Bottom Line.”

Panelists are:
Scott Monty – Ford Motor Co Global Digital and &Multimedia Communications Mgr. (@ScottMonty)
Jeff Hayzlett – Kodak, former CMO. Social media and marketing expert. (@JeffreyHayzlett)
Frank Eliason – Citibank VP of Social Media. Formally of Comcast (@FrankEliason)
Bonin Bough – Pepsico, Director of Social Media. (@BoughB)
Mark Monsteau, Johnson & Johnson, VP of Communications (@JNJComm)

Moderated by Kay Madati, Vice President of Audience Experience, CNN Worldwide. (@kmmnews)

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