I recently connected with the folks behind the Twitter profile of McCann_NY which is the New York office of McCann Worldgroup. I connected with Bruce Stockler who is VP Corporate Communications at McCann Erickson, NY and he answered a few questions about how McCann is using and participating online and with social media.
How is McCann Erickson using social media right now?
Each McCann office pursues its own social media strategy. McCann New York has been very active in social media in the past two years, mainly because it’s a priority for Lori Senecal, who was named President in 2008, and Joyce King Thomas, our chief creative officer. We’ve launched a website for the NY office, mccannny.com, which shows off the creative work. We have been involved with a number of social media events, such as Twestival NYC, for which we were a co-sponsor, and which raised money for third-world freshwater development.
Lori Senecal handpicked Faris Yakob as our first chief technology strategist—Faris oversees everything digital. Faris writes one of the best-known blogs in the ad industry, “Talent Imitates, Genius Steals.” With input from Faris and the digital creative team, I oversee the Twitter account for the NY office (mccann_ny). We use this platform to broadcast news and make announcements, but mostly to create a dialogue with the community across an increasingly diverse number of topics.
Faris Yakob, Lori Senecal, Joyce King Thomas and many of our creatives, digital people, research, planning and account leadership people maintain their own individual Twitter accounts. Our digital creatives are active on a number of blogs, such as anablog23. McCann employees maintain a Facebook page. We’re involved in the development a number of social media platforms for internal use or for collaboration. We recently launched a vibrant and collaborative internal website which allows all of our employees to blog, chat online, watch and share videos, work and other content, share news and information and make all kinds of interesting connections. Lastly, Faris Yakob encourages eating and beer drinking, face to face, as a critical social activity. I tend to agree.
2. What do you look for to measure the effectiveness of this communication?
Each of these communications requires a different analysis of the effectiveness. Most of these efforts are fairly new, so we’re still sorting that out. But, anecdotally, the effect is very positive, because advertising is a highly social business, and social media is the new common language.
3. What lessons and learnings can you share with other individuals and companies using new services?
Like a blog, Twitter is a broadcast medium and, despite its informalities, needs to be treated as such, so anyone Twittering needs to be aware this is a very public arena. And, like many other social media, you get out of it what you put in, which means it requires time and effort and thoughtfulness. And there’s no spell-check. Yikes.
4. What is one anecdote you can share about this experience? (Good or bad and can involve whos responsible, time vs. return, mistakes made along the way.)
My experience on Twitter has been illuminating. I’ve connected with PR colleagues at other ad agencies, developed stronger contacts inside the McCann network, attracted new eyeballs to the agency on a number of levels, and started a number of interesting conversations.
Best anecdote: I Tweeted that we were “de-following” anyone who posted relentlessly throughout the day. I received Tweets, re-Tweets, direct messages and emails from Twitter users outside the agency who strongly agreed with me, but several people inside the agency disagreed even more passionately. It’s a good dialogue to initiate, because the rules for Twitter behavior are still evolving—rapidly. That’s one reason why it’s such an exciting medium.
5. What networks are you participating in that are officially your voice? Which are organic and not “run” by you?
None of our social media network participation consists of my voice. The Twitter account is written in the royal “we” because we share the microphone. The rest of the social media belong wholly to the agency talent across every discipline and on every level. Social networks belong to the people in the trenches.
Thank you to Bruce and McCann NY for taking the time to answer these questions – I invite any and all feedback below and welcome the opportunity discuss thoughts in the comments.