beyond conversation: what web 2.0 can do for your agency

I spotted a really interesting piece from McKinsey this week on six key ways that companies can make web 2.0 work for them. The piece covers the management and technological aspects of deploying web 2.0 tools with a few interesting supporting cases from google, AT&T and Pixar amongst others.

So this kicked off my thoughts about the six (OK I tried 🙂 ) seven biggest benefits that I have seen at Ruder Finn since embracing and actively using web 2.0 strategies and tools both internally and externally are:

1.  Recruitment. One example is a fabulous associate director through Twitter last year and have had some great CVs for a senior account exec post this year

2. Internal comms. A third of my team (tech and corporate division ) work remotely / collocate at least part of the time so using collaborative tools has helped the division manage account work as well as keep the banter up at a healthy level.

3. Measurement and trend analysis. We find that social media provides a much quicker and more reliable measure of current opinion that older forms of research.  Everyone from our managing director to graduate trainees use social media to crowdsource ideas, gain recommendations and give / seek advice from both inside and outside the industry.

4. New business. We have received new business briefs, recommendations, invitations to speak at events, training requests and various others through the blog and Twitter.  Writing a proposal in only 140 characters is our next mission 🙂

5. An even bigger focus on reading and analysis. Our agency believes passionately that you cannot be in PR without being a total media junkie however through use of RSS, embracing apps like Twitter and becoming bloggers ourselves, we read and consume more media than ever.

6. Genuine experience and better consultancy. Through doing it ourselves, we are much better placed to advice, counsel and help clients in their social media efforts – an essential in an industry moving this fast.

7. Feedback.  Whilst compliments on social media (or anywhere else) are always fabulous to receive, far more valuable are the more negative constructive things you learn about yourself, your agency or your clients that might previously have gone unnoticed.  The stuff that helps you improve as a company is, in my opinion, the most valuable result of all.

(I haven’t listed stronger/new relationships and conversations here as that is a given)

Reading this list you can see why the naysayers are so frustrating to us and others in our industry.  No matter what your opinion of web 2.0 is, I’m sure you’ll agree that the outcomes listed above are pretty impressive business benefits by anyone’s standards.

CROSS POSTED at Ruder Finn’s (my employer) blog

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