Just like Graeme I wasn't going to blog about this, but there were so many tweets and emails flying around last night and this morning that I felt that I really ought to.
Social Media is quite obviously THE hot potato of the communications world at the moment and kudos to the IPA for stepping up to the mark and actually doing some primary research into "The future of advertising in a networked society.” As they said: "There’s
a revolution in the air that’s transforming society. It’s social
networking and it’s empowering the consumer. Agencies must get to grips
with this changing marketplace over the next decade or they could face
growth of only 1.2% per year by 2016"
I wish I could share with the powerpoint presentation we sat through, (I did suggest that it be put up on Slideshare, but I searched and can't seem to find anything) If I had been able to show you the presentation and you weren't there, then it would become apparent why there were rumblings of unease last night.
It was poor. I hate to bad-blog, but it really didn't come across as imagainative or fresh or even very interesting. It was just dull. If "conversations" are at the heart of Social Media, then this just missed the mark. Was the objective of the research to scare agencies with guess-timations about where advertising revenue were to be found in the future? Was the research designed to bring to life the theory of crowd-dynamics? Was it designed to provide methodologies and case studies? I am not sure.
Given the fact that authors like Charles Leadbetter and Clay Shirky "give away" their IP and then crowd-source to amerliorate and augment thinking, couldn't the IPA have done the same thing? This could have been given away for free, or bits of it (or maybe the Radiohead - pay what you think its worth). The report could have then become the centre of gravity for a serious debate and discussion around the key areas and insights that it unearthed.
The debate afterwards was much better - no Russell which was a big shame, though he had tweeted in advance but smart debate from John Willshire (PHD) and Cheryl Calverley (Unilever) but a missed opportunity to engage, connect and start a proper joined up conversation about Social Media andthe role of brands and agencies.
(Heads up: I am fan of the IPA and a member of the IPA Strategy group, although not directly associated with the 44 Club)
The IPA have started a blog to talk about the Social Media report in a more "social" way, have a look. Its a good start and all came out of the tweets and blog posts last week, so at least it shows the social media has an impact!
Also the famous Neville Hobson had an interesting take on it all and his changing views of the IPA.