I talked over the previous post with my wife at lunch, and she had a good perspective. Since I don’t do comments on my blog, she wrote them down and sent them to me by email.

Take it away:

While I understand your point and I think it comes from a good place, I cannot agree with your conclusions.

Yes, sponsoring a message with any kind of mistaken data (be it a logo, a price, or any kind of valuable consumer info) is a big "faux pas", especially coming from a big company, one that should have a working structure, and enough work force to enable that structure to talk through its various organisational changes.

Yes, not talking to each other is bad.

Yes, brand messages, and “content" at large, should be shaped by the people who know about it, and live and breathe it every day.

This is all very true, except that you seem to forget that packaging that message, and distributing it in the right way is just as important.

What is worse? getting a message that is not quite correct, or getting no message at all? I would argue they are both bad. So here's the deal: in my experience there are two sides to communication - one side is about the vision, and the other is about the execution. One side cannot thrive, or even function, without the other. In social media that means knowing your audience, targeting your readers, breaking down the message to suit different platforms, and also dealing with a lot of conceited people who think they can judge your work by the number of likes it gathers. Sounds familiar?

We have all been guilty of trivialising social media managers’ jobs, because the very concept of spending all your day on Facebook as a job is worth a laugh, while grumbling about our own jobs in communication being trivialised by others. Like those others were, we also happened to be mostly wrong. The message is a company's most valuable asset, but it needs to be packaged and delivered so that people can hear it and receive it and make it theirs, otherwise it is just as worthless as the wrong logo on a sponsored post.

If you have thoughts, you can find her on Twitter as @mrscwellington.

For my part, I agree with her qualification: I lumped content and delivery together, and criticised a situation where the delivery had actually worked pretty well, but the content had fallen down. As my wife cruelly and correctly noted, my own delivery is not that hot1 - Google Analytics says I got 105 unique visitors in the last month, which is about typical for this blog but not exactly setting the internet on fire.

I do think my main point stands: that the disconnect between the two aspects of social media is a problem, and can be taken as a symptom of a more general issue of barriers between different parts of an organisation that should be working much more closely together.

Since I still don’t have comments, if anyone else has thoughts, please hit us up on Twitter.


  1. My wife took mercy on my fragile male ego and refrained from commenting on the content here.