Hi, this is Chris Abraham and I am an owner of Abraham Harrison and this post sucks. While this post was originally written on Jan 7, 2011 at 18:09 by our brand new blogger Geri, we do have editorial constraints and this not only breaks the editorial standards of Abraham Harrison, of Marketing Conversation, but also everything that is right and good in the world.
I am sorry.
We’re not going to use Geri any more and I don’t really trust my current editor to edit this blog anymore because it is obvious from the article that nobody actually read this article before transitioning it from Draft to Published.
There was a severe dereliction of duty that sort of made me, my company, and this blog pretty much a laughing stock and the target or derision.
My first reaction was to bring it down. Maybe nobody saw it. My second reaction was to keep it down. Maybe nobody saw it. By the time I saw it, Olivier Blanchard and four other folks had already commented and asked if the blogger was indeed drunk.
Everybody assumes the blog is written by me, even though the writer is very clear. I guess because I RT the articles and post them to my FB wall. I don’t think acerbic humor is always — or even often — the best way, but putting your head in the sand surely doesn’t work.
I am lucky that I had breakfast with someone who knows Olivier and knows the cool kids so I had some insight that there was major derision being perpetrated on my behalf in some group or another, so I needed to address it directly and do my best to disarm it. Address and disarm. Each one is very case-specific.
Because I like to think I have a sense of humor, I am going to openly mock this post as a way for me to process my intense shame and humiliation as both a man and a writer. To be honest, autoblogs and splogs do a better job using RSS and random algorithms.
If my editor wasn’t so amazing at so many other things in the company, his head would roll, that’s for sure. Instead, we’ll just have to sort something else out.
First of all, I personally commissioned this article, so my editor and the blogger should really have taken this task dead seriously. I never saw the article before it was posted.
Secondly, the article is supposed to paint both our CEO, Mark Harrison, and our company, services, and business model, in a most excellent light.
Finally, this article tangles with the social media old guard as well as one of the most respected members, a man I respect, appreciate and fear, Mr. Olivier Blanchard — this article would surely attract the attention of Olivier and all of our peers and colleagues.
What’s more, now that this blog has ascended to #112 on the AdAge Power 150, people are actually reading it and this isn’t just like sort of chatting to oneself in the in the mirror in the morning — people are actually paying attention.
Well, that said, I am going to mock this article right along with you…
Obviously, there is something wrong with the title. Obviously, Alice doesn’t belong in Neverland; and with regards to using Social Media as a means to promote products and services, a Firm’s President, or a CEO establishing business relationships to his clients through actual and personal exchanges of online LOL’s and pokes is actually, well, obviously wrong.
That made my head hurt. I don’t even know what that means.
As a President or as the Chief Executive of any multimillion dollar enterprise who wishes to extend customer reach and consequently gain products and services promotion through the former, would you do this yourself when you can, and when you are very much able to trust a dedicated and a genuine Social Media and Digital PR expert like Abraham and Harisson to do this for you?
First-things-first, the blogger got our name wrong. Abraham Harrison LLC is the long form and Abraham Harrison is the short. Harrison is spelled with two-Rs and one S.
Secondly, one of the reasons why this blog, our promotional style, our blogger outreaches, our messaging, and our social media news releases (SMNRs) work is because we try to keep things open, honest, and editorial. Only the facts, ma’am. This entire post reeks of shameless self-promotion. We don’t allow used car salesmen in our client services team, we surely don’t need one writing for our blog.
Thirdly, That entire paragraph doesn’t mean anything either. It is simply a string of words, not unlike the sort of autobot and splog services offered by SEO and link propagation services. No wonder why, over breakfast the other day, a social media insider asked me if these posts were only for SEO. I wanted to say no, but how can I defend this stream of meaningless nouns, verbs, etc, that seem to me to be more like padding in a K-12 book report when you’re very low on your word count and need to get the work in before next period.
Can you really be “friends” with the magnitude of literally, a hundred thousand followers? No; of course not. You don’t have to really be friends with them. Business is not about that type of intimate friendship we know of. Business is business, so we say. Friendship in business means taking care of your current customers, and creating awareness to the uninformed ones about what you have to offer.
OK, this is where the story began and it actually makes me wonder what the previous paragraphs were for? This is the story. No, in social media, one doesn’t need to make friends.
Maybe with the elite but surely not with everyone. Additionally, most people who engage online with social networks and social media don’t want to date or to marry, they want something much more fleeting, much more transactional, and much more efficient — without the chance of feeling being hurt.
Plus, the way some social media managers gush, it can often blow back and result in embarrassment amongst some less chatty people and it can also end up feeling like all this chatting isn’t worth it in the end — that it might be better to just call the 800 numbers because at least those customer service people are rewarded, in most companies, for getting things done and getting off the phone and on to someone else (with the happy exception of Zappos).
From the comment of Mr. Mark Harrison himself to the post of Mr. Olivier Blanchard in his blog The Brand Bulider entitled Stating the Obvious:
The long and the short of it is that, actually, a company can successfully outsource the handling of client relationships in social media. We’ve got years of results and clear facts that show it. I know it offends your theory pretty directly, but the facts are facts, and it simply works – often better, and at lower cost than companies trying to handle the social media work in-house.
It’s good to draw up guidelines to help companies find their way in this new landscape, but when reality runs counter to the rules you make up, you have to adjust them accordingly. The fact is that the real world results show your rule #2 to be incorrect. so you should adjust that.
Here’s just one example of many I can provide – from a client who called us in originally because they were getting steamrolled with negativity in social media and needed to turn things around before it killed the public’s and their investors’ perceptions of them:
Here are some of the first year’s results:
- From an average of 5-10 strictly negative daily mentions on Twitter to 20-50 positive daily mentions and retweets reaching an average of over 122,000 people and making over 270,000 impressions a week
- More than 20,000% growth of Twitter followership: from 498 to over 100,000 followers
- From 3rd most followed company in their sector to 1st, with more Twitter followers than all of their competitors combined
- Over 45,000 Facebook Likes (starting from 0) and over 37,000 active users. From an average of 5-10 daily interactions on Facebook to over 175 daily interactions, and over 55,000 impressions a day (and all of this growing on a hockey-stick curve)
- Tripled blogosphere mentions in 10 months time
This is the premise that gave birth to Social Media Marketing, and outsourcing this to an experienced and a true blue expert like Abraham and Harisson is the best thing any dreamer can do.
Again, “Abraham and Harisson?” Seriously?
You can do in-house Social Media Marketing yourself; you can also be good in it, too. But there are people who are already better in doing this stuff, and the experts in Abraham and Harisson are some of (if not already) the best among them.
Again, shamefully self-promotional, heavy-handed, salesy, and, to be honest, very poorly-written. I am having a rare experience of giggling uncontrollably (nervous laughter or unbridled glee from amusement, I cannot tell) while grimacing and feeling my blood pressure spike. I am very confused and scared. Someone, please hold me!
The stuff below is double-block-quoted and is Mark’s stuff, so I will just let it be — he is my CEO after all — a little respect and professional courtesy:
Yes, some companies should consider doing their social media in-house. They should consider doing the search and hiring process, finding the techies, communications people, creatives, project managers, researchers, division executives, and perhaps foreign-language specialists to do the all the work. They should consider what it will take to train up all these folks and build out the infrastructure to support them. They should consider the timeline for all this to take place before they have a complete, coherent, effectively-functioning team in place, and the budget that build will take. They should consider the opportunity cost of the opps they are missing while they are pulling themselves together, and the risk that even with all this budget and effort, they don’t really know if the team they assemble is actually going to be knocking it out of the park when they finally get to work.
And, as an alternative, they should consider simply hiring an agency like ours for probably less than the cost of the one top exec they’re going to hire to spend all this budget to build up a new team. Then they know they have a team with a well-proven track record.
And… when it’s outsourced to an agency like ours, the risk is vastly lower. You know you have an effective team from the first day, and if one day the company decides they want to bring it in-house, they can call up and say, “Hey, it’s been great… we’re not re-upping the contract.” and they are free.
Outsourcing your Social Media to agencies is just about the best option there is. If you are sailing your way through the murky flood of competition, adding additional passengers to your Ark will just put you at the risk of sinking to abysmal depths.
So, from the J. M. Barrie Peter Pan analogy directly to the Old Testament Bible story of Noah. I am really confused here. The article should have been rejected for rework and then, after that was done, should have been edited for consistency and so forth. And, of course, since I requested it and because it reflects on the reputation of our CEO, it should have been vetted by someone in the C-Suite, right?
Mind you, we would really prefer being an open space. We have 35 people and we encourage them all to blog; however, isn’t it interesting how important it is, one grows and expands as a company, to vet, to edit, and to do QA? To quote Swingers, “Our baby’s all grown up.”
Social Media outsourcing agencies like Abraham and Harisson are the lifelines that save you when you call SOS. They make your customers happy. Happiness means satisfaction. Happiness and satisfaction means trust, and trust leads to loyalty. Yes, these can be attained in the hands of outsourced social media firms; and look, the fireworks spell R-O-I.
All true. Except the whole “Abraham and Harisson” tragedy. And that fact that it is also meaningless hyperbole and tripe. Aside from that, I really loved that one. More Mark:
- Unique Monthly Visitors for the client’s site went from 50 MM/month to 129 MM/month
- Client’s membership base grew from 500,000 to over 2 million
This is just one of our clients for whom we handle social media efforts – and not even the most impressive example, just the one I happened to have all the stats on hand for right this instant.
You see, Alice wears a blue dress, not a tattered green shirt and a pair of green pants. She fell down a hole when she was walking though the forest; she wasn’t the one who flew to Never Land and played with Wendy and Tinkerbell.
What? WTF? Huh? Best line ever since devil in a blue dress: “Alice wears a blue dress, not a tattered green shirt and a pair of green pants” — I don’t know what it means, but I know I am going to have it tattooed in cursive down my flank once I get to Las Vegas after I get really, really, drunk.
Your Social Media Presence is better when it is outsourced to legitimate and trusted agencies like Abraham and Harisson. It’s all about fitting the right figures in the shape sorter of Social Media Marketing. Not unless you want Peter Pan to save Alice from the Queen of Hearts and then live happily ever after- now that would be another seriously messed up story.
Wow, I guess the writer of this blog was committed to the analogy. To the point of a runaway train. Without every realizing that the man that was being featured was not Mr. Harisson but Mr. Harrison, the Chief Operating Officer.
I might be being really hard on the editor of Marketing Conversation and on the writer of this post; however, at the end of the day, the buck stops here with me. And it is my reputation on the line. So, it is I who must throw myself on my sword here. No blame game. I should have been more careful and more responsible about what was happening — and maybe I should make sure all of the posts should at least be passed through me via email so that I can at least give a final approval. At least for a little while. So, that’s what I will do.
From now on, there is more of a process. Our favorite MC blogger, Robin Pangilinan, will work with our editor to make sure the first round of edits are complete; then, I am going to make sure that each post goes through Priya, Ann, and/or me, via email — at least for now.
How does that sound? How do you do it? What do you do? What would you do in a situation like this?