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Throng 4 meets in Toronto
Earlier this week was the fourth Throng; a monthly get-together of social media types over drinks in downtown Toronto. Despite competing for the time-slot with
, we had a couple of new PR and blogging faces including
, and four High Road staff
, Heather Anderson, Nicole Flippance, and Natasha Compton, as well as regulars
Ketchum’s Melody Gaukel, Mark Daley of MacLaren McCann and
The planned topic was whether we’re going to see a new communications agency model emerge in Canada to deal with the needs of companies looking at web 2.0 strategies. Something like
, which according to its launch press release, “...
will help marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals better understand the tremendous changes, challenges and opportunities in today's dynamic and complex world of fragmented attention, increasing consumer control and hardening attitudes towards marketing communication.” As far as I can tell, Crayon is primarily virtual (based in Second Life), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar agency with its feet on real ground, comprised of former heavy-hitting ad and PR agency types, pop up next year. Social media, online, viral, word of mouth, communities, etc could become the anvil that a new communications model will be forged upon. What's the name of that agency going to be in Canada?
So much for that conversation; it didn’t happen to the extent I was hoping because we got too excited about finding out what our new bloggy joinees are into. Got into a discussion with Martin Hoffman (of Canuck PR toolbar fame) about a topic
on Joe Thornley's blog; the employer’s dilemma around supporting personal business blogs when those bloggers sometimes leave the agency which helped them build blog fame, and whether there are differences in freedom of writing for each of those models.
Also had a chat with Maggie of Social Media Group about the agencies leading the social media charge. Maggie is a former on-air broadcast journalist with a great presence and clear thinking about communications. I suspect she knows what makes for a good media and blog pitch. Next time I want to talk to her about how PR and disciplines like word of mouth, advertising and direct are meeting in the social media blur. I'm not sure whether Canadian companies care what type of agency executes their social media strategies, and I suspect many types of agencies are offering similiar solutions. Surely it all comes down to who you trust to figure it out on your behalf?
Boyd wanted to discuss whether blogging helps build political consensus or creates too many diverse opinions to be effectively synthesized in public policy. Doug is continuing that discussion
Next Throng is in January.
Published 01 December 2006 10:38 by
Hey Lisa - thanks for the link, and thanks so much for inviting me, it was a great get-together and I really enjoyed it - looking forward to January!
Regarding the "big bang" of social media convergence, I have to say it scares me a little. It requires agencies to not only be solidly grounded in the who, what, where, why and how of social media, but also be competent in a wide range of other disciplines. Pretty tall order!
And hey - we're the first full-service social media agency in Canada that's idea-to-implementation!!!
December 1, 2006 18:49
Throng is getting good by the sounds of it. I'm not doing another social media/bloggie/geek thing until I go to Throng for the first time.
December 2, 2006 00:28
Another good "thronging" and great summary. To your point about a new type of agency - put aside financial sensibilities and current market acceptance for a second - wouldn't it be great to build a new type of agency in Canada that was media agnostic and could exclusively deal in what I'll call the peer to peer space - like Grip for Advertising except instead of copywriters and art directors, you invite the Canadian cream of the crop in the key 13 corners of evolved marketing - blogging/vlogging, social networks, viral, podcasting, word of mouth, experiential, user generated marketing, blogger outreach, community building,advergaming, virtual communities, new media and social media research/tracking ...how much of the $12 billion Canadian communications revenue pie would an agency firm like this be sitting on 5 years from now--- $ ching, $ ching indeed -- anybody have any names more inventive than Crayon - I'll suggest Inukshuk (Inuit for stone construction that acts as a guide) but it probably is bad from a search perspective ...others???
December 2, 2006 22:55
"What's the name of that agency going to be in Canada?"
Thornley Fallis, of course! ;-)
I really want to get out to a Throng. I hope the next one occurs on a night when I can make it.
Suggestion: Why don't you set up a meetup.com group and open it to all interested comers. While I really want to participate, I don't really feel comfortable with the elitism of by-invitation-only groups. Echo chamber?
Sounds like a great discussion. I'm looking forward to participating in future.
December 2, 2006 23:59
I wish someone had told me about Throng - I see no reason to compete. We could have all got together. I would have loved to have been there. Those Geek Dinners are fairly spontaneous, and we had our share of communications people there. Let's touch base, so I can get to Throng and you can come to Geek Dinners in the future.
I would also like to think that Twist Image is walking the talk. While we're certainly not a PR firm, I think our Marketing Agency tag does extend to communications as we've done some highly-visible social media projects for the likes of Scotiabank, the Canadian Marketing Association and many more. I'm not trying to toot our own horn, but I do think that there are too many agencies who are tooting the horn but not driving the car (is that a good analogy?).
December 3, 2006 12:24
Joe - I'd hate for you to think Throng is by invitation only. Our email alerts ask people to bring others who would participate - it's open to anyone in the social media / marketing and PR/PA space. We haven't advertised it broadly other than blogging because we would need more room than our few tables at Paupers, which would require more organization skills from us. But - we're happy to move on if it grows! Hope to see you at the next one - Jan. 23. I have heard talk about merging Throng with either geek dinner or Third Tuesday, but our regulars say they like the unique formats of each.
Mitch - I will add you to our email alerts for Throng - and I would love to go to the next Geek Dinner. I thought those dinners were by invitation only:) I see you're speaking at CaseCamp- looking forward to it.
December 3, 2006 13:44
It was great meeting you at Throng. Thanks so much to you and Doug for organizing it. And looking at the comments, maybe we'll have an integrated Third-Tuesday-Throng-Geek-Dinner soon? I like both the more formal Third Tuesday format with a guest speaker and the more casual get-together of Throng.
December 3, 2006 17:21
Better late than never...
I think each of the formats has something to offer. Third Tuesday is formal and structured & that works. The Geek dinner (which I finally made it out to) is good for just letting loose and kicking back, completely unstructured and random (i.e. you don't know who you're sitting beside for the evening and hence the conversation changes) and Throng is in between the two.
I think merging them all doesn't make sense in my opinion... not everyone can make it to every event and it's nice to have options to catch up.
Personally I suggest a Google group or something where when planning events it's a quick one-stop to find out if other events are on that date. My 2 cents.
December 7, 2006 14:31
If you’re in Toronto next Tuesday, Jan. 23, and interested in chatting to a diverse group of ad and PR...
January 15, 2007 16:57
The Client Side Blog with Michael Seaton
This post was inspired by a conversation between Kate Trgovac and my wife a few weeks back. Social Media is killing us. I love Social Media but there are limits on time and attention. For those of us involved in...
February 24, 2007 16:16
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