Week 1 Guest Speaker Roundup by Kim Tronic

A Conversation with Clint Schaff, VP of Digital & Gaming, Edelman

Kim Tronic

By UCLA X425 Student Kim Tronic

I’m sure we all enjoyed Clint Schaff’s very entertaining lecture from our first UCLAx425 class. Besides being a dynamic, funny, and charming speaker, he clearly knew what he was talking about as he addressed some very poignant and relevant topics.

I loved his answer to the question “Who owns social media?” I’ve often wondered that myself, and I had always concluded that it would be either the marketing or PR team. But his answer of “a cross-section of roles” makes sense, and is much more practical. Every major stakeholder (marketing, PR, customer services, manufacturing and management executives) should have a hand in a company’s social media profile.

It’s important to have these different teams involved because social media can play several different roles. If consumers are complaining via social media, the customer service and/or PR team can use it as an opportunity to resolve the situation quickly. When the marketing team uses social media, it becomes a platform to engage and converse with consumers. Social media can also be a useful tool for listening and learning what consumers like or dislike about your products/ services. I thought Clint made an interesting point about the video game “Call of Duty,” and how social media isn’t necessarily for creating new customers, but rather for increasing game play and garnering loyalty. Social media becomes a community for like-minded individuals to gather and converse. It’s fascinating how social media can be so many different things to different people across different departments within an organization.

Even though I had already known about Facebook’s Edgerank (big thumbs down!!), it was still disheartening to hear Clint talk about it. While I understand that Facebook is a business and needs income to sustain itself, I find it annoying/frustrating/irritating that businesses need to shell out money to ensure that more than 13% of their fans can view their posts. If this is the case, why bother sending fans to a Facebook page? Why not just focus on getting them to your website, and building a community there? I scowl at you, Mr. Zuckerberg. Where is my “unlike” button?

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One Response to Week 1 Guest Speaker Roundup by Kim Tronic

  1. Clint Schaff says:

    Thanks, Kim. Glad you enjoyed class — and that you gathered my overarching point that social and digital aren’t just for talking at people. Yes, we can market and communicate messages, but listening, energizing and supporting are equally important. The sky’s the limit.

    Re: Edgerank… I too am frustrated at times. But I want to be clear and respond here to let you know that I do think Facebook is on the right track in terms of making sure the most relevant content gets through. The average person has something like 30 minutes for Facebook each day and way too many messages to consume. So good on FB for curating. The challenge for us as advocacy communicators is to create content that is timely, sharable and engaging, so the algorithm recognizes its value and gets it in front of audiences.