IWOM manager titles a trend

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In the last year, as we have developed deeper relationships with our clients and as have come to really understand the power and impact of IWOM, we have begun to talk about the need for our clients to have a position of IWOM manager. This person would be familiar with the key online communities and blogs related to the client. Even more, the person would work to develop relationships with the forum administrators, bloggers and forum owners to help communicate and translate the client’s messages and voice into the world of IWOM through authentic communication and engagement. Most importantly, this person would work in the organization at the cross section of PR, marketing, market research, media, advertising and even product development to ensure IWOM is integrated systematically and strategically. What is validating is that such there are already such positions in the U.S. Do a search on Indeed.com, a job board aggregator, for “social media” and you will find 552 jobs (as of September 1, 2007), many of which are for social media managers. (I am using social media instead of IWOM because it is a more common term in the US).


Here is as sample job for Sony Playstation:

Sony PlayStation®: Manager, Social Media Foster City, California We are seeking a Public Relations Manager for our Social Media efforts located in Foster City, CA. The manager will support the PR Managers, PR Team and Department in all areas of Public Relations to include: Creation and execution of PR Plans to support the Social Media Program, driving content creation for Social Media program, idea generation for PR plans and programs/campaigns for all facets of communication team efforts. In addition, the PR Manager will need to support, coordinate and drive PR agencies and various vendors to deliver on planned programs and production elements decided by PR Manager and PR Team. PR Manager will need to excel in relationship development with key members of Social Media outlets/bloggers, enthusiast, consumer and business media, including other SCEA departments and both internal and external developers. PR Manager will be expected to execute on strategic (both reactive and proactive) programs to gain media mind share and understanding of the platforms and how they relate to overall industry news.

Responsibilities: * Support efforts for Social Media Program including creation, idea generation and execution of Social Media program and communication tools. * Create necessary PR materials and appropriate content for inclusion in SCEA Social Media Program, including policies, procedures, plans, editorial calendar and various forms of Web 2.0 content. * Complete projects with minimal supervision and direction and be able to manage up to Sr. PR Managers/Directors, as well as keep the entire team up-to-date on the various programs that the PR Manager is working on. * Participate in creative brainstorming among both internal and external PR Teams, and provide active feedback and creative ideas. * Build relationships with Social Media enthusiasts, key constituencies, new consumer, business and enthusiast media targets, and foster those relationships into generating attention for platforms and first party line-up. * Support development and execution of community efforts in relation to Social Media program. * Coordinate media and tracking procedures for Social Media program. * Interact effectively with other departments within SCEA and various vendors.

Even industry analyst firms such as Forrester are recognizing this. Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategy über blogger recently accepted a position a position with Forrester as “Senior Analyst focused on Social Computing and Interactive Marketing.” As I was drafting this post, I found that Nathan Gilliatt had beaten me to the punch with this idea, citing Steve Rubel’s “Geek Marketers” which is worth a read. Like any good blogger, I will liberally copy and paste some of Nathan’s writing to supplement my ideas.

BrandWeek’s Steve Miller interviewed Toyota’s Bruce Ertmann: Toyota CGM exec monitors the good, the blog, and the ugly (via Josh Hallett):

As corporate manager of consumer-generated media at the Torrance, Calif.-based automaker, Ertmann constantly trolls the Web to see what people are saying… Although other car companies also have people who track and write blogs, Ertmann’s title is believed to be the first in the U.S. auto trade.

Meanwhile, across the pond, BMW seeks new media PR manager:

The job recognizes the increasing blur between traditional marketing and public relations as well as challenges presented by dynamic new communication channels. Monitoring, managing and influencing public commentary via new media is a skill set that BMW lists as important.

From what we see happening on the front lines here in China, we think it’s only a matter of time before the trend arrives here, confirming the strategic importance of IWOM to any the marketing and communications.

Posted by   @   7 September 2007 1 comments


Jan 20, 2009
2:21 am

Good to know it’s a thriving field — I’m getting into WOM and IWOM marketing myself and it’s nice to know there are lots of opportunities out there

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