Thursday, November 02, 2006

I just returned from a conference in NYC hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The conference was highly informative and I would like to share some of the highlights with you.

Keynote Address by Fran Kelly - CEO of Arnold International

Fran spoke about building "Breakaway Brands" (also the title of his new book), as the developer of the Volkswagen "Drivers Wanted" campaign Fran sure knows a thing or two about this. The key point of his address was the need to be the best in your space, to become a category of one, by developing your distinguishing factors and answering the question: "What makes us different?"

Taking Control of user Generated Content
panel featuring
Mary Bremel - Director of Interative, Hewlitt-Packard
Dean Harris - Chief Marketing Officer,
John Trimble - Director of Interactive, Fox Interactive Media

The panel addressed everything from Myspace (Fox/NewsCorp was on the panel) and blogging to future movements in television and radio. The key point from this discussion was the acceptance that due to the ease of communication and pervasiveness of information in our digital world every individual consumer represents an entire channel. The discussion brought some heated debate as to whether or not current trends in user generated content (i.e. Myspace) really represented a paradigm shift or simply an enhancement to the channels and efficacy of communication. I believe that the ease of spreading your own content does amount to a paradigm shift because at no time before in the history of mankind have the masses been able to directly influence the news and media with no more effort than taking a picture or writing a letter. The average citizen has in effect become the producer and reporter of news and current events through tools such as blogs and CNN's iReport.

Representatives of Family and Friends Financial may want to leverage blogs and social networking tools like Myspace and Linked In to grow their networks and build teams through effective communication. Just a thought, please let me know what you think.


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