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Social Media Judo

February 27, 2012

This weekend I read Social Media Judo, co-written by the partners of Ivy Worldwide, two of whom (Nick White & Chris Aarons) I know pretty well from my Microsoft days. In fact, the book opens with the saga of a rocky Windows Vista social media campaign which I remember with painful clarity. I was working in our Redmond, Washington offices on the Windows Vista PR team at the time, just a few doors down from Nick who was driving our blogger community efforts. But the reverberations were worldwide when the campaign “blew up in our faces” and the nascent Social Media community (circa 2006) roared to life with accusations of a sinister motives and pay-for-post bribery.

It was a learning experience for us all. For Nick, Chris and Geoff it eventually led to the creation of Ivy Worldwide, a company dedicated to doing social media right. For me it was a visceral lesson in Integrated Marketing Communications or more specifically, integrating Social Media throughout a MarComm campaign. Being physically close to the social media team doesn’t help if you don’t actually integrate with their efforts. In fact, our proximity at the time may have misled us into thinking we were working as a team. Now, whether I’m working with MarComm colleagues down the hall, or around the world, I make sure that we are truly coordinating our efforts.

To learn more about that initial Windows Vista social media campaign and the great things that grew from it, I recommend you get the book. It’s available in electronic and print versions on Amazon. At 167 pages it’s a quick and enjoyable read. The “Judo” in the book’s title refers to achieving the maximum effectiveness with the least amount of effort by using your opponent’s strength against them. Only in this case it’s really about using your partner’s strength for them. Having taken some Judo during my college days, enough to recall the moment when a throw felt effortless and powerful – and when it didn’t – I can relate to the primary analogy used throughout the book. And having worked with bloggers since before the term was invented, I can agree with the authors that these are the folks with whom you want to spend your time sparring.

You can find more detailed reviews of Social Media Judo online and Lockergnome recently published an interview with one of the authors, Chris Aarons, which provides a great overview. (

Social Media Judo

Social Media Judo

From → Books, MarComm/PR 101

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