I call myself a digital strategist. “People wrangler” might be a more exact description. The machines do what they’re told. People, oh, Jayzus! This article is a high five to the various moves, subterfuge, plots and diversions used by those ostensibly working for the same company.
Digital Strategy is easy – use online platforms to spread “the message.” People, on the other hand, have many motivations to sink my battleships…
Lets start at no.1. “Folderall”- While working for the world’s third most famous computer/IT company, we had a major, greenfield, multi million euro customer service contract. I asked the service delivery manager for a dedicated server. We would have multiple calls on the same topic on a daily basis. A team knowledge base or wiki would be imperative. He nodded; “of course!”
This was the result. Thank you Watson!
No.2 “Mine, all mine.” He loves his f&*Kin facebook. I was working for an oligarchical type CEO who coveted his Facebook. It was a direct extension of his persona. His pages were personal, full of posts from great days in pursuit of fast profit.
The MD said;”it’s time to post some content and run the business page as a business page.” I pleaded! I begged, cajoled and negotiated. The MD said – don’t worry. I’m taking the heat. “Its an order!” Ten minutes later the war started. Eventually, we both got fired. Ground zero was my first Facebook post on “his” business page.
No.3 “You will follow me” – In this company, all of the top sales people, including the HR and Ops guy, either left or were demoted over a six month period (following a management takeover). I wasn’t there for long before a chipper young English chav was made “sales director”- replacing a guy who had been 25 years in the industry.
On our first “get to know you” phone call, Toto (name changed to protect the profoundly puerile), claimed he didn’t know who I was. On the second call he told me my Linkedin profile was inappropriate – meaning I was far more “internet famous” than he was. I blocked him. On the third call, I was fired again.
No.4 “Disco Inferno” While doing social media – on an unpaid basis for a DJ friend of mine, I posted some content from Pinterest to Facebook “on a musical theme.” A few days later in his car on the way to an event, I was told not to post to Facebook again. His partner, who up till then had posted (on average) once in six months, was “running the Facebook page,” saw my stuff and didn’t like my intervention.
No.5 ” Startup Shenanigans” I provisionally accepted a new job as strategy director/business developer for a startup tech company following a meeting with one partner. During the interview with the second partner, there was lots of talk about “my (meaning his) vision” and finding select”marquee clients.”
The guy has no website. The company name is generic. Social following is non existent. The company has one major contract with his ex-employers. It brought to mind that Steve Jobs quote about hiring the best people and letting them do what they do best. Back to those circuit boards Steve + Woz.
Epilogue: Being a digital horse whisperer does has some advantages – you get pretty good at interviews:)