A conversation about environment, culture, social media and donuts

Got a wonderful visit yesterday from Darryl Ohrt, the Prime Minister of Awesome for Humongo. The digital shop is doing a road tour. They’re visiting friends, generating content, and putting social media into action because, well, because they can. They’ve got a video camera to record stuff, Twitter to connect and promote, Vimeo to post their videos, and a blog from which to report.  What else to you need?

Anyway, Darryl and I spent a few minutes talking environment, culture and social media – three of my favorite subjects. It’s been a year since Mullen has moved from the isolated woods of the North Shore to the heart of downtown Boston.

Answering his questions reminded me just how important any company’s physical environment is to fostering culture and innovation. Or in our case to inducing collisions.  We want people, opinions, disciplines and ideas crashing into each other, hence our open floor plan and physical integration of disciplines. In an age when the creative team includes technology, UX and digital design and the output can be anything from an app to an eco-system, everyone has to work together in a space that encourages it.

At the same time, Darryl’s road tour — combining video, social, blogging and the mobilization of a community to spread the word, drive inbound links, and create new new connections — reminds us of another equally important point. And that is if you want to lay claim to anything remotely resembling knowledge of the new way to market, you have to get out there and actually do things.

You can follow along with Humongo Nation if you want. Check out the blog.  Or watch the entire content from yesterday’s video featuring @stuartfoster, Kane’s Donuts (damn they’re good) and folks at New Balance. And as always, if you want to leave your own thoughts about culture, environment and how they work together to inspire people, go for it. Thanks for stopping by.

4 comments
Nora Aradi
Nora Aradi

Edward,

Great approach! As a master student I am researching this topic just now, and you are one of the few who have recognised the importance of a new agency model – and actually did something about it.

Edward, how do you brainstorm with your agency when working on social media campaigns? If it’s not the traditional copywriter - art director team, then what is the structure that works for you? How many of you, and with what sort of skill sets sit together when coming up with social ideas? And what is your working process? Is it similar to the traditional creative briefing followed by creative work process, or is it different too?

It would be great to see your video about How to Transform Your Agency from Traditional to Digital. Will it be available for the public?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Cheers,
Nora

Howie G
Howie G

Perfect story of this day. After leaving Boston Darryl posted a Tweetphoto of a pit stop where they bought some roadtrip munchies including Mike and Ikes. Later that afternoon I tuned in to the live webcam and saw Chris Spada was chewing. So I tweeted and asked if he was eating Mike and Ikes. And they promptly answered me live on webcam from the road. Even more real time that Old Spice. I was impressed. He was chewing gum btw I was quite disappointed in him. I think sugarless too.

Nora Aradi
Nora Aradi

Thanks a lot for your reply. I don’t think anyone has come up with the perfect model yet. However you guys are definitely heading towards it. Thanks for your help Edward!

edward boches
edward boches

Nora:
Our approach is simple. We do two things. 1. We run social media through our PR/social influence group. They are masters of blogger relations, conversation strategy and managing community on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If and when they need creative, design, etc. they tap into our creative group, which is more and more social savvy. (Though we still haven't done anything is cool, albeit campaign oriented, as Old Spice.) In our creative group -- which includes digital, tech, UX, design -- we also have a social media strategist, connection planner, and soon a mobile planner. The idea is to constantly remind creative teams of the possibilities and also to make sure that our ideas are shareable, interactive, participatory. We truly don't have it all working perfectly yet, but at least we're aware of what we need to be working on, everything from strategy, to team, to how we engage and mobilize community.