Posted by Brian Connolly Thursday, January 17, 2008
Would you like to be manipulated? Would you like to be influenced, managed shrewdly or deviously, tampered with variously... and all for someone else’s gain? If yes, then you’re just who Edelman PR is looking for.
Yesterday, Edelman PR, the world's largest independent ambiguous marketing agency, leaked their master plan for online Web manipulation. Titled “Distributed Influence: Quantifying the Impact of Social Media,” it claims to be a first step in adding method to the Web 2.0 madness. It sets out to: "1. Develop a metric, or set of metrics, that allows publishers to more accurately quantify their value as a medium such that they can attract more and higher quality and relevant advertising and sponsorship revenues; and 2. Provide advertisers and marketers a metric that helps them with a more scientific way to plan and measure the outcomes of their various campaigns." Scientific distributed manipulation! YIKES!
Anyway, as PRs are instinctually prone to do, the "whitepaper" (i.e. PR sales brochure) first sets out to spin the word “influence.” According to the paper, it could be defined in multiple ways such as: “It's a noun and a verb; It's an action and an outcome; It's credibility – having someone pay attention to you; It's personal and builds from the inside-out and the bottom-up, generally one person, or one personal network at a time; and It’s not a purely rational thing.”
With “influence” now otherwise redefined and emasculated, the paper then gets down to business. Here are a few key excerpts:
- The marketer’s Holy Grail of influence is the ability to recognize patterns and optimize outcomes.
- For someone to be influential, they will likely be either a meme starter or a meme spreader. That said, marketers face the continuing dilemma of how to gain the maximum impact for their investment. Understanding that there are very few meme starters or spreaders, the question is whether the most effective target would be the easily influenced as oppose to the few influencers.
- Influence is only influence when you reach a critical mass that inspires people to act.
- The more we know about an individual, the more it is possible to manipulate.
- Communicators who desire to build and measure influence need to think about the ethos of each venue, devise the right kinds of appropriate programs, and set up methodologies for measuring the impact of their efforts.
In other words, as an agent, the objective is to otherwise strategically, directly and measurably cause an individual or group to align with, and act out, a client's agenda.
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
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