IPA Social Principles (01) UPDATE

Posted by on Sep 29, 2009 in IPAsocial | 8 Comments


[For the full back story go here but for those who can't be bothered read on]

You'll no doubt have read here or elsewhere stuff around the IPA social conversation – a response by a bunch of us interested parties to the IPA's original attempt at getting to grips with the Social Thing.

We've talked and shared and now we're hoping to stimulate the conversation further (and more importantly wider) by posting our ideas about what the social revolution really means

While on October 6th, there's a realworld event in Belgrave Square, we hope that the conversation proper starts today: each of us involved is posting a principle that we find useful for folk to do with what they will (knowing that they will or won't, if you see what I mean – that being the nature of the social thing). 

Here's mine (revised following suggestions: Download People not consumers3

The IPA site is here  but these are where you'll find the other principles

1. People not consumers – Mark Earls
2. Social agenda not business agenda – Le’Nise Brothers
3. Continuous conversation not campaigning – John V Willshire
4. Long term impacts not quick fixes – Faris Yakob
5. Marketing with people not to people – Katy Lindemann
6. Being authentic not persuasive – Neil Perkin
7. Perpetual beta – Jamie Coomber
8. Technology changes, people don’t – Amelia Torode
9. Change will never be this slow again – Graeme Wood
10. Measurement – Asi Sharabi

Please join in. As Katy puts it:

These ten principles are just a starting point; provokers of
conversation, thoughts, ideas… an invitation to you (yes, YOU) to join
in. Why? Our aim with this project is to move the debate beyond simply
the theoretical, and into the practical; examples of approaches that
have worked, and which have not. What does success look like? What do
you need to do first?

We believe that by sharing information and case studies around
’social communications’ we will all, from the largest agency to the
nimblest freelancer, from the most traditional client to the youngest
start-up, benefit from this open source of knowledge.

So please join the debate by leaving your thoughts around the
principle I’m writing about in the comments below – and go see what the others have to say.

UPDATE 1. Fantastic night – our intent of  making it a conversation seems to have paid off. Go join the facebook group to continue the conversation.

UPDATE 2. Here's Campaign's write up of the night, featuring the lovely AmeliaDownload Social


  1. Alastair Duncan
    September 29, 2009

    Love it.

  2. Nick Myers
    September 30, 2009

    The first principle, ‘people not consumers’, applies much more broadly than in the area of social media. All marketing should focus on people. Thinking of people puts us much closer to hearts, minds and needs than the word “consumer” does. Consumer is such an unhuman phrase.

  3. Robert Davis
    October 2, 2009

    Mark – where does your Google Wave prank fit in with the principle of authenticity noted above? On the one hand, who wants to make a big deal out of a “prank”… on the other hand, to see a professed social media consultant use people to pass on your inauthentic meme, sucking in our friends and followers along the way… I question your judgement, frankly. Not that you probably care what I think, but hey – you got your jollies, so I’ll take my turn. If our path cross again I hope it will be in a more authentic and honest manner.

  4. Mark Earls
    October 2, 2009

    Thanks, all.
    Nick – John at Makemarketing History also makes this point. I’d argue that we should have been thinking this way all along and that the Marketing Era has been somewhat of an aberration. So yes, it has much broader applications.
    Robert, think you might have the wrong end of the stick here – I’m not a professed social media consultant (ask @gapingvoid or read the about section above).
    Of course, the wave thing was a “prank” (at least, I thought it was) – but I’m afraid I’m not in a position to claim authorship or ownership of it in any way. I just joined in. Also, I’m not sure anyone was hurt by it.
    Sorry (on behalf of everyone else who played along) you didn’t think it amusing. Hope your today is better!

  5. Robert Davis
    October 2, 2009

    Mark- thanks for your reply. I think saying you’re not a social consultant, while accurate, is a bit of dissembling – working with the IPA on “getting to grips with the social thing,” counseling clients on bespoke engagements to “shape the behavior change” through account planning/strategic consulting…” I was perhaps hasty, but… I assume your planning counsel includes ways to leverage social media, among other tools, to achieve marketing objectives. Heck, I’ve used your genius work with Alex in developing influencer strategies for my own clients. And I appreciate your solicitous concern for my respective days yesterday and today, but really, I didn’t have a bad day and am likely to have a great one today. My point wasn’t that those sucked in by the prank were hurt – in fact, they were the ones truly operating authentically based on a trust bond implicit when the RTers are prominent, or known. The pranksters are the ones who should suffer damage to their own social capital when their behavior in social media is inconsistent with the principles they espouse for how these media and networks should be used. That’s really my key point.
    And you are right, it does appear you RT’d a message originated by @eskimon which was a fabrication, as @iaintait does not appear to have in fact tweeted the original message. Hard to establish the trail of tweets as you have protected your tweetstream. If, as you say, you “thought it was a prank,” you may or may not have RT’d it knowing it to be so. In the end, that’s your business, and I’m finished with the entire thing. I do however hope you can take my point about inauthenticity in operation when there is a reputation and its inherent signification involved in the matter. I’m not “hurt” or “angry” about being caught up in a prank. It’s really more of an issue of hoping for those who teach standards to also live up to them. Having said that… off to the gym and on with the day. Thanks for the dialogue.

  6. John
    October 2, 2009

    It’s interesting that people are complaining about being caught up in a prank and not considering that their RT motives were entirely selfish. Or the irony that they are rushing to use collaborative software for status reasons and before it is widespread enough to be fully social.

  7. Graeme Harrison
    October 6, 2009

    Nick – totally agree
    Maybe its just because we’re in the middle of party conference season, but I couldn’t help swap marketer for politician and consumer for voter.
    Or is it even broader, society should focus on people/humans.

  8. Forex Brokers
    June 10, 2010

    Well… round about every blog posts online don’t have much originality as I found on yours.. Just keep updating much useful information so that reader like me would come back over and over again.