Web Strategy needed at Traditional Media Corporations (and a few suggestions)

Richard Siklos observes that large media corporations (like AOL, News Corporation, MTV, NBC) are having difficultiy finding leaders that understand social media, and can then craft a strategy to deliver. The article indicates that recruiters have lumped three categories of Media Strategists have emerged

“…The first is the well-versed old-media executive who both knows how to navigate corporate corridors and run a business but may not be the most Webby person on the squad…”

“The second basket contains the Web stars …These stars know how to identify and build Web businesses early…”

“…Then there is the less common “general corporate athlete” …who has a track record of getting things done in a complex company but is neither a seasoned operating executive nor a Web head…”

Many suspect this will come down to pure talent retention, thinking of Jason Calacanis, who recently resigned from AOL/Netscape. Frankly, many would rather work at an upcoming flexible Social Media Network and Platform rather than try to turn a large ship in the middle of the night. I just explored a few days ago are large corporations losing talent? (most commenters agree)

In a way, the tenure of a chief digital genius weirdly mirrors the fickle nature of the Web itself: hits can appear very quickly, but only a few stick around for the long haul.

A few pointers for these “new” Media chiefs:

  • It’s not about ‘slapping’ your existing content into new mediums (as the article suggests), these new mediums are different, require interaction, and are multi-channel.
  • You’re not in charge, brands are now owned, created, and manipulated, by the people although can be influenced by marketers.
  • Letting go yields more opportunity for return. (DRM, Rights, Copyright battles will be changed, find revenue by letting go)
  • Although we don’t know fully what it is, the old Ad model is changing, be prepared for change.
  • Larger corporations will need to encourage and empower the New Media executive, don’t hang them up with corporate red tape.
  • All of these mediums will mix and merge into something new, both Amorphous and Ubiquitous.
  • New children will be bore from the wedding of traditional mediums, such as the internet and TV, see IPTV.
  • http://www.bradenh.ca Braden Hoeppner

    I think part of the issue is that these large corporations are not sure where to place us ‘web’ people. Marketing? IT? Operations? Keep it as a silo?

    Because the web isn’t a static, traditional medium, in large corporations it can be difficult to find senior web folk with enough clout to make the change that is necessary. In the same breath, empowering people lower in the chain seems to become less likely in larger companies (there are exceptions).

    In my experience, you need someone in charge of the web who deeply understands it and is passionate about it. There is something interesting to me about the challenge of shifting an online strategy in a large, established company because the potential upside is enormous.

    I think the recruiters will have success in hiring web oriented people who might not have all the senior level experience – but who bring a passion for the web and some level of political maneuvering ability to the role.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Great thoughts from Hyku Blog, not sure why it’s not showing up on my trackbacks.

    http://hyku.com/blog/archives/001335.html

  • http://www.SuccessInMedia.com/jess_bio.html MediaJess

    Now, 8 years later, people can see that the suggestions above turned out to be true… and part of the model.