So, we begin the Havas PR Global Leadership Meeting in Miami today and it is opened by David Jones, the leader of the leaders. He is Global CEO of Havas and Havas PR Worldwide whose first job in advertising, ironically, was in Manchester. He was born and schooled in Cheshire and is a really good bloke. The only downside is that he is a Liverpool fan so I will be avoiding him for the next few days, post United’s FA Cup exit.
Next, two interesting presentations from Jim Lecinski of Google and Joel Lunenfeld of Twitter with their visions of the future. Jim talked about the ZMOT – the Zero Moment of Truth – and how dramatically consumers’ purchasing habits have changed in a very short space of time. He argued that almost all in store decisions now begin at home and that 84% of people use online research to enhance their ‘in aisle’ shopping.
Joel was equally evangelical about Twitter, saying that it was ‘a reflection of what is happening in the real world’, adding that it was ‘Open, Public, Unfiltered; a Social Currency; and a Realtime Experience.’ He was particularly enthusiastic about ‘Pay With A Tweet’, an idea developed by a couple of authors who wanted to raise awareness around their new book but which has now spread from there in to a button that anybody could add to their site to raise awareness around their products and services.
Much talk of digital and some great work on show from the Havas/Havas PR agencies from around the world. So far I’ve had conversations with colleagues from Mexico, Istanbul, France, Chicago and Bury. And David Jones kept reminding us that, as Henry Ford said, ‘No one built a reputation on what they said they were going to do’ and our Group really is helping clients to get to the future first.
And nowhere is that more true that in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. David’s book, ‘Who Cares Wins’ defines the Social Business Idea as the overlap between what a company is good at (“a genuine and credible role for the brand or business”), and what consumers or customers are looking for (“real issues that consumers care about”). There’s no doubt that going forward– as Sir John Harvey Jones said many years previously – “The best corporate behaviour is always the most profitable.”
Lunch on Miami Beach which was lovely, but I’ll be back in Greggs this time next week. The afternoon spent watching amazing presentations on digital work the Group has done, whilst monitoring the United v Stoke game on my Blackberry. And who would have thought that the chant of ‘There’s only one Darron Gibson’ would ever echo across Old Trafford. As the proverb says, ‘A prophet is not recognised in his own land.’ Dinner and networking to close the day, where I hear from a colleague from the New York office that soccer is the next big thing. For once, I got to the future first…