Nancy Myrland All Posts, Marketing Strategy, Social Media 10 Comments

Who's In Charge of Social Media?Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, wrote a post this week, asking where Social belongs in an organization.

The topic came up for her recently when she guest-hosted a Wednesday night #bizforum discussion on Twitter.

One of the questions that came up during the hour-long discussion had to do with where Social Media marketing and communication should reside within an organization.

Some in Gini’s discussion felt that Public Relations should have a leading role.  Many others thought it was Marketing’s role to take the lead.

Here’s what I think, but please let me know your thoughts in the Comments section below.


“It depends” is one of my favorite sayings when I’m talking about marketing, communication, how things should be done within an organization, how an individual should approach his/her job, etc.

For example, when I was at Time Warner, Marketing and Community/Public Relations were two different departments. Marketing most often led the charge, but we worked closely with Public Relations to make sure we were covering our bases, and that, as my recent blog post suggested, our efforts were “coordinated and complementary,” the two words I use to describe integrated marketing. I also met with Customer Service to run our promotions and messages by the people who worked directly with our potential/customers to make sure the messages made sense. When we launched a new service, I helped train the service and technical professionals that made our services work out in the field. Today, those efforts would translate in to helping them send out the appropriate messages via Social Media and every other interaction they had with our customers.

While I was an in-house legal marketer at Baker & Daniels, the Marketing Department included the Public/Community Relations effort, so we definitely would have been the department leading the charge.

Whomever is responsible for helping to define and communicate the brand should be the leader, the coach, the senior strategist, and sometimes the quarterback of the Social Media effort.  They will then help the rest of the organization line up and execute the appropriate plays at the right time…again, in a complementary and coordinated fashion to best accomplish the goals that have been established.

I think this most often exists in the Marketing Department, but it depends on what kind of skills exist in each organization, what changes need to be made to retool, the willingness to change, what kind of leadership and support is given from the C-suite, and more.

Who do you think should lead the charge?  Where should Social Marketing and conversation originate?

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