Joining WeissComm Group

Updated on October 2, 2009

[Update Oct 2: If you see the comments to this post, you will see so many messages with warm wishes. It’s almost overwhelming. See the end of this post for my audio response to everyone.]

Big decisions sometimes don’t require a great deal of time to make. That’s certainly the case in a decision I made just a few weeks ago that involves my shift from independent communication consulting to taking on a corporate mantle once again.

Today marks the first day of a new role with a new company and with a new title. As a press release that went out a few minutes ago says, I’ve joined WeissComm Group (WCG), a San Francisco-headquartered communications firm, as their Head of Social Media Europe, a new role, based in their London office.

Instrumental to my desire and thus decision to join forces with WCG is Bob Pearson, my new boss and the spearhead for the broad business area we’ll be paying attention to as we work to help clients’ meet their communication objectives on an international level. As you probably know, Bob also serves as president of the Social Media Business Council, the US-based organization that represents social media leaders in large organizations. He came to WCG from Dell where he was vice president of communities and conversations (I interviewed Bob last December when he was still at Dell).

Our focus is social media, yet it’s not really about social media. It about business goals and the role of social media and how it fits into traditional public relations and marketing.

Whatever people call it – social media, social software, Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, social business – it’s really about business issues, organization change and behaviour shifts: things that actually matter to organizations from a strategic perspective.

So I’m thrilled to be part of a dynamic team of people and build up a new business offering that I believe will help clients really connect with the people who are important to them. Although WCG has a strong presence, credibility and reputation in the healthcare industry, that industry isn’t the only focus of what we’re going to be doing in the coming months. Watch and see what happens.

So that’s my big news for today. I’ll have more to say about what I’m doing in the coming weeks including a new podcast with some of my new colleagues. I’ll also be joining Bob and other WCG colleagues writing on our blog.

What about my other activities, the various other hats I wear from time to time? Well, I’m hanging up those hats. I’ve discussed my changed circumstances with my colleagues in those ventures and we’ve agreed that I can give no less than 100% to my new role with WCG.

And what about FIR, the podcast series I co-founded with Shel Holtz in 2005, and especially The Hobson and Holtz Report, our twice-weekly show? If you’re a listener, you’ll be pleased to know that it continues as before. I will be on Skype as usual with Shel later today UK time as we record episode number 488.

So I’ll be in London a bit more frequently than I have been of late. I might even make it to a Tuttle/Social Media Cafe get-together now and again as I used to last year.

Now, let’s get cracking.

[Update Oct 2] Thank you to everyone who has left a comment on this post, or tweeted, with so many warm wishes and such goodwill.

The best way I thought of acknowledging all your good wishes is in this ipadio audio comment.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Philippe Borremans

    Hi Neville,

    All the best in this new adventure…! As an “ex”-freelancer and current CSMO I fully understand the steps you are taking.

    Looking forward to meet up one of these to discuss the “corporate” side of things…

  2. Jon M Bishop

    Hey Neville!

    Congratulations on your new role! Sounds like a big step up and an exciting challenge. I definitely won’t miss your next few shows (I missed a few the last few weeks!) as I want to hear more about your role! Good to know that you are keeping FIR going as it is still the one Podcast I listen to more than others.

    Hopefully I will see you again at Tuttle where you can tell me all about it as I too am trying to drag myself away from the comforts of the Gumtree offices in Richmond from time to time.

  3. Steve Bridger

    Congratulations, Neville. It has certainly been quite a pivotal few weeks in the UK in this space. It’s absolutely where the emphasis must be: behaviour shifts and strategic structural change so that people in organisations swivel round in their chairs to face their customers and engage them in mutually beneficial conversations and action.

    Oh, and long may FIR continue!

    • neville

      Thanks, Steve, appreciate it. You’re spot on in that this is all about people, communication and business, not about the tools like social media.

      And FIR will continue!

  4. Philippe Borremans

    Neville,

    Just checked the Social Media Business Council website…

    How about a European chapter which includes smaller organizations (limited to +5000 employee companies for the moment in the US) to reflect the business ecosystem in our pats of the world…?

    There is a need for this on the European continent and I would love to support this as Chief Social Media Officer of the Van Marcke Group of Companies.

    Let me know.

  5. Michael Litman

    Brilliant stuff Neville, sounds a great move. Firmly in tune with your interests and motivations. Am sure you will also do a great job of getting WeissComm’s name out there and building their image in the space. I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of them before this but will be looking out for them now! Exciting challenge.

    Best,
    Mike

  6. david brain

    Good for you and good for them Neville. I may see you in Terminal 5 ocassionally then! Bob is a great guy I think. I interviewed him for Crowd Surfing and he was certainly in the eye of one of the biggest online storms ever. It;s not so bad on the agency side you kow!

  7. Denise Maskew

    Well done Neville – congratulations on the new role! Wishing you all the best – but keep blogging!!! Kind regards, Denise

  8. Barbara Nixon

    Many congratulations, Neville! WeissComm Group is brilliant for plucking you from the world of independent consultants; they will benefit greatly from your broad expertise.

    And on a personal note, I’m really happy to hear FIR will go on as it has, with both you and Shel as hosts. Rarely a week goes by without me mentioning something I’ve learned from both of you in one of my PR classes at Georgia Southern University.

    Barbara

  9. Dave Fleet

    Congratulations Neville, and welcome back to the agency side! What a great move.

    Great to hear that FIR will continue, too. I may not call in much nowadays but I’m still there, listening and lurking away behind my iPod!

  10. Paull Young

    Good stuff Neville, congrats to the WC Group – with you & Bob Pearson they’ve got a couple of the most respected names in the business.

    1 quick question, what is the relationship between WC Group & the SM Business Council? I’ve got a number of clients involved in the latter & they’re very positive about it.

  11. Jed Baxter

    Congratulations and welcome back to the corporate fold Neville. Hope you don’t miss all those days at home in slippers. :-|)

  12. Tom Murphy

    Neville,

    Great news, congratulations on a fantastic move for you. Obviously if the role has tempted you away from your freelance life, it’s the right one.

    From a selfish perspective I am delighted to hear FIR will continue – as you know I believe it’s a fantastic “social” service for the profession.

    Best of luck and make sure you enjoy it!

    Tom

  13. Bryan Person

    Neville:

    Would like to add my voice to the chorus of congratulatory wishes. Very exciting! And from a selfish point of view, great to know you’ll still be on FIR twice a week :)

  14. KerryatDell

    Hi Neville – Congratulations – I’m really pleased for you. It’s fun working with Bob – he was a real driving force at Dell. Hope to see you soon. Kerry

  15. Jen Zingsheim

    Congratulations!! I hope the new role is everything you want it to be and more.

    Best wishes…and so happy you are continuing on with FIR.

    Jen

  16. Simon Wakeman

    Hi Neville,
    Congratulations – sounds like an exciting move and I’m looking forward to hearing about more innovative work in the social media arena!
    cheers
    sw

  17. Steve Lubetkin

    Congratulations on this new adventure, Neville! You will be a huge asset to Weiss, your knowledge, skills, and understanding of these new communications channels will cement your reputation as the go-to resource for social media counsel in Europe! Best of luck!

    Steve “@PodcastSteve” Lubetkin

  18. Tabita

    Lots of congratulations and best wishes Neville!!! Can fully understand why and it sounds exciting. Things are changing for me too, will pop you an email and tell you more :)

  19. Bruce Eric Anderson

    Just returning to the office and am belatedly hearing the news of your move, Neville — congratulations! As is his style, BP is making some big moves — you joining WeissComm certainly beefs up their presence in EMEA.

    @bruceeric

  20. David Jones

    Late the to party for me as usual. Get used to it. Being a social media guy at an agency doesn’t leave a lot of time for social media…go figure.

    All the best in the new job. enjoy the world of the time sheet!

  21. BillatDell

    Hi, Neville.

    Congrats on the move. Bob’s a great guy to work for and be around to “absorb” ideas from.

    @BillatDell

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