Dell Loses Social Media Chief

NEW YORK The leader of Dell’s social media team has left the company to take a position with the Blog Council, an industry group focused on social media.
 
Bob Pearson, vp of communities and conversation, is departing the computer maker after three years to become president of the fledgling group that gathers the growing crop of social media execs at large companies. Representatives from Cisco, GE and Microsoft are among its 45 members.
 
Andy Sernovitz heads the Blog Council as CEO.
 
Pearson (pictured above) joined Dell in February 2006 in the wake of the company’s pasting for poor customer service online. Dell subsequently began a blog-monitoring and problem-resolution service, launching its own corporate blogs and a customer input site.
 
“Social media is going to become a new discipline for companies,” he said. “Customers want to give ideas to influence products and services, rate and review products and provide technical solutions to other customers.”
 
Dell’s social media team tops 40 people. Yet the challenge remains to make the practice an intrinsic part of corporate culture, Pearson said. The Blog Council is meant as a forum for social media leaders facing similar challenges in their own organizations to share best practices and advice.
 
“The biggest challenge is what I call the antibodies,” he said. “Every organization has them, and the larger ones have more. These are the people still trying to do things like they’ve done the last 10 or 20 years. They tend not to say no but not to say yes. They have lots of ways to stop progress with a smile.”
 
The Blog Council is also meant to help companies share successful approaches to new social media tools, like Twitter.
 
“People are realizing social media creates competitive advantage,” Pearson said. “If it’s used well, it has a lot of utility in the enterprise.”