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Social Communicators

Pepsi is embarking on an interesting experiment with social communicators. I wonder though if outfitting “social communicators” with press passes all you are doing is creating journalists – albeit with a different frame and distribution.

By polluting the social mediaverse with paid commentators will we get less independence, more opacity and increased drivel. My rationale is that folks now feel compelled to write about what they got paid to write about; have to be overtly opaque vs. blindingly transparent’; and have to contextualize in their supporters frame rather than whatever takes their fancy.

I’m not sure what the difference is, or how you move from, impressions to connections when you are in effect paying for the impressions?

Either way, an interesting experiment to watch…

PepsiCo is calling the "open newsroom" experiment an effort to align the brand with the social media space. It is hiring nine people to use blogs, Twitter and Web video to chronicle events from Internet Week, running June 1-8 in New York. The program is open to journalists, students, social media gadflies and anyone with a hankering to report using social media tools.
Their reports will appear on the PepsiCo Content Network. Participants will receive $750.

The "social communicators" will be outfitted with press passes and assigned to cover everything from panels to parties. They will create packages of content including photos, videos and blog posts. PepsiCo is providing tools like Flip video cameras. The company hired former Mediabistro editorial director Dorian Benkoil as editor-in-chief for the site.

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