Ciaran Norris -- formerly of UK-based integrated online marketing agency Altogether Digital, where he managed social media and search -- has been hired to head the new venture. Norris will report directly to Norm Johnston, Mindshare's London-based Global Digital Leader. Norris had been at All Together since 2007.
"I think on every client we've got there is some discussion of social marketing -- they've all bought into the idea that earned media need be an element of what they're doing, either on a campaign-by-campiagn basis or on a more sustained program." Johnston (who, it should be noted, was rushing to catch a train before the London Tube Strike began) told Online Media Daily. The new joint venture "is built around accelerating our capabilities to meet client demand and expectations," he says.
All social media campaign elements for Mindshare clients will run through Mindshare SocialMedia8's 15-person team, which sounds as if it will function for social media the way Mindshare Search integrates search elements of campaigns. Johnston points to the work Mindshare had already been doing in social media for clients such as Ford and Unilever, and says: "But we really haven't pulled it together in a cohesive capability. This is putting some structure and some leadership and some additional capability around that."
SocialMedia8 is a part of Grupo LaComunidad and works with international consumer brands like Nike, Nokia, LG and Heineken to -- in the words of the agency -- "refresh" them via social media.