Later this evening, I’m chairing the W2O Group’s Social Intelligence Summit. And I can’t wait.
I like the W2O Group, and its agencies WCG and twist. A lot. I’ve worked for WCG, heading up strategic planning for EMEA, out of the London office. And I’m now lucky enough to count them as a client in my corporate and brand storytelling business, Insight Agents. We work in partnership to use social analytics to build evidence-based brand narrative for some of the world’s biggest and best-known pharma, tech, and consumer companies.
As a planner, I love data. Not mindless, dumb, Big Data; not the smog of the digital age that makes it hard to see the forest from the trees. But filtered, refined, relevant data that characterises a conversation landscape well. Analysed data that enables folks like me to work with clients and account teams to shape content and engagement strategies that are more likely to work. First time. Because they’re evidence-based and built on genuine, data-driven insights.
WCG loves data too, so much so that it invests more time and resource in capturing and harnessing social and digital content than any other comms company I’ve ever met. Almost a quarter of its staffers are analysts, after all. And its ACES approach to comms (Analytics – Content – Engagement – Strategy) is, quite frankly, ace.
And WCG loves data to the extent that it’s bringing together some of the world’s brightest and best minds in social for its annual Social Intelligence Summit. What’s more, I’ve got the great job of introducing and sharing the stage with Jessica Federer, Chief Digital Officer of Bayer; Will Hayward from Buzzfeed; Toby Potter from DataSift; and Philip Sheldrake from Euler Partners, author of one of the finest books in this space, The Business of Influence. Hey, if I’m lucky, some of their smarts might just rub off on me.
Not only that – and talking of great writers in this space – after a full-on discussion from this A-team of social intelligence, I also get to introduce my friend and former colleague, Bob Pearson, President of the W2O Group and author of the ground-breaking Pre-Commerce. Bob has the unenviable task of summing up our discussion. Two hours of high-octane social intelligence, followed by a well-earned drink and nibble or two.
So if you’ve not already booked your place in London’s Living Room at the Greater London Authority – Boris’ office, or the Crash Helmet to you and me – make sure you get onto those good folks at W2O to secure your seat now.
Sam Knowles is a master data storyteller and the Founder & MD of the consultancy Insight Agents. His purpose is to help organisations make smarter use of data, talk Human, and sound like people. An established and sought-after trainer, keynote speaker, and podcaster, he is the founder and host of Data Malarkey podcast and chair of I-COM’s Data Storytelling Council. He’s a Fellow of the Market Reserach Society, the RSA, and the Professional Speaking Association.
Sam is the author of the ‘Using Data Better’ trilogy of books, all published by Routledge. These include the 2018 best-seller Narrative by Numbers, 2020’s critically-acclaimed sequel, How To Be Insightful , and 2022’s eagerly-anticipated Asking Smarter Questions. In 2023, Insight Agents launched Using Data Smarter, a comprehensive, online training course based on all three books.
Find out more about Sam’s approach to data storytelling in this 15-minute video.