After lunch, ALM’s Social Media: Risks & Rewards conference focused more on the rewards of social media. The Brand Protection and Promotion of Social Media session featured Jennifer Arkowitz from Townsend and Townsend and Crew as the moderator, and David Morris, Senior Corporate Counsel of TripAdvisor, Alexandra Sepulveda, Trademark Counsel with General Mills, and Johanna Sistek, Trademark Counsel for Google, Inc. as speakers.
Proactive or Reactive?
Arkowitz’s first question was whether each of the companies were more proactive or reactive in their social media efforts.
Sepulveda (General Mills) said that for them, it’s a combination. When Facebook had a big land grab for user names, they went through their brand list and got all of those names. She said that as trademark lawyers, they’re classic hostages, because if they know about something, they have to do something about it.
Sistek (Google) said that they have issues raised internally from employees as well as users, so they’re able to be reactive instead of proactive. She added that all of their teams use social media in what they do.
Morris (TripAdvisor) commented that they’re both proactive and reactive. Being an online brand is core to what they do, so although they don’t have a dedicated social media team, about half the company is working on social media. They do that internally and externally. TripAdvisor uses small firms to scour the net for mentions of their company – this is at a cost, but it does help to find those mentions.