Ep 35. Sam Ford on Spreadable Media, storytelling communication and audience engagement
Apr 20, 2015 · 1 hr 18 min
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As the Director of Audience Engagement at Peppercom, Sam works with companies to better listen to, empathize with, understand, and serve their customers and other key audiences through communications and storytelling.  There are three major components to Sam’s job:

  1. Client consulting
  2. Design thinking (and how it applies to communication)
  3. Writing, speaking, and being on industry board (-> this one is probably my favorite!)

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Sam was introduced to me by Josh Green, remember Josh from Episode #2 back in November 2014? Sam and Josh co-authored the book Spreadable Media: creating value and meaning in a networked culture. 

When you hear the word "media", you may already be thinking about the other word "viral". But viral indicates or hints at that people don’t even have to try to pass that content around. That’s not how culture works, that’s just how virus works.

One of the many interesting POVs from this book confirms:

"The act of sharing, critiquing, passing along are profoundly creative. It also gives people a great deal of pleasure and drive people’s engagement." - Sam Ford

So the first question I had to ask Sam: What was the process like for Sam to combine his knowledge and experience from academia, consulting, journalism (in pop culture) to do what he does today? Furthermore, how does Sam navigate his career path to become the Director of Audience Engagement?

Whether you are already in marketing, advertising, consulting, or running your own business, working in other industries, Sam’s words of wisdom speak to all walks of life. It was a tremendous learning experience for me.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. If you can't t finish this interview in one seating, make sure that you come back to the second half when Sam reveals his prediction and analysis for what’s next for the social sphere beyond Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Quora, etc.  This is popular question clients would ask. We also dove into the idea of collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, which can be very powerful but also terrifying at the same time. "Everything is a tradeoff" Sam says, "and that tradeoff fascinates me."

Last but not least, Sam and his family live in Kentucky. Sam offers some great advice that left me feeling very intrigued.

If you’d like Sam to further elaborate on topics mentioned in this episode, please drop me a note via this blog post, or FacebookTwitter.

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