Attend Respect the Internet on Oct. 6

September 30, 2011

Is heavy-handed, one-way, brandcentric marketing clogging up the arteries of the Internet, barging in on our personal space, and ruining the social Web?

Do we really want to be friends with brands? Do we want to be viewed not as people but as “consumers?” Are we reduced to demographics and psychographics, or has the Internet reshuffled the deck, as we self-identify and self-organize around common interests and shared beliefs, regardless of geography, age, gender and race.

Do we use social networks, or are we being used by them and the advertisers that finance them?

What, if any, is the proper time, place and manner for commercial speech on the social Web?

On Thursday, Oct. 6, live in NYC and live-streaming everywhere, Ketchum will host its 2nd annual “Respect the Internet” event, where we will assemble provocative, opinionated writers, thinkers, journalists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, media critics — and even representatives of big brands — to duke it out over the clash between what companies and the rest of us want, need and expect from the social Web.

You might think it’s counterintuitive that a big, holding company-owned PR firm – in the epicenter of the marketing megaplex – would dare to challenge the traditional assumptions that marketers have relied upon for decades.

But corporate marketing has got to up its game if it’s going to succeed on the social web. So we’re back with a dose of tough love for the companies and brands we love. We call it “Respect the Internet,” and we invite you to join the conversation.

If this year’s “Respect the Internet” is anything like last year’s – and I’m betting it will be even better — RSVP here (it’s free), and strap yourself in for an engaging, exciting, thought-provoking, interactive, fun experience that will open your minds. “Respect the Internet” will force you to think differently about yourself, your social graph and where we’re headed as we, and the marketers who want our business, continue to speed together into the digital future.

If you’re in the New York area, we look forward to seeing you live at “Respect the Internet.” If you can’t be with us in the flesh, join us online where we’ll be streaming video and conversation. Between now and then (and beyond), you can follow and join in all the action on Twitter at #RTI2011.

Jonathan is a Partner and the Global Director of Ketchum Digital. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughters, and is into the social web, progressive politics, cycling, scuba diving and travel. Connect with him on Twitter — @jonathankopp — or just about any other social network.