Open Innovation at Procter & Gamble’s Social Media Lab?

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P&G Social Media Lab

As part of an overall critique of self-oriented approaches to innovation, Skilful Minds first considered open innovation at Procter and Gamble back in 2006. The latter post is one of the most visited here.

Given my recent focus on transformation as a fundamental concern for those interested in design and innovation, the recent publicity about P&G’s Social Media Lab instantly drew me to take a look.

I’m not sure whether the P&G folks just don’t want to deal with any Joe Blow who comes by to learn about their social media lab, or whether they just don’t have a user experience team, but if you go to the web site you will find it frustrating and uninformative. At the top of the page are four links, Home, Conversations, Participants, About the Lab. Clicking on any of these links does nothing for you but keep you at the Login page.

At the bottom of the page are the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Contact Us, and Feedback links. Each of these does nothing for you but keep you at the Login/Default page with the same content as the Login page. The only link on the page that actually navigates to different content is the Forgot Your Password? link. Obviously, obtaining access to anything more than knowledge that the P&G Social Media Lab exists means getting a private invitation. I guess that is a little more open than traditional research and development efforts, but not by much.

Many companies run private communities to generate insights from the social interaction of their customers, and that makes a lot of sense. However, if the P&G Social Media Lab is just another private community, it makes little sense to tout it for public relations value.

The home page indicates the following:

The P&G Social Media Lab is a virtual R&D program, designed to actively explore and gain insights on how to build relationships with P&G’s consumers in the age of social media.

This ‘hub’ is where partners, brands and thought leaders discuss industry news & insight, contribute ideas and opinions, and discuss ongoing experiments on the challenges and opportunities unique to Social Media.

To contribute to this community please provide the below requested information.

You would think the social media lab might have an interest in engaging people who aren’t on their list of thought leaders but, nevertheless, take the time to find the site and try to offer feedback or contact them. At the least, the About the Lab link could offer something to interested people. What do you think?

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Posted by Larry R. Irons

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2 Responses to Open Innovation at Procter & Gamble’s Social Media Lab?

  1. Bunselmeyer says:

    Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today…. anyhow thanks for the good read!

  2. bayilik says:

    Hi, Great post for my researching homework. How can I improve myself in this subject? What is your preference? Thanks.

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