An Interview Annabelle Atchison – Director for 33 Digital, Hotwire PR Germany’s digital branch

33 Digital - Annabelle Atchison

This is a blog post from our German office with one of the thought leaders in the German digital space, Annabelle Atchison.



Social Intelligence and Social Media monitoring gets more and more important in the day to day life of digital agencies.


Reason enough for Replise to discuss this topic with Annabelle Atchison, Director at 33 Digital, Hotwire PR Germany’s digital branch.




Replise: What does social media monitoring mean for agencies today?


Annabelle: The PR industry is used to scanning traditional newspapers and collecting clippings. But with the immense scale of conversations taking place within the social networks and the impact these discussions can have, it would be negligent to ignore Facebook, Twitter and Co.

Every communications professional nowadays needs to understand the power of monitoring the conversations on the social web, analyzing the data and turning it into actionable items. This is especially important for communications consultants. Our clients come to us to for counsel and guidance. For fresh ideas. For ways to identify and connect with new target groups and new sets of influencers. And ultimately, for strategies that directly support their business goals. Social Media monitoring is essential for us in all these aspects. Without it, we’d be operating in the dark.


Replise: What are the requirements for a company to fully leverage the benefits of Social Media?


Annabelle: The most basic requirement to become a successful social business is an adequate company culture. I can’t stress that enough. Social Media is not just a set of marketing tools. It’s not just a channel to reach the “new kind of influencers”. Social Media is a mindset. It’s an attitude that should transcend company culture and every company communication, from internal comms to marketing to public relations. Management should lead by example, every employee should be treated as the best company ambassador possible and the communications function within the company needs to establish an editorial framework that enables a new kind of storytelling. I subsume this under the “Social Governance” umbrella. To fully leverage the benefits of social media, you need to make sure you can work and communicate according to social principles: low hierarchies, authentic and personalized communication, pull vs. push, personalized customization possibilities and so on. A sensible social governance structure includes formats such as a social media council, central editorial team or newsdesk, a social media guide, a central reporting framework and, of course, a central webmonitoring.


Replise: Which role does Social Intelligence play today and in the next five years?


Annabelle: Nowadays many communications professionals spend a lot of money on social media monitoring reports that give them heaps and heaps of data. The smart ones make sure they have a way of finding out what that data actually means and how they should transform these insights into actions for their brands – they make sure they’re socially intelligent. In my experience it’s tough (and very expensive) to build up these analytical structures in-house. And even if you have them, it’s a whole different task to then get the insights to the different departments in an easily comprehensible way. The future belongs to webmonitoring companies that can offer not only the data insights but also put them into context and give solid recommendations.


Annabelle Atchison has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, making social media communications the academic focus of her studies. From 2009 to 2013 she worked for the Microsoft Germany public relations team, where she first established the social media strategy and structures within the department and then took on the role of Social Media Manager for the entire German organization. As of August 2013 she’s Director for 33 Digital, Hotwire PR Germany’s digital branch.

Lefty 2014. April 7.