This is a tough and possibly quite dangerous thing to admit when you work in advertising, but I’m a little behind the curve on social media. I don’t tweet, don’t ’gram and I hardly ever ’book.
I wouldn’t be too upset if Twitter dissolved into the ether tomorrow. But if the Contacts button on my iPhone and its 1,000-plus entries ever disappeared, I don’t know how I would cope.
Contacts is not new and it’s not cool. I can’t even remember the last time Apple paid it much attention. But it just happens to be where I’ve collected all my contacts over the years and where I turn to for an email or a phone number when I need help.
And I need help a lot. If Bodhi in Point Break was right and life is simply a journey towards self-knowledge, then my journey has revealed that in general other people have a lot more knowledge than me.
Contacts is a healthy network, not just a bunch of "recruitment consultants" you’ve LinkedIn with, which makes it as valuable as any qualification.
Don’t know whether a pitch is kosher? Ask the other agency staff who’ve worked with the client. Not sure if that senior hire is a star? Ask her last-but-one employer.
Don’t understand Snapchat? Drop a line to Ryan and Pete in Nice. Difficult shareholder negotiations? Call Jim Kelly.
Contacts is better than Google and, as long as you return the favour, the advice is never coloured by "native" advertising.
In this year’s must-read management book The Seventh Sense, the author argues that the value of any individual, object or organisation is transformed by how well-connected it is. And, for me, that’s all through a tiny but powerful app on my phone.
Luckily, I didn’t actually have to read The Seventh Sense. Instead, one of those contacts forwarded a summary of it and suggested it as a theme for this column. If you’re interested in reading that summary, drop me an email and I’ll send it on.
Ben Bilboul is the group chief executive of Karmarama.