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WeissComm Group Acquires Common Sense Media Group, Appoints Founder Bob Pearson Chief Technology and Media Officer to Help Clients Evaluate and Optimize Social Media
Date:5/27/2009

AUSTIN, Texas and SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- WeissComm Group today announced the acquisition of Common Sense Media Group, a social media consulting company founded by Bob Pearson, who will become WeissComm's Chief Technology and Media Officer. WeissComm also announced that it has signed a strategic alliance with Rule 13, a firm focused on social media education, research and training. Pearson will continue to operate and grow this function for WeissComm out of what will now serve as its Austin office.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090527/SF22851)

Before starting Common Sense Media Group, Pearson was vice president of communities and conversations at Dell, where he and his team were responsible for developing an industry-leading approach to social media. His team at Dell built and maintained 25 blogs, forums and community sites in seven languages worldwide with over 200 million page views of annual interaction. Pearson's team built Ideastorm, the first external idea community for a Fortune 500 company, as well as similar sites for healthcare customers and for employees. He also oversaw the company's approach to Twitter, Facebook and other major social media sites. His team's efforts, which have been featured in numerous books, such as Groundswell and Crowdsurfing, were highly targeted and successful at improving customer service and satisfaction online, increasing brand value, empowering customers to solve technical issues, rate and review products and, ultimately, help drive e-commerce.

Before joining Dell, Pearson was head of global corporate and pharma communications at Novartis in Basel serving on the company's Pharma Executive Committee. Prior to Novartis, he built the global healthcare practice for GCI Public Relations, ultimately becoming president of the Americas for GCI.

Pearson is a frequent speaker on social media, ranging from Salesforce.com's DreamForce to Inc. 500 to Microsoft's Software Architects Forum to the upcoming Twtrcon this weekend. Pearson is Vice-Chair of the Emerging Technology Committee for the State of Texas and serves on P&G's Digital Advisory Board and the advisory board of Uservoice. He is also President of the Blog Council, the only organization for social media leaders in the Fortune 1000 to share best practices in a private forum.

"Bob is an industry leader and visionary whose 25 years of marketing and communications experience, particularly the last three at Dell, will provide immediate value to our clients, many of whom are looking to us to help them understand and successfully navigate the changing media landscape to impact their business," said Jim Weiss, Chairman, CEO and Founder of WeissComm Group. "We are committed to consistently innovating and renewing our capabilities and services to ensure we deliver A+ work and results to our clients in real time. Our investment in social media is based on our belief that it will become the centrifugal force of the marketing and communications mix enabling clients to target, learn from, access and connect with customers and key influencers in a cost-effective, impactful way that ultimately improves the way they do business."

Rule 13, founded by George LeBrun, has worked with clients including Accenture, Best Buy and Fox Interactive Media to educate, strategize and transform their organizations into the world of the social web. Rule 13 has also worked in partnership with O'Reilly Media and Tim O'Reilly to develop curricula on Web 2.0 and social media and has delivered its Business Rules for the Social Web workshop to dozens of Fortune 1000 companies, including Adobe, Cisco, eBay, Wells Fargo and BMW. LeBrun is also CEO and Founder of Enthuze, a disruptive consumer research company leveraging a novel, proprietary social networking platform to house its targeted research communities.

LeBrun speaks nationally on business social networking, social media, marketing and branding. He was a recent speaker at Stanford University and is a contributing author of Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change, published by Stanford University in 2007. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America. He also holds a law degree and serves on the Advisory Board to the University of Texas School of Business at San Antonio and the Board of The Participation Marketing Network. LeBrun is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and a judge of the 11th, 12th & 13th Annual Webby Awards.

About WeissComm Group

Led by Chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WeissComm Group is a media services company focused on the corporate and product marketing and communications needs of the world's leading companies. It is the parent company of WeissComm Partners, the largest independent communications agency focused exclusively on the healthcare industry; Invigorate Communications, an agency focused on helping companies build health-based brands; ODA, an innovative creative services agency that works with companies to cultivate unique brands that resonate and inspire; and Common Sense Media Group, a social media agency.

Serving clients globally with offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin and London, WeissComm Group's seasoned professionals specialize in branding, design, digital and traditional marketing, corporate and product PR, media, investor and advocacy relations, clinical trial recruitment and grassroots direct-to-patient communications campaigns. For more information, please visit www.wcgglobal.com.


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