March 10, 2011 08:00 ET

WCG Hosts Pre-Commerce Summit, Other Activities During South by Southwest Underscoring Commitment to Interactive Innovation and Leadership

SAN FRANCISCO and AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - WCG, an independent global communications firm, announced that it is hosting The Pre-Commerce Summit today. Co-sponsored by Radian6 and Marketwire, the Summit kicks off more than a week of activities and events during South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, underscoring the firm's commitment to interactive innovation and leadership.

At the Summit, which is taking place at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel, Chief Technology and Media Officer Bob Pearson will highlight key strategies from his book "Pre-Commerce." The book, which will hit bookshelves March 15, explains how the exploding use of social and online media has fundamentally changed the way customers make purchasing decisions, how they educate themselves, and why they choose to support certain brands above others. Pearson's book also explains that the shift from an e-commerce world to one that focuses on pre-commerce means that C-suite executives and marketers must listen to and engage directly with customers and influencers to shape their brand and marketplace success.

During the Summit, more than 100 top executives from Fortune 500 companies will hear case studies and panel discussions about how to use social media to increase sales, improve customer relationships and communicate with employees. 

Panelists include industry leaders Becky Brown, Director of Social Media, Intel; Colette LaForce, Executive Director of Global Communications, Dell; David Witt, Director, Global Brand Public Relations and Consumer Engagement, The Hershey Company; Jaime Punishill, Global Head of Wealth Online, Thomson Reuters; Joel Babbitt, Co-Founder/CEO, Mother Nature Network; Lukas Cudrigh, Senior Director for Developer and Platform Evangelism, Microsoft; Mark Brohan, Director of Research, Internet Retailer and Ray Kerins, Vice President, External Affairs and Worldwide Communications, Pfizer.

In addition to hosting clients and special guests at its Austin headquarters in downtown Austin's historic Scarborough Building, WCG will hold other networking events and its multidisciplinary team will be engaged in other aspects of SXSW Interactive in Austin this week.

WCG's Group Director for Social Media (and former Director of Consumer Innovations at Humana) Greg Matthews will participate in a SXSW Interactive Core Conversation titled Slaying the Four Horsemen of the Social-Media Apocalypse on Friday, March 11, at 2 p.m. at the downtown Hyatt. During this panel discussion, Matthews will team with Thomson Reuters' Jaime Punishill to explain how companies can begin to engage with customers online in more challenging, highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services.

About WCG
Led by Chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WCG is focused on the corporate and product marketing and communications needs of the world's leading companies and serves clients in offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin and London. The company is celebrating its 10th year in business in 2011.

WCG'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 or find out more about the company's innovative approach to communications in Chief Technology & Media Officer Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, or visit . Join the conversation on Twitter at #precommerce.

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  • Contact:
    Mariesa Kemble