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NEW YORK CITY-Social media may be ubiquitous today, but at the recent Benchmark Social Media conference here, one panel took some major companies back to their campaign roots. Speaker Robert Harles, global head of social media at Bloomberg LP built the company’s strategy basically from scratch, while AOL social media director Matthew Knell found he had to work and change public perception of the Internet giant. Whatever the reasoning, panelists agreed that social media has become, in Viacom’s director of social viewing and social media Jacob Shwirtz’s opinion, “a core part, an intimate part of everything that we do.” And this connection opens up new and innovative forms of communication between companies and clients.

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