I must admit to being unusually intrigued by the above headline spotted on Twitter yesterday. Knowing my boss as I do, I can attest to his absolute commitment to, and vision for, influencer marketing through channels such as YouTube.

However, YouTube to “save his career” seemed a bit extreme even in these times of crisis!

Then a follow up headline shed more light on the mystery “Hargreaves to prove fitness by YouTube” . . . . a click on the link revealed a different Hargreaves, England and ex-Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who has turned to social media in an attempt to convince clubs of his recovery from knee injury.

Apart from the ease with one can confuse one of English football’s leading proponents of the holding midfielder (formerly “Makalele”) role and Edelman’s European Managing Director of Technology, this story revealed some interesting insights into the use of social media within the workplace.

By turning to YouTube, Hargreaves (Owen) is seeking to convince not merely prospective clubs but also their fans; a vital constituency in any eventual transaction. While no club would seriously rank armchair or bar room insight above that of professional scouts or medical experts, they ignore this community at their own risk as Hargreaves is fully aware.

He will be wanting to remind them of his prodigious past; winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich aged 20 and England performances in the 2006 World Cup (where he was one of the few England players man enough to take and score a penalty in the shoot out against Portugal.

With staff review season fast approaching at ‘Edelman Towers’, how could Hargreaves’ approach be adapted to the workplace in general? Am I about to receive a dozen urls from aspiring account managers highlighting their best pitch moments, the phone call of the year when they secured additional out of pocket expenses, or – even – their network moment of the year when they collared a journalist/prospect in a bar over cocktails?

Perhaps these links will be shared “a la Hargreaves” with the wider PR community as part of a genuine influencer marketing campaign supporting their bid for promotion (“did you see that pitch . . . ? S/he still has it . . . they haven’t lost their touch!”). [although the YouTube pitching stunt by 10Yetis split the PR world; either ingenious or desperate? – Ed]

Football is a distinct workplace given the level of media coverage, discussion and opinion that it generates, but the principles of influencer marketing could still apply in terms of promoting your cause internally. I like to think that we in the PR profession would produce something a little bit more sophisticated that the Owen Hargreaves keep fit video, but the logic of seeking endorsement from a wider community (i.e. beyond that of your immediate line manager) is equally relevant.

I am, therefore, standing by for the creative videos and virals extolling the virtues and professional prowess of my colleagues. Jonathan Hargreaves scoring a penalty against Portugal in the World Cup finals; now that’s a YouTube video I would not want to miss!

@RogerDara