It happened during a panel discussion of a new book by two friends of mine, Michael Goodman and Peter Hirsch. The book is Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice.
The idea is Peter's, and he admits that he lifted it from the medical profession, specifically pediatrics, though it's also used in music and meterology.
Peter's insight is that companies should treat social media as an opportunity for "entrainment," i.e., the natural process by which new parents bond with their infant. Companies shouldn't try to use social media to push a product or an idea, he says, but rather to get in synch with their customers.
I later learned that Peter blogged more extensively on the idea back in October 2009. Here's the link.
Makes sense to me. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to post a photo of my new grandson, Beck Martin Coakley, born on April 19. See above.