Bandwidth » community http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth Insights from H&K Canada's social media strategy team Fri, 07 Jan 2011 21:05:56 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Wanted: More Community Managers http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/03/15/wanted-more-community-managers/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/03/15/wanted-more-community-managers/#comments Mon, 15 Mar 2010 13:13:49 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7012087 Last week, I wrote a memo for a client that got me thinking about the role of online community managers and how crucial they can be to the success of any social media strategy.

I am more convinced than ever that successful social media strategies for organizations can't be only about the creation of Facebook fan pages, organizational blogs or  outbound communications tools.

Social media are about interaction and relationship: A social media-focused program cannot therefore fundamentally be about the creation of social ‘objects'. It has to have at its center a commitment to reciprocal exchange, which starts from the four principles of dialogue introduced in William Isaacs' book Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together; they are listening, suspending, respecting . . . then voicing.

Reciprocal exchange needs a platform it's true. Social networks, photo and video sharing sites, blogs, microblogs and other digital amphitheatres are places where the distribution of ideas, messages or images can happen. But they aren't the provenance of interaction: This belongs to people.

As  I wrote in that client memo, approaching communities and influencers from their point of view (as opposed to pushing corporate content) requires embedded interaction. And that interaction can be mediated successfully only if there is someone to start and participate in it . . . the community manager.

Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group explained the role more than three years ago, but there is still little confidence in the central position of a community manager in an organization's social media strategy. Confidence may be the wrong word: belief, commitment or understanding may all be closer to the truth. 

I can understand the problems some organizations will have with hiring an online community manager because it means an extra salary or at a minimum a redefinition of somebody's job that this new role infers. But if you accept there is power in harnessing the energy of committed people -- and their social graphs -- to further your product strategy, service or cause, then giving someone the mandate to be your voice in online communities, to listen, share and help members of these communities just makes sense.

]]>
Last week, I wrote a memo for a client that got me thinking about the role of online community managers and how crucial they can be to the success of any social media strategy.

I am more convinced than ever that successful social media strategies for organizations can’t be only about the creation of Facebook fan pages, organizational blogs or  outbound communications tools.

Social media are about interaction and relationship: A social media-focused program cannot therefore fundamentally be about the creation of social ‘objects’. It has to have at its center a commitment to reciprocal exchange, which starts from the four principles of dialogue introduced in William Isaacs’ book Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together; they are listening, suspending, respecting . . . then voicing.

Reciprocal exchange needs a platform it’s true. Social networks, photo and video sharing sites, blogs, microblogs and other digital amphitheatres are places where the distribution of ideas, messages or images can happen. But they aren’t the provenance of interaction: This belongs to people.

As  I wrote in that client memo, approaching communities and influencers from their point of view (as opposed to pushing corporate content) requires embedded interaction. And that interaction can be mediated successfully only if there is someone to start and participate in it . . . the community manager.

Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group explained the role more than three years ago, but there is still little confidence in the central position of a community manager in an organization’s social media strategy. Confidence may be the wrong word: belief, commitment or understanding may all be closer to the truth. 

I can understand the problems some organizations will have with hiring an online community manager because it means an extra salary or at a minimum a redefinition of somebody’s job that this new role infers. But if you accept there is power in harnessing the energy of committed people — and their social graphs — to further your product strategy, service or cause, then giving someone the mandate to be your voice in online communities, to listen, share and help members of these communities just makes sense.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/03/15/wanted-more-community-managers/feed/ 0
Social Media ‘Advocacy’ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/01/29/social-media-advocacy/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/01/29/social-media-advocacy/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2010 13:37:39 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:6411228 Domino's on a Roll

As a corporate reputation watcher, I like to find examples of new takes on traditional reputation building. Here's one to watch at a website called pizzaturnaround.com. Domino's Pizza, the unfortunate quarry in a legendary YouTube video, is now addressing criticisms of products in a series of videos in which it admits customer dissatisfaction with its pizza. 

Rather than hide behind weasel words like 'enhanced' or 'improved', the company is changing its pizza recipes, from crust to sauce to cheese to find a combination its customers will find more appealing. Organizations whose reputations are in the toilet could learn from this 'let's be honest about what's wrong and just fix it' approach.

Political iPhone Apps

In Canada, we are well behind Americans in using social media as a political organizing and advocacy tool, largely as a result of differences in our political systems. In the U.S. individual senators and members of Congress aren't subject to the party discipline which hampers independent thinking here in Canada.  The flip side is that in the U.S. politicians become the target of interest group pressure and popular advocacy, and the newest channels for pressure are social media.

Ian Capstick at MediaStyle singles out three political iPhone apps, at least two of which could be adapted for use in Canada. One is a complete contact list of members of Congress and their staffs and the other an application which allows users to see "if a brand they are about to purchase is – or is not – supportive of their community."

]]>
Domino’s on a Roll

As a corporate reputation watcher, I like to find examples of new takes on traditional reputation building. Here’s one to watch at a website called pizzaturnaround.com. Domino’s Pizza, the unfortunate quarry in a legendary YouTube video, is now addressing criticisms of products in a series of videos in which it admits customer dissatisfaction with its pizza.

Rather than hide behind weasel words like ‘enhanced’ or ‘improved’, the company is changing its pizza recipes, from crust to sauce to cheese to find a combination its customers will find more appealing. Organizations whose reputations are in the toilet could learn from this ‘let’s be honest about what’s wrong and just fix it’ approach.

Political iPhone Apps

In Canada, we are well behind Americans in using social media as a political organizing and advocacy tool, largely as a result of differences in our political systems. In the U.S. individual senators and members of Congress aren’t subject to the party discipline which hampers independent thinking here in Canada.  The flip side is that in the U.S. politicians become the target of interest group pressure and popular advocacy, and the newest channels for pressure are social media.

Ian Capstick at MediaStyle singles out three political iPhone apps, at least two of which could be adapted for use in Canada. One is a complete contact list of members of Congress and their staffs and the other an application which allows users to see “if a brand they are about to purchase is – or is not – supportive of their community.”

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/01/29/social-media-advocacy/feed/ 0
IPRA Summit ‘09 – PR 2.0 http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/11/05/ipra-summit-09-pr-20/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/11/05/ipra-summit-09-pr-20/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2009 22:21:52 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:5654564 The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Summit 2009 last week in London England was more interesting than I had expected. Past conferences have been generally okay, and not just because I was speaking.  This one, though, was focused on PR 2.0 and my fear was yet another conference in which self-styled experts told us we have to take the measure of social media in communications strategies (Duh!) without adding much to the arsenal of ideas.

Rather than write about my viewpoint on what I heard, I'll let some of the social media and public relations apostles speak for themselves:

Christophe Ginisty, president, Rumeur Publique  (Note . . . I have shared a platform with Christophe before and he is always the most invigorating and creative presenter:

"We live in world in which nothing is virtual. I hate using the word virtual to describe online communities."

"The two words that best capture an effective online community are a mirror and a nest. Before talking about the platform, you have to discover the what brings people to a community, what motivates their belonging; mirror it; build the nest; make it safe; feed the birds; then let them live their lives."

"You know why teenagers like social networks. Because the social network community members understand them while adults don't. In other words, they want the mirror. The web is the easiest and most comfortable nest when they move away from home."

"Online communities have to be specific, the more specific they are the more successful."

"Communities can be activated anytime: you need to push the right button. We do not create communities. We move them and activate them (by chance or talent)."

Paul Holmes, the inimitable editor of The Holmes Report:

"HBR did a whole issue on trust and didn't think to speak to a public relations professional, which says something about how public relations is misunderstood."

"Public relations should always have been about dialogue and conversations only the processes have changed. We used to ask journalists do our communicating. Now we can do it ourselves."

"The cost of being a lousy PR person is going to go through the roof as a result of social media.We are going to need courage to fight off lawyers and those who won't listen to our recommendations about social media. If PR people don't take this on, management consultants will.

Bill Mew, global communications leader for the financial services sector group at IBM:

"The biggest step IBM took was to empower all employees to tweet and blog and also to create early on community-developed social computing guidelines.

"If current culture doesn't align, start to create it."

"Stream computing will allow real time analysis of what people are saying about your brand everywhere in the world."

Cathy Wallace, editor of PR week:

"Separate digital/social media departments in PR firms should disappear as everyone in agencies has to become able to deliver social media strategies . . . and as a result, the power of public relations will increase."

Robyn O'Kelly, head of corporate affairs, T-mobile:

"Social media confuses communicators because they aren't sure where it sits. Is it marketing, advertising or public relations?"

"We still need the media to drive people to our YouTube channel."

Fernando Rizo, head of digital, Ketchum Pleon (London):

"Proving the value of what you are doing and managing client expectations are the central questions facing social media strategists."

"Good digital PR means becoming a publisher."

"We have to get rid of the 'digital engagement is free" mentality.

"The concept of 'impressions' has to be taken out of measurement of social media."

"I won't let anyone talk about making viral videos. Videos become viral; we don't make viral"

Olle Ahnve, digital planner, Jung Relations, Sweden:

"You can fake transparency and dialogue in social media: You can't fake personality."

Gareth Davies, head of digital, MS&L (UK):

"Social media is about trust and credibility."

"There are five things you have to do to build a credible community online 1. Spend time listening to your audience. 2. Lever the power of your network. 3. Don't be afraid to give customers control. 4. Crowdsource content. 5.Create and embed brand ambassadors."

Stuart Wilson, CEO MS&L (UK):

"Social media is not about cannibalisation: It's about investing for the future."

Anne Walker, associate director, digital practice, Fleishman Hillard:

"Focus on interests, not borders when building a community."

]]>
The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Summit 2009 last week in London England was more interesting than I had expected. Past conferences have been generally okay, and not just because I was speaking.  This one, though, was focused on PR 2.0 and my fear was yet another conference in which self-styled experts told us we have to take the measure of social media in communications strategies (Duh!) without adding much to the arsenal of ideas.

Rather than write about my viewpoint on what I heard, I’ll let some of the social media and public relations apostles speak for themselves:

Christophe Ginisty, president, Rumeur Publique  (Note . . . I have shared a platform with Christophe before and he is always the most invigorating and creative presenter:

“We live in world in which nothing is virtual. I hate using the word virtual to describe online communities.”

“The two words that best capture an effective online community are a mirror and a nest. Before talking about the platform, you have to discover the what brings people to a community, what motivates their belonging; mirror it; build the nest; make it safe; feed the birds; then let them live their lives.”

“You know why teenagers like social networks. Because the social network community members understand them while adults don’t. In other words, they want the mirror. The web is the easiest and most comfortable nest when they move away from home.”

“Online communities have to be specific, the more specific they are the more successful.”

“Communities can be activated anytime: you need to push the right button. We do not create communities. We move them and activate them (by chance or talent).”

Paul Holmes, the inimitable editor of The Holmes Report:

“HBR did a whole issue on trust and didn’t think to speak to a public relations professional, which says something about how public relations is misunderstood.”

“Public relations should always have been about dialogue and conversations only the processes have changed. We used to ask journalists do our communicating. Now we can do it ourselves.”

“The cost of being a lousy PR person is going to go through the roof as a result of social media.We are going to need courage to fight off lawyers and those who won’t listen to our recommendations about social media. If PR people don’t take this on, management consultants will.

Bill Mew, global communications leader for the financial services sector group at IBM:

“The biggest step IBM took was to empower all employees to tweet and blog and also to create early on community-developed social computing guidelines.

“If current culture doesn’t align, start to create it.”

“Stream computing will allow real time analysis of what people are saying about your brand everywhere in the world.”

Cathy Wallace, features editor of PR week:

“Separate digital/social media departments in PR firms should disappear as everyone in agencies has to become able to deliver social media strategies . . . and as a result, the power of public relations will increase.”

Robyn O’Kelly, head of corporate affairs, T-mobile:

“Social media confuses communicators because they aren’t sure where it sits. Is it marketing, advertising or public relations?”

“We still need the media to drive people to our YouTube channel.”

Fernando Rizo, head of digital, Ketchum Pleon (London):

“Proving the value of what you are doing and managing client expectations are the central questions facing social media strategists.”

“Good digital PR means becoming a publisher.”

“We have to get rid of the ‘digital engagement is free” mentality.

“The concept of ‘impressions’ has to be taken out of measurement of social media.”

“I won’t let anyone talk about making viral videos. Videos become viral; we don’t make viral”

Olle Ahnve, digital planner, Jung Relations, Sweden:

“You can fake transparency and dialogue in social media: You can’t fake personality.”

Gareth Davies, head of digital, MS&L (UK):

“Social media is about trust and credibility.”

“There are five things you have to do to build a credible community online 1. Spend time listening to your audience. 2. Lever the power of your network. 3. Don’t be afraid to give customers control. 4. Crowdsource content. 5.Create and embed brand ambassadors.”

Stuart Wilson, CEO MS&L (UK):

“Social media is not about cannibalisation: It’s about investing for the future.”

Anne Walker, associate director, digital practice, Fleishman Hillard:

“Focus on interests, not borders when building a community.”

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/11/05/ipra-summit-09-pr-20/feed/ 1
Why social media schadenfreude is scarier than swine flu http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/09/why-social-media-schadenfreude-is-scarier-than-swine-flu/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/09/why-social-media-schadenfreude-is-scarier-than-swine-flu/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2009 22:33:02 +0000 Meghan Warby http://withoutayard.com/?p=664 There’s a particularly startling epidemic happening in the online world, which I’m noticing mainly in Toronto of late.  It might just be the 2.0 version of the classic Canadian tall poppy syndrome, but this strain is turning out to be stronger & scarier than swine flu.  Victims are compelled (nay, forced?) to gush out unnecessary mea culpas, fall on their twittering swords & hide in abject terror of the virus reappearing.  It disguises itself as a ‘transparency’ inoculation or an ‘authenticity’ booster shot, but there is only one diagnosis for the unfortunate malady-stricken online risk-takers – they’ve been bitten by social media schadenfreude.

Now I’m the first to grab the popcorn when things get spicy on the political scene, and don’t get between me and my indierock drama…BUT when it comes to jumping down people’s throats in an online/professional context…I get a little…empathetic.  By the luck of astrologically-aligned-nerd-stars, my salty slangly casual language whilst pitching bloggers, writing content & generally floundering through life has not put in me in this position.  According to the law of averages, until I am drafted to the WNBA, I will soon play the role of the  ’social media practitioner’ or ‘community member’ receiving a thorough ego trouncing from the peanut gallery.  {In fact, if those web gremlins continue to highjack a lovely microsite/app-project we’re eager to seed/launch I might be in this position early next week :) }

We all make mistakes.  If we’re doing right by our clients, we aren’t just going through the same-old super-safe motions developing & executing campaigns.  Ask any stellar standup comedian.  Some jokes kill and some jokes bomb.  That’s life.

So on this turkey weekend eve, let’s be thankful that there are social media peeps still taking risks, let’s remember that when this happens with ad campaigns we think it’s unique & quirky & let’s consider the embarassment of riches we have in terms of attending awesome events.  Before you pile on to critique someone going out on a limb or trying something new or having an opinion…ask yourself if you really want to end up like these dudes:

Enough with the peanut gallery already

*Massive full disclosure – A staffer at Social Media Group is my basketball bud & I have been known to enjoy cheap soft-serve ‘ice cream’ with Refresh Events founder.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/09/why-social-media-schadenfreude-is-scarier-than-swine-flu/feed/ 0