Marketing Technology » Collective Conversation Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Announcing Hill & Knowlton’s New Social Media Principles Wed, 23 Sep 2009 17:53:32 +0000 admin Almost a month ago, I asked for help to update Hill & Knowlton’s social media principles.

This afternoon, our CEO sent out the final version to all staff worldwide. We’ve already updated our public principles on our website, but I also wanted to share the full document here and explain a little about the process we’ve been through, what we’ve changed and why.


Our principles are split into three sections: personal use of social media; professional use of social media on behalf of our company and clients; and use of our official social media platforms. You might say this separation isn’t necessary, but we have found that not all of our staff operate in all these spaces so we want to make sure they can quickly identify the bits that are relevant to them.

You might also say that this makes them too long, and the only guideline should actually be “use your common sense”. That is undoubtedly a valid approach but if we are talking about being accountable to ourselves, our clients and the social media community, that simply doesn’t wash.

Our principles are centered around encouraging staff to participate appropriately not restricting their ability to do so. As communications professionals, it is essential that we are able to explore, understand and participate in social media in order to credibly advise our clients how to do the same.

A few other things worthy of note:

  • We have a 24/7 email hotline – as well as our extensive digital practice – where staff can ask questions about what is/isn’t appropriate. Again this is designed to help, not hinder.
  • We have defined a complaints procedure designed to be fair to everyone. Too often, we see knee-jerk reactions that don’t look at the issue objectively.
  • Unlike version one, this time we have asked all staff to click a link in order to confirm that they have read and understand the principles.

The Process

For those of you trying to conduct a similar exercise in your own organization (or with clients), you might be interested in how we did it. If not, skip to the next section. Bear in mind that this was an update to existing guidelines not creation from scratch.

  1. We put the existing guidelines on our internal wiki platform and invited everyone to edit or comment on the different sections.
  2. Someone took all the feedback and created an updated version of the guidelines
  3. This was circulated as a draft to that community, socialized with senior management for comment and shared externally on this blog
  4. Final feedback was incorporated (mainly clarifications) before being signed off by the CEO, COO, CMO and digital practice head.

The Principles

Links to the text of each section of the principles can be found below.

Please feel free to use, copy or adapt these principles as part of your own social media policies. It would be nice if you could let us know if they’ve been helpful too.

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Congrats to Ryan Peal Wed, 21 Jan 2009 09:22:40 +0000 admin When people sign up to be part of the Collective Conversation community, we ask them to go through a slightly tongue in cheek self-assessment form. One of the questions is:

Why do you want to blog?

  • Get promoted
  • Get noticed
  • Get fired
  • Get headhunted
  • All of the above
  • None of the above
  • I don’t know

Well – whether it was his intention of not – Ryan Peal in Hill & Knowlton’s Sydney office has certainly achieved the first two. His blog, Creativity in Public Relations , is one of the most active in our community and has helped him get noticed (he’s in the Top 100 Australian Marketing Pioneer Blogs).

And now, he’s just been promoted to become Creative Director for the whole of Hill & Knowlton’s Asia operations. As one of the biggest growth regions in the world, this is a great endorsement of his experience and insight.

I hope his blogging here played some part in his promotion.

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Live Blogging Digipalooza Fri, 05 Oct 2007 11:25:00 +0000 admin My boss* has been bemoaning the lack of posts emanating from this blog of late. In my defence, I am trying to juggle some pretty hefty professional and personal projects such as implementing a global enterprise feedback management system, getting a global wiki up and running, updating our Social Media Guidelines (watch this space), redeveloping our UK intranet, etc, etc. All this on top of moving house and writing (or trying to write) my book on social software in the enterprise. (You may have published first, Ferrabee, but at least I have a publisher :-P )

Now I finally have an excuse to blog again. And what’s more it’s business-related.

You see, Hill & Knowlton’s digital practice has been going for over 10 years (I’ve been part of it in various guises for all but one of those) and I’m not too modest to say we’ve pretty much seen it all: the dotcom rise and bust, Java, Flash, e-commerce and more recently of course, social media.

When we deliver lots of value to our clients (and therefore earn revenue for the company) we get to reward ourselves with a global shindig where we bring together all our digital experts from across the world in a glamorous location for a few days. So having delivered said value and revenue, our reward this year takes place next week in the form of Digipalooza, in… Scottsdale, Arizona (glamour city, I have been told persuaded).

And what’s more, I’m going to be live blogging it! Not only will we be posting updates on our global intranet for our colleagues, but I’ll be pumping out the non-confidential stuff here on Thursday and Friday next week. Hopefully it won’t all be boring Hill & Knowlton stuff either. We’ve got guest speakers from our parent company WPP, and authors and consultants Paul Gillin and David M Scott (I wonder if they will have any tips for my book?).

So stop by next week and say hi.

* Boss as in “wife”, not boss as in “line manager” by the way. I know where my priorities lie!

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Leo Bellini’s Blog of the Week Thu, 12 Jul 2007 14:28:55 +0000 admin My Italian isn’t so hot, but I recognise a compliment when I see one.

Leo Bellini names Collective Conversation his blog of the week (or at least I hope that’s what Il blog della settimana means).

Thanks Leo.

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I’m back! Wed, 23 May 2007 11:44:00 +0000 admin And what a great welcome from Stephane Cheikh, who says that if he could only read 5 blogs, Collective Conversation would be one of them.

Cheers, Stephane.

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Telling Stories Fri, 16 Feb 2007 15:02:00 +0000 admin The practice of internal communications (or employee engagament if you prefer) and Canadian bloggers seem to be two areas in which we are pretty over-subscribed here on Collective Conversation. So it’s quite amazing that we haven’t had someone fitting both profiles – until now, that is!

Step forward Kathleen Frith, the latest blogger in the Collective Conversation fold. Her inaugural post states the case for a little bit more story-telling in corporate communication.

Welcome Kathleen.

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Conversation 2.1 Thu, 01 Feb 2007 17:08:00 +0000 admin Just a quick post to give everyone advance warning that Collective Conversation is being upgraded over the next few days.

As well as installing Community Server 2.1, we’ll be adding a new look home page that will hopefully give you a much better insight into the conversations taking place on this platform and the people involved.

Please accept our apologies if any posts or comments go missing in the process – we hope you’ll find it worth while next week.

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Technorati founder to be interviewed on Collective Conversation Fri, 17 Nov 2006 13:16:00 +0000 admin If you have an interest in client service and blogging, then you may be interested to know that Technorati founder and CEO Dave Sifry has been interviewed by Leo Bottary, Collective Conversation’s resident commentator on client service. The transcript will be posted on Leo’s blog on Monday.

I’m looking forward to hearing what Technorati has to say about client service (and who it thinks its clients are!) particularly given some of the criticism its calculations receive from bloggers.

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Number of Portugese (H&K) bloggers doubles Fri, 27 Oct 2006 13:15:00 +0000 admin The general manager of our office in Portugal, Nadim Habib has started a blog on Collective Conversation. He joins his colleague Bruno Soares in representing Southern Europe. Nadim promises to provide us with “a view from Portugal on brands, reputation and business strategy”.

So far he’s blogging in English, which means I can understand what he’s saying ;-) .

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Suspended Service Wed, 06 Sep 2006 13:18:00 +0000 admin The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that today sees my first blog posts for some time.

In part this is a result of this and this, but now that we have active bloggers like Leo, Bruno, David, Brendan and others on our books, I’m actually enjoying reading rather than writing.

In particular, I’m marvelling at the conversations taking place in their comments. Each of them has more comments than they have posts, proving that this is more about listening than broadcasting.

And yes, you could argue that many of the comments are from our own employees, so they don’t count. I look at it a different way – many of these colleagues have never communicated with each other before. Our blogs have brought them together, adult-to-adult, in a way that no conference call ever could.

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