Monthly Archives: March 2015

Social Hubs, War Rooms and Chief Engagement Officers – the latest csuite podcast

Back on the 26th February, I recorded show number 6 of the CIPR csuite podcast series I’m producing for the CIPR’s Social Media panel.  My guests this time were Stuart Thompson, European Director of new CIPR partners TINT and immediate past president of the CIPR and Chief Engagement Office at Ketchum, Stephen Waddington (Wadds).

In the first section of the show, we discussed the benefits of Social Hubs like Tint, which as Stuart explained, is ‘a technology platform that allows organisations to display social feeds and port them to any digital device, anywhere in the world’.

Stuart talked us through a great case study of how Tint worked with the People’s Climate March in New York, which broke all sorts of records in terms of digital engagement for a charity campaign, which then led us on to a side discussion about war rooms in PR agencies.  As Wadds explained, war rooms are a way to describe people working in an integrated agile way around a table for a campaign, although they call them newsrooms at Ketchum!

The interesting point for me about using technologies such as Tint though, was that by bringing all the user generated content from various platforms like Facebook and Instagram etc. into one hub, perhaps hosted on the brand’s website, it could help to bring ownership back to the brand itself, rather than lose it to the Social Networks, which I feel has been happening over the years.

Whether the likes of Tint ultimately benefit the client or not (and looking at their client base, it looks like they are doing something right!), Wadds feels that it’s beholden to anyone in the PR business to jump on any new tool and try it out and explore it as part of their continuous learning.

In the second half the show, Wadds talked through the role of a Chief Engagement Officer but first had to explain that he wasn’t after David Gallagher’s job of CEO of Ketchum Europe, as in an interview with McKinsey in April last year, Richard Edelman used the term to describe the CEO’s new role.  Stephen, however, explained that Ketchum have a slightly different view to that of Edelman explained in their Trust Barometer and so his brief is to make social and digital ‘normal’ across the agency, but that’s it’s good that both agencies, and indeed other organisations are using the same language around this issue.

We then went on to discuss the findings of the CIPR’s recent State of the Profession survey, specifically around the issues related to social media and how he was ‘pissed off’ with some of the results when he discovered that as an industry, our business is still slow to move, whilst the pace of technology and pace of change is incredibly fast but behavioural change is incredibly slow.  He believes that the industry is polarising between traditionalists and those at the forefront of the business, and feels strongly that members need to get to grips with digital and social media skills or face becoming irrelevant, one of a number of points he made in a recent blog post.  He summarised his thoughts by saying that we need to recognise that there is a massive shift from publicity to influencer relations then branded forms of media and communities as a means of engagement, and we either embrace it, or you say “no” and stick with what you’ve done traditionally.

We did finish off the podcast on a positive though, as a lot of the issues raised in the survey are being addressed by the CIPR and that Wadds believes that it’s an exciting time for PR and so we, as practitioners, have to embrace it.

Are you linked in or out?

At my most recent CIPR Social Media Panel ‘csuite podcast’ recording, I had the pleasure of welcoming Ketchum’s Stephen Waddington to the studio as one of my guests on the show.

Before we sat down in front of the mic, we got chatting about the pros and cons of LinkedIn, as you do, with me being a fan of the platform and Wadds arguing that it’s just become very noisy and full of spam.

As a result, Wadds asked me to write a guest post for his blog highlighting a few tips on how to get some true value from this particular social network.

Without justifying anything with user stats or how important your personal social media profiles have become in terms of social selling (let’s take it as read that that is the case) here are the ten suggestions I shared for why you should be LinkedIn and not LinkedOut.

  1. Share knowledge

If you blog, you may find you get far more engagement to your posts if you publish them on LinkedIn, and you never know who might end up reading them.  Over Christmas, my family visited Disneyland Paris, and I wrote a post about why I thought the park needed a sprinkle of pixie dust on my return.  The post has been read 490 times to date, but interestingly, it found its way to a number of employees of Disneyland Paris, which led me to now be connected with the company’s Senior CRM manager.  Having discussed this with Wadds, on his birthday last week, he published his first post on the platform – 45 lessons at age 45 – which I’m proud to take some credit for as he commented that he followed his own rule No. 36 after our discussion – ‘Knowledge is power’, which stated ‘Never stop learning and develop an openness and enthusiasm about the world. Curiosity wouldn’t have killed the cat if it had read more books.’   In the space of one weekend, his post had 550 views, 64 likes and 32 comments (Wadds has a little more influence than me!)

  1. Plan your travels

If you are heading anywhere for the day, whether in the UK or further afield, and have time in your diary to fill, search on LinkedIn for the destination you are visiting and see who you know there.  You can do a more detailed search using the ‘Advanced’ search feature and typing in the post code or city that you are travelling to.  This does rely on whether users type in their home postcode or work post code when they first register of course, and often (myself included) may forget to update it when they move jobs.

  1. Reconnect

In the 20+ years I’ve been working since graduating, I’ve picked up just a few business cards and every now and then, I do a cull of the ones I’ve not been in contact with for years, or can’t even remember where I met them.  But not before I do a quick search on LinkedIn to see where they are now and so try to reconnect with them if relevant.

  1. Welcome visitors

Look under your Profile tab to see who is viewing your profile? There could be a whole bunch of reasons for people visiting your LinkedIn page, including some going to the wrong person with the same name of course, but wouldn’t it be good to know why?  Send them a note, thank them for stopping by and ask how you can help.

  1. Don’t be afraid to network

That doesn’t mean spam people. The LinkedIn mobile app doesn’t currently allow you to personalise invites, so I only ever send them via my desktop, using the ‘Personalise invitation’ option, as that way I can introduce myself and give a summary of why I want to connect.  There is nothing more frustrating than getting an invite, accepting it, and then getting hit by a standard sales email.

  1. Say who you are.  

I hate the fact that when I look to see who has viewed my profile, I see the following:

linekdin

The clue to getting the best out of Social Network like LinkedIn are in those two key words, i.e. being  sociable and using it to network.  You wouldn’t go up to someone in the real world at a conference, for example, ask them to explain who they are, but not introduce yourself, so why do it here?  What do you have to hide, even if you are a competitor?

  1. Join Groups

This, again, is a great way to find new people to connect with.  I am off to an industry conference in Seville this month, and so have joined the specific organisation’s group to start my networking early and see if I can set up meetings during the breaks at the conference. Being in a group also helps when you send out invites as it gives you more reason to connect with someone new, again enabling you to personalise invite further by saying you share x many connections and y number of groups, so you obviously have quite a bit in common.

  1. Give feedback

I’ll admit that I don’t tend to read many of the updates that appear in my home page stream – I often browse through the top few when I go on the site but that’s all – with over 2000 contacts, it’s impossible to read everything.  But if you’ve connected with likeminded individuals in a similar field to yours, then the chances are a lot of the updates will be relevant to your work, so it’s worth scrolling through every now and then and picking out the odd article to read that has been shared that catches your eye.  Similarly, if someone has taken the trouble to publish a post, and you liked it, or had something to add, tell them and share it too (feel free to do both to this).

  1. Keep your profile updated

Many people see LinkedIn as a dynamic CV to help find their next job and don’t appreciate that people/companies may be using it to seek you out for your expertise in your current role.  So keep your profile updated.  Let people know what you’ve been up to and what you do for a living.  Share your expertise by embedding your presentations from Slideshare, or if, like me, you record podcasts, you can embed those from Soundcloud.

  1. It’s not Facebook

And finally, just a polite reminder, this is a business social network, not a personal one.  Whilst I was flattered that 0.35% (8 people) of my LinkedIn network liked my new photo when I updated my profile recently, I also found it a little strange, but perhaps that’s just me.  Thanks all the same though!

 

There are lots more tips and ways to benefit from LinkedIn and these were just the first few that came to mind.  Of course, if you want to find out more, you can always connect with me and ask – I’m at uk.linkedin.com/in/russellgoldsmith