The Changing Workforce: Social Media and Engaging with Employees #cdniabc12

In a space where social media has infiltrated our companies, at first by choice; later on, by the strength of external voices, it’s become increasingly clear that social media is no longer just a marketing and PR channel. It is a force that impacts all levels of the organization. It is no longer about being aware of what’s happening, but about effectively managing the message to desired outcomes.

On November 1-3, 2012, The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), a global network committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication, will host the IABC 2012 Canada Business Communicators Summit, Trends 2013 at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa!

One of the hot topics will be presented by Jackie King, Vice President and Group Leader, Change and Internal Communications Hill & Knowlton Strategies, is Customizing Internal Communications for the Modern Workplace, Particularly During Times of Change

This important session provides some pretty key insights about “exploring the importance of connecting with, and engaging with various internal stakeholders particularly within today’s corporate reality of downsizing/rightsizing, mergers and acquisitions, and transformation at the operational and leadership levels.”As the session indicates, where technology changes ever so rapidly, where real time discussions are having more impact on the business, where the global economy is moving towards more efficiency, it is becoming more critical to transform processes to maximize effective communication.

“Agility is a competitive advantage. As companies refocus their strategies to meet new conditions, success will be determined by the speed of adoption.”

In order to make this happen, the transformation needs to be made at the employee level. “Engaging employees is more than just a feel-good exercise – it’s about influencing attitudes and behaviors to drive bottom-line results.”

I recently wrote an article called, Do or Die: The Inevitability of Social Business. What Jackie sites as important changes to the organization will impact three levels (reference: Humanize by Maddie Grant and James Notter)

  1. Culture
  2. Process
  3. Behaviour – at the individual level

In this post, I pointed out, “Can we effectively align the workforce to operate cross-functionally, break down silos, and more importantly, come to a consensus?” This is difficult if departments have different goals and objectives. Let’s compound that with having to design a dynamic model that flexes based on customer outcomes. Now, we’re changing the way we integrate external information, and we’re paying heedance to the value of that information that pummels our organization daily… in volumes… and in real time.

These changes that Jackie King will reference are not easy, by any means. A mindset shift, decentralization of information and the ability to assign control to the employees will be necessary to help manage and potentially scale the communication. This is one session that’s not to be missed.

Other highlights from the conference that are must-sees:

  • The Power of Internal Branding: The Communicator’s Secret Weapon, by David Grossman, ABC, APR, FCPRS, Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group
  • Content in Context and the Content Marketing RevolutionJonathan Harris, Managing Director at Infomart and VP Business Development, National Post
  • Examining the Prime Minister of Canada’s Media Relations in a 24/7 Media WorldDr. Alex Marland, Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Somebody We Used to Know: Reputation Management in the Age of Social Media, Martha Muzychka, ABC, Principal, Praxis Communications

For more information on this conference, please click here. Early Bird Prices in effect until October 11, 2012.

Image reference:

I’m just getting started….

The last 4 months have been a whirlwind and I’ve come to reflect on where I’ve been and where I am today.

I have been tapping into social media since my Yahoo! days and I’ve come to really love the medium. It goes against the grain of me as a traditional marketer, whose thinking has really been about creating excitement for products that people may not really care about initially, enticing a not-yet-established motivation to want the thing I was selling and provoke action.

I worked in credit card marketing for 6 years (sigh!) not fully believing that people really wanted credit cards, let alone debt. But as a marketer, I sold the notion of  access to ‘dreams’ if people had the vehicle necessary to get that access. As an advertising executive, I created amazing campaigns for products and services pushing messaging to audiences, at times, who clearly weren’t interested. The ones who were, were not deemed ‘ideal’ so I backed off from these seemingly low hanging fruits.

As I look back at these events, I realized the huge thing that was lacking: consumer validation… not sales, not response rates. In banking, a 2% response rate on a $4MM campaign was considered successful. That’s because that 2% audience could be upsold, cross-sold, and generate enough revenue over their lifetime to justify the initial acquisition cost.  But were the customers ever satisfied? Were they ever really happy? I never really knew because my access to the customer was nonexistent. I usually received a report from operations telling me how many people signed up for a credit card. Yay! But really?

As social media started emerging as a strong vehicle about 5 years ago, I paid close attention to its lure. Here, these networks existed without the interruption of annoying advertising. Ironic, cause I was typically the source of that annoying advertising. Slowly but surely, I also was lured to a space where people could speak as people, uninterrupted. I spoke to esteemed bloggers and social media strategists like Alejandro Reyes and Joselin Mane, who taught me the importance of active listening, transforming the marketing mindset, and leveraging relationships with the customer to truly succeed.  Even in MySpace days I talked with people who were just struggling to succeed. I knew a few band members who would develop new tracks every week so they could showcase it to their networks! And they received accolades and validation–albeit from a tiny universe who admired and appreciated their efforts.

That’s when I become a purist–not overnight but soon after. I became the anti-marketer, espousing authenticity, transparency, relationship-building.  I would talk to anyone who would listen, as if it was an epiphany moment! And it was! When I started blogging 4 years ago it was merely an outlet for me to verbalize where this all would lead: social, emerging technology and why it would change the way companies operate. Along the way, it also provided others, who stumbled upon my posts, an opportunity to learn. That was pretty cool… and that’s what kept me going.

I worked at start-ups, which help me delve deeper into social and the more I learned the more I became enamoured with the business possibilities for social.  I then moved to agency and ironically it was more difficult to sell the notion of social media (despite its increasing pervasiveness) to businesses beyond Facebook and Twitter. Businesses still wanted to control the message and chose to ignore the less-than-palatable public opinion. Embracing social means being able to take the good with the bad and it’s gonna take time before this happens especially in Canada.

So today I am at an amazing company that is in sync with where this world is going… where I believe it can leverage the social web’s strength. is doing some amazing things. I’m happy to be part of it. I’m working with some really amazing people. It’s a stacked team headed by a real visionary.

Stay tuned……we are just getting started!

What happens on the Internet in 60 Seconds? [Infographic]

Thanks @suzemuse for this. I’m gonna add it to my collection of cool infographics.  Here’s a link to the original post: Here’s the link to the original post:


What’s the ROI of your MOM from @Flowtown

I am so glad someone decided to create a visualization for this. @garyvee’s reference really hit the message home. Putting in the time to care cannot be solely put down to a dollar value. Over time it’s merely “priceless”!

What is The ROI of Your Mom?
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

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