Michael Geist @mgeist and the Turning Tide of Legal Implications of Social #cdniabc12

This is one session I don’t want to miss at International Association of Business Communicator’s (IABC) Summit 2012, Trends 2012.

In the last year events have transpired that have huge implications on how social media will impact the way information is curated and shared: Pinterest and the IP issues; the ongoing debate on Bill C32.

Michael Geist has spoken at length about intellectual property (IP) and the “fair use” of copyright.

The fact that Pinterest was called out as a platform that infringes on copyright has tremendous effect on how all other platforms deal with consumer use of images/property for which they have no real legal ownership.

This speaks to the heart of Digital Rights Management, which is defined by Wikipedia as”a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale.”

Imagine what this would do to user-generated content. Remember, according to Forrester’s Social Media Ladder that the number of “creators” in Social Media make up approximately 13% of the total who are part of social networks. Mind you that was at least 5 years ago. Now that penetration is growing… and growing rapidly.

The infographic below provides a view of the value of content marketing. Here are some critical numbers:

  • 90% of B2B marketers use some form of content marketing
  • 60% pf B2B marketers plan to spend more $$ on content marketing
  • content primarily used in article posting (79%), social networks (74%) and blogs (65%)
  • the investment that companies are investing in unique “owned” content is significant at 25%

The value of that content to the customer/prospect is demonstrated in the amount of shares, republishing, or any ‘derivative” form of the original content use. Imagine what would happen if doing any of this “behaviour” constitutes a possible “criminalization” of individuals. The limits and standards are still being worked out and I may be taking this to the extreme, but I need to see that scenario in order to clarify what may manifest at that “extreme”.

The larger picture is how it would impact the Internet as a whole. The collapse of networks who rely on the sharing of information will result…. not at first, but it will put a strain on the online population as they come to think twice about choosing to or “how” they share the content.

What is the point of brand investment in content if they were unable to really determine its value? We are all held shackled to a set of rules that government creates to protect the rights of the content owner, but in the end, wind up punishing those very same owners as a result. How ironic!

Where social media seeks to democratize information and allow the masses to have a say, the impending laws, Bill C32, may turn the tables and bring back control to the corporation. And that would have severe consequences on networks, information and the internet as a whole.

The Hope for the Internet

I went to Michael Geist’s site and saw some glimmers of hope:

He states that the Copyright Modernization Act combined with  the Reduce U.S. Pressure Copyright Act combined will seek a compromise on a few issues:

  • on fair dealing, it adds education, parody, and satire as categories.
  • on education, it creates several limited new exceptions, that arguably are too limited, but still mark an improvement over the current act.
  • on consumer rights, it creates important new exceptions for time shifting, format shifting, and backup copies. Those exceptions are undermined, however, by the digital lock rules.
  • on creativity, it establishes the new remix provision that protects individuals who create their own non-commercial mashups

If you have a chance to go to International Association of Business Communicator’s (IABC) Summit 2012, I urge you to also check out the following sessions:

  • The Power of Internal Branding: The Communicator’s Secret Weapon – Day 2 with David Grossman
  • Content in Context and the Content Marketing Revolution – Day 2 with Jonathan Harris
  • Privacy and Communications in Changing Times – Day 2 with Jennifer Stoddard, Privacy Commissioner
  • Communicating During Times of Crisis – Day 3 with Anick Losier

[Image Credit: Bigstock.com]

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: http://www.jarche.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/social-drives-training.png

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