COM0015 – Assignment 5 – Event Participation

front shot of webinarPreviously my idea of a good professional development event meant one on one engagement with the speaker and the attending participants.  I recently viewed a webinar that changed my perception on that. I actually found it remarkably enjoyable. From that webinar I learned a lot of key principles towards building and leading an effective webinar.  It is no mistake that each piece of the ‘production’ is very important;  from enlisting a professional well-spoken host, to finding an engaging speaker, to reaching the right balance of visual aids, never mind using the appropriate technology to pull it off seamlessly. A lot of people are doing Webinars really well; eventually we here at the CRI hope to do the same; so we are keeping a very close eye “on the good ones”.  But beyond all of that good stuff there was one crucial bit of advice that I ran with. First let me explain what the Webinar was about.

I was ‘introduced’ to Mike Kujawski, Partner and Senior Consultant at the Centre for Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) through the Conference Board of Canada. The Webinar was entitled “Public Sector Social Media: Ensuring Your Social Media Strategy is Still Relevant”.  Some of the highlights were: latest trends as opposed to fads in the world of new media; how various public sector organizations have responded to these trends; the changes that have been taking place internally to make this happen; essential new monitoring tools that you should have been using yesterday; and how to ensure you are still measuring the right thing in new media.

statsThe facts are a lot of organizations have now implemented digital engagement strategies that are aligned with actual department and/or branch level objectives.  These organizations need to ensure their strategy remains relevant and I wanted to be on that bus……I felt that somewhere along the lines I am failing miserably and in amongst these trends, and social media relevancy practices, I was going to find the answer to my problems, but I didn’t find it so much in the details as I did in a few over reaching statements that Mike spent some quality time on.

Why socialWhat was interesting was how even after all of the strides new media has taken he is still ambushed by the same question he has fielded for years ; “Why are we still talking about Social Media?”  Why is he still taking a lot of time explaining to people why they need to get on board and why it (social media) will not go away. And if you look at the stats he provided this really is a crazy question in 2014. Yet still loftier people than Mike Kujawski has tried to turn the tides in larger organizations only to be stonewalled along the way.

So he reminded us all (social media overseers) that this transition to a well-oiled digitally engaged organization is not going to happen overnight.  This isn’t something that is applied in a silo, this has to apply to the organization as a whole.  Ideally we will move into more of a holistic method where everyone in the company uses social media safely and consistently across all departments.

This was good.  No, this was more than good.  This made my day.  I have been struggling to understand why it is taking people in my organization so long to realize the importance of this technology and to grasp the fact it is not going away.  At times I have begun to think that perhaps I am not explaining it properly, I may not be engaging the way other new media leads are…..numerous “I must be doing something wrong” thoughts have entered my head.  So, to hear someone at his level speak to the fact that this is going to take time, patience and work was more professional development than I had signed up for. Sometimes attending things like this can make a difference towards just hammering away at your work, to loving your work.

2 thoughts on “COM0015 – Assignment 5 – Event Participation

  1. It’s nice to hear when a PD event or Webinar is well worth participants’ time. I find so many of the ones I sign up for are only ‘so-so’ and nothing really is that new to me. Sure, there may be small details I learn but not a lot of “ah ha moments.” Feeling validated in your struggles can certainly be worth the price of admission, and it’s good to know we’re not alone in our struggles – and this particular struggle of social media adoption / push back seems to be pervasive in many sectors.

    I wonder, however, if the Webinar gave any suggestions as to how to get that buy-in from the leadership, since that’s whom I assume has to support you championing soical media use in your organization. Did it give examples of ROI and measurement to help build your case?

  2. Yes, I suppose this is a case of anything worth doing is worth doing well and doing something well is going to take some thinking, planning, knowledge and effort. Especially given the social media, the way people use it, where networks are is constantly changing and quickly. It means that organizations have to be open and adventurous, be ready to allow their communicators and marketers to experiment and innovate and manage risk yes, but accept a bit as well. Good luck to you.

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