Countdown to Christmas: Day 20

Today’s writer in my Countdown to Christmas series is IC pro Leoni Atkins who has reviewed The New York Times best-seller: Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate. This article first appeared on my blog in February this year.

Books on all things internal communication and social media are regularly shared, recommended and rated among the internal comms community, and you can read further articles at the foot of this one. For more information see my books page where you can find the annual book lists I’ve published since 2009 and information about the books I’ve contributed to.

renegadesLeoni @creativekitty (pictured) is an internal communications manager and editor with more than 10 years editorial and communications experience. In her spare time, she “pretends to go to the gym, posts the occasional helpful tweet, volunteers for Book Aid International and writes fiction.” Over to you Leoni…

How the digital royalty use social media to innovate

“Whoever coined the term social media didn’t do us any favours. It’s not media, it was not invented for marketers and advertisers, and people don’t welcome it”

In just two sentences, Amy Jo Martin, founder of social media consultancy Digital Royalty seems to sum up the usual approach of companies and public figures to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like.

In her first book, Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate Amy Jo charts her journey through the ‘Wild West’ of social media and more importantly, shares the lessons and strategies she learned along the way.

These strategies took her from Director of Digital Media and Research for National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Phoenix Suns through to setting up the consultancy, which now counts Shaquille O’Neal, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship company amongst its clients.

Communicators love a good story and this book is packed with what Amy Jo likes to call ‘personal innovation stories:

I believe in the power of sharing battle stories. Some call them case studies, but these tend to slant things in the favour of the case one is trying to prove

There’s a particularly entertaining battle story of how Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship dealt with accidentally tweeting his phone number out to millions of fans on his Twitter account: “Well if I’m stupid enough to tweet my phone number to everyone, I’m going to take their calls.”

They also form the foundation of Amy’s eight rules of social media. Each of these rules is given its own chapter in the book and range from how and why you should unmask your business motives through to the sticky and challenging issue of measuring ‘return on investment’ and ‘monetising social media.’

LeoniBoth of these were thought-provoking and interesting chapters, because as most communicators know, value and money are two of the biggest issues that crop up when the phrase ‘social media’ is thrust under executive’s noses.

Amy Jo neatly explains the importance of a brand’s ability to communicate WHY they do what they do, as well as the how and what. This allows brands to build a more human personality and in turn builds on fans’ loyalty and connection.

“Social communication channels allow you to take your audience deeper so that their loyalty to your brand is rooted in human qualities that strengthen any relationship”

In chapter seven, There’s a new ROI in town, there are a number of handy equations Amy has developed to start to measure the effectiveness of social channels that connect hard metrics, number of likes etc, with warm metrics such as engagement levels, viral factors, and sentiment analysis.

However, Renegades doesn’t just look at social media lessons but encourages you to look at your ‘Royal Bliss’ i.e. making sure that your work integrates your purpose, skill and passion.

“These new communication channels called social media are ultimately about innovating the way we do business. This intersection of business and social media creates discomfort. But it is a blissful discomfort if you will pour your sharpest skills, strongest passions, and highest purposes into the mix.”

Any book that makes me think ‘I never thought of it like that’ automatically scores well with me. With its entertaining battle stories, encouragement and unexpected career advice I highly recommend Renegades Write the Rules. Not only will it make you think about social media anew, but your approach to branding and your overall career path.

Post author: Leoni Atkins

Thank you Leoni. I published a Christmas article yesterday which you can read here and watch below:

Further reading
Gloria Lombardi reviews The Chief Engagement Officer
Share your shelf
Read any good books lately?
2013 recommended comms and social media books
Books I’ve contributed to

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