Whose comms is it anyway?

Today was the first half of Melcrum’s Digital Communication Summit in London and the sheer amount of notes, tweets and photos flying around #melcrumdcs are testament to a packed day and insightful speakers.

Around 100 professional communicators gathered in London and I’ve captured my key takeaways from today below. I created a Storify during the day to collate the tweets, photos, links to websites and Vines. Tomorrow looks equally stimulating, so I will be sure to update my Storify to create a complete picture to share with you. I’m going to highlight my initial thoughts from today here and will write a more detailed post once the summit has finished.

John stepperThe image at the top of this page featured in John Stepper’s presentation. John (@johnstepper) is MD of social media and collaboration at Deutsche Bank in New York. It struck a chord with me because it was refreshing to be in a room surrounded by internal communication (IC) professionals but hear from speakers without a purely IC remit.

The reason it resonated was because many of the speakers talked about how internal social networks grew organically in their organisation and how various departments such as IT, HR and other functions played a part in their creation.

This often led to organisations asking where IC was in this situation. I found this an interesting challenge – and could tell some people were bristling!

I welcome this approach, I’ve written before about social business and the idea of collaboration being part of everyone’s roles, not just IC, and could spend the rest of this article on that topic alone, but let’s get back to today.

I mentioned the other day that I was looking forward to hearing Laurie Hibbs, HR Director at LexisNexis talk about how they company use Yammer. He didn’t disappoint and his quotes of note are:

LexisNexis launched Yammer without a policy or guideline and in two years has “never had to remove a post”

We crowdsource employee policies using social software

People who don’t like their managers, love Yammer

Need to move from employee engagement to employee empowerment 

Kasper Risbjerg, Social Business Manager from IBM spoke on Brand building beyond the firewall – giving a glimpse into how IBM’s experts have been creating a unique digital footprint by equipping senior level employees to become brand advocates through digital interactions. My takeaways from his presentation were:

Business has always been social. Business is based on relationships. Now it is just more visible.

Social implies “one more thing to do” but really should be integrated into daily work

When doing SM with employees don’t use them to sell, instead get them to respond to customers to build trust

IBM has a ‘social enablement ecosystem’ – takes the view that ‘social’ goals are IBM’s business goals 

The role of IC is to celebrate employees and promote an effective programme internally

Motivation is not ‘the stick’. Show progress & celebrate people. Give them peer recognition & personal branding

IBM measures “social eminence” on an individual contributor basis, which includes reach, amplification, engagement and conversion

IBM created ‘social indicator types’ to help people rate their ability to coach others (love this – Rachel)

IBM allows employees to identify themselves as internal experts on a variety of topics. Also allows for sales to use as experts.

There was an ‘ignite’ session which worked well. It was three speakers who each had five minutes and the topic up for debate was gamification.

It was excellent to hear such opposing views from Kim England (@miss_england_19), Head of Internal Community & Collaboration at Pearson, Philip Trippenbach, Account Director, Edelman Digital, @trippenbach and John Stepper (@johnstepper).

I recommend checking out Philip’s slides here on ‘Why Gamification sucks and game dynamics rule’ – I think you can tell from the title alone that this was a fiery session!

Ive highlighted my Storify below so you can read the full feedback from that session and the rest of the day.

I will be back tomorrow with thoughts and detail from day two, but thank you to the Melcrum team and the speakers for a cracking first day, Rachel.


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