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Speaker at New Communications Forum

I spoke recently at the New Communications Forum held in Las Vegas, March 6-10.  The Importance of Corporate Culture to the Success of Social Media Programs was the title of my presentation. ( You can listen to the presentation in this MP3 recording.) My host, SNCR research fellow John Cass, and I created a talk-show format where we discussed our corporate culture and how it's allowed us to use social media programs like blogs and podcasts and wikis and videocasts.

We spoke for about an hour to a packed ballroom of about 150 people at 8:30 AM...in Vegas!  That's a testament to the growing desire for knowledge by companies about social media (podcasts, videocasts, blogs and wikis, oh my) and how their power can be put to use for a company's audience, whether internal or external.

I've often said that blogs are the great leveler for competition between large corporate brands with their million dollar ad budgets and smaller companies with their non-existent ad budgets. Blogs allow you to deliver your company's unique message, immediately, directly and with no dilution from any corporate PR-speak an outside agency might bring. A blog allows you to speak directly in your own voice to your customers, prospects and employees. There's no better resource to use to differentiate your company, your offerings, your service, your brand...than a blog. Blogs are also amazingly inexpensive to use.

It's required now to use our company's wiki for all conversations, long-term strategic or short-term and tactical, within our company. We insist upon it with our partners as well. It's power comes from its open structure. It's an easy platform to use to keep everyone involved and working from the same page in a project's discussion.

Such a simple statement. But its impact is profound. Here's why: Everyone on the same page means misunderstandings are minimized. It means silos of power and influence (ie, politics and division) are also minimized. It means bringing everyone's understanding current is a by-product of the online conversation, whether it's an informal Q&A or a formal discussion/debate. It means simpler, more timely project management. It means an easy resource to bring an integrated vision of a company's progress and direction is now available. And it's possible to keep that vision current, from the organic and ongoing nature of the conversation.

Translation: Your mission statement of 5 years ago begins to breathe life again when everyone participates in its creation with every project, every conversation, every discussion of a project's goal, on and on.

Warning: be prepared for your mission statement to change. And that's a good thing. It means your staff is getting engaged, passionate, opinionated....they care.

For our wiki we use the basecamp product from 37Signals. Wikis and their use are a habit that needs to be learned. But the benefits are profound.

Podcast is a resource we offer as a service. It's also a resource we'll use more as the year progresses. we've used it sparingly in the past. Our most recent was a 3-part podcast series on How to Create Word-of-Mouth Advertising for Your Company. You can subscribe to the podcast using any RSS reader  with this link.

Videocasts are also a resource we'll explore in the near future. Videocasts do for video what podcasts do for audio. They syndicate the content so it's pushed to your most avid audience members. That means your podcasts or videocasts are sent automatically to those who choose to subscribe. That makes getting your content, your message, into their RSS readers and MINDS much more convenient for them AND you.

And here's my impression of the event: New Comm Forum: 4 for 4. It was a great event.

March 19, 2007 in The Company | Permalink