Our #SMAC13 Social Media and Communicators Panel discussion was a success! Many thanks are in order! First, to the panelists: Becky Campbell- Johnson City Press, Josh Smith- WJHL-TV, Eric Vaughn- Wellmont Health System, Rachel Cain- Eastman, and Jennifer Clements-ETSU. Hats off to the team that pulled it off: Jim Wozniak, Rachel Cain, Drew Beamer, Deborah Lowery, Christian Schmid along with myself and the MarketingMel team of Sarah Kinsler and Emma Brock. Thanks also to many of you loyal blog readers who helped me publicize the event on twitter.
For the first time ever in the Tri-Cities region three professional communications organizations joined together to create one fantastic communications event. Those organizations were: Public Relations Society of America (Northeast Tennessee Chapter), Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the Greater Tri-Cities Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The committee’s initial goal was to gather 100 people to listen to a distinguished panel including both journalists and professional corporate communicators. We far exceeded our goal with over 150 business professionals and college students turning out to hear the pro’s. Here are some of the “tweetable highlights” of the panel discussion. I was the panel moderator and it’s hard to pare them down to just a few sentences as most of what they said was valuable. I would love to hear what comments particularly resonate with you.
- “Years ago we could only tell you about something that happened today, tomorrow morning…I started out with a notepad and a pen. Today I carry an iPad and shoot video… I’ve been tweeting trial updates from court since 2010.”
- “Every person in our newsroom has a Facebook. Every person in our newsroom has a twitter. Everyone in our newsroom is expected to contribute.”
- Becky Campbell, Johnson City Press reporter
- “It was always there (our immediate desire for news.) I have found our viewers are far less patient than they ever were. We have higher expectations now. People always have wanted information. Now we have to keep up with the demands of our audience.”
- “You don’t get angry on social media. You don’t respond angrily. That can cause you to lose your job. And that has happened in this market.”
- Josh Smith WJHL-TV Anchorman
- “In health care we deal with people in the most personal moments. The issue that we face is because of regulations we cannot point to anything personal about a patient.”
- “You need to have a specific strategy in place and apply to the audience you are looking for. You have to have a specific goal that you are trying to accomplish.”
- Eric Vaughn, Wellmont Health Systems
- “There is no one size fits all. If you are on social media you should have a strategy. Make sure everything you do is measurable. We measure leads generated, how many of those leads are qualified. As many things as you can track, how many go from social media to your web site and then convert on your web site. Something solid to start tracking on an excel spread sheet.
- “You have to be able and willing to fail in social media. Track lessons learned. Strategy is about what you’re saying and to whom and where they are.”
- “I don’t think that any business can afford to not be on social media anymore.”
- Rachel Cain, Eastman/Perennial Wood
- “Social Media gives us the opportunity to listen to what’s going on on campus and it gives us the opportunity to communicate with our audience.”
- “When an emergency happens our students and staff turn to social media to find out what is going on.”
- “If you’re applying for jobs show how you’ve built a brand for yourself or for your company; not just that you’re on Facebook.”
- Jennifer Clements, East Tennessee State University (ETSU)
To watch the #SMAC13 video to to hear all of what these distinguished panelists had to say, click on “watch the event video” on the #SMAC13 website.