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April 19, 2011


It would seem that I'm not as familiar with blogging as I thought I was. Week after week I've typed away thinking that everything is working out properly. Lo and behold my posts haven't been getting published, only saved which makes them a "draft" in the postings list.

So here's a bunch of posts that due to user failure never got posted.


Meeting with mcmillan

Yesterday we met with a couple of people from the mcmillan creative team to come up with a few things but most interstingly a video which we hope will spread across the world-wide-web not only because of its message but also because of its creativity.

The mcmillan agency is one of the premier ad and marketing agencies in Canada (in my opinion, anyway). They have a very different way of looking at things and come up with ideas that are leaps and bounds above competitors. Now, granted you're going to pay big bucks for this kind of creative genius but it's worth it. Their work has won numerous awards and if you watch any of the videos on the mainpage of their website,, you'll see why.

Not only will they take on the creative elements of a project or program they'll outline an entire communications and social media strategy around it! I don't know yet what they've got up their sleeve based on the minutia of information we gave them but I can't wait to find out. Our next meeting is probably going to be in a couple weeks and hopefully we'll have another good dialogue. And we'll all be inspired to tredge forward.

Social Media Breakfast

This morning my boss and I attended the Social Media Breakfast on Social Media Trends at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre; the speaker was Dave Fleet who works at Edelman in Toronto.

For information about SMB check out their site:
For information about Deve Fleet check out: 

Your can follow both on Twitter, join them on Facebook, see what Dave likes to read on

Dave's talked focused on the major trends in social media and best practices. Because the session is only an hour and a half (starting at 7:30 am - too early) he flew through a lot of the content but has provided his slides online here.

His website, from what I've seen, is also a huge wealth of information on all things social media and business. If you have the chance to see Dave Fleet speak somewhere GO. He knows what he's talking about and he's got a charming English accent.

But take some coffee if it's a 7:30 am session, he talks so fast it can be hard to follow without it!

Social Media, Networking and Mobile Technology Summit

This has definitely been a do-it-all week!

I had a teleconference with  TEC Edmonton about building a smartphone app which would give you the UV Index, temperature, etc for your location (within 10 km) and sun safety tips based on your skin type that you plug in along with other information during set-up.

Had another teleconference with pharma company about sponsorhing a public education campaign, which for the first time would include pre-planned social media elements (YouTube, Twitter, & Facebook).

Then headed off to Toronto for the Social Media, Networking and Mobile Technology Summit hosted by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). The speakers, Andy Steggles and Angelika Lipkin, covered a lot of material but still had some much that we're going to be having a webinar in about 6 weeks to address the extra content and allow for questions about things that may/may not be working.

The summit was great because it focused on social media and social networking for not-for-profits which incidentally is where I find myself. Part of the registration fee for the summit was Andy Steggles book "Social Networking for Nonprofits: Increasing Engagement in a Mobile and Web 2.0 World". Apparently the book is a great resource that many people find helpful. So much so that it was out of print at the time of the meeting but CSAE has said they will be mailing them out and I find that I'm actually anxious to get my hands on a copy.

During the meeting Andy and Angelika, from asked that we tweet about the session using the hashtag #CSAE11. People were tweeting during the sessions and Andy even tweeted a video from the karaoke night following the first day's session. Those Ontario Real Estate Association girls sure enjoyed the spotlight ahaha!

Workshop Day

So today I went to an IABC Workshop called Evaluation Bootcamp lead by Caroline Kealy. For those of you unfamiliar, the IABC is the International Association of Business Communicators.

The session had absolutely nothing to do with social media but it was brilliant nonetheless. I am so pleased to find out that I'm not alone in the canoe with the hole. Regardless of the size of the communications departments we're all facing the same problems - time! The communications department at my organization consists of me, myself and I and I'm running into the same problems as companies with communications departments with hundreds of staff. Which is both pleasantly surprising (because I'm managing to survive) as well as a little disheartening (it may never get better).

A consent theme during the workshop was that many of us in communications have the evil time monster gnawing at us. We have only enough time and resources to create and launch our programs/initiatives but no time to evaluate their success. It brings to mind the idea of Santa's elves building toys, wrapping them up beautifully, throwing them out the window and starting again.

What Caroline pointed out in her talk is that we need to be vigilant when building our communications strategies to incorporate elements that are easily measureable and create benchmarks in the planning phase, thus making evaluation less of a tedious task.


The best part of the workshop was the easy to use templates Caroline provided and the links on her website, Ingenium Communications.

Evaluations is not such a big scary word anymore. Strategic development on the other hand ...... don't get me started ☺

TimedRight....Is it?

Today I met with TimedRight, a group that has created a social networking site (of sorts) for the medical community. With them we will be creating a section for our members to use discussion boards, present/discuss case studies, continue with self-direct CME as well as interact with other medical specialties in open forum areas.

Our hope is to use this site to engage our members before the conference in June, during the conference and after the conference to poll them about the sessions and what take away messages were most useful to them.

The site itself is not unlike but not quite as social media heavy. You create a profile, join groups, start discussions. You can post documents or meeting minutes for circulation within a committee. I'm pretty sure you can even link your twitter feed.

What I'm not sure about is whether our members will use a site like this. As medical specialists their time is already quite tied up between seeing patients, maintaining their certification (CME), doing rounds, and journal study. Do they have time to join another networking site? Will they want to?

At what point do we say "enough is enough" and disconnect or go offline? For me that's right about now, it's been a long day.

Allowing for the dialogue

(I'm going to rant, I'm a bit frustrated.)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that the organization I work for has jumped on the band wagon and created a Facebook fan page. As the administrator of this page I'm running into some difficulties with some executive members of our Association who don't want to see the page opened up to the public for commenting.

I have a problem with this because the whole reason for social media is to engage with people, to start those dialogues and foster a spirit of trust and credibility in the organization. But we (the royal one) can't do that if people can't make comments to post content. It's how you respond to those comments (positive or negative) that people will appreciate and how quickly you can put out any fires should they happen. Why is it that some people are so fearful of change?? I'm just starting to get my feet wet when it comes to social media but even I understand the necessity for dialogue and feedback.

In any event, I'm going to continue to plead my case in hopes that the executives see "the light" as it were and move forward with me, knowing that strategies are in place to deal with any tricky situations before they happen. (I've found that having a communications crisis strategy in place before a crisis occurs to be super handy. Not only for the "what to do" aspect but also in making change happen.)

Rant over. Again sorry.