Archive for August, 2009

Many choices

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Take what you like — and leave the rest.

Somebody gave me that piece of advice when I was checking out something new years ago. I’ve found it helpful while planning a social media strategy.

For example, I got a suggestion from someone I really respect in the public relations field that just didn’t work in our situation. (I’m so grateful that he took the time to review a draft of our nearly final social media strategy.)

He recommended that we get our organization’s various program experts involved directly in blogging and other social media — that we should develop a social media policy and then turn them loose. I’ve read case studies where this has been effective for many organizations.

However, it’s not applicable in ours. The main reason is that our program experts are very busy doing their jobs. We already use them in a speakers bureau, in live chats, in some media interviews… The timing is not right to add more PR tasks to their list. There are lots of other reasons, too.

So we chose not to incorporate this expert’s ideas into our plan. Even though this may work for others, it’s not a fit for us.

Have you had a similar experience — a time where the prevailing school of thought just didn’t work for your organization? I’d love to hear your experience.


Upcoming Facebook presentation

August 15, 2009 Leave a comment

facebook-logoYesterday, I met with local PR pro Daniel Lally to prepare for our Aug. 25 presentation about Facebook. The Cincinnati Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is sponsoring the low-cost luncheon.

I’m excited about the opportunity to share my experience with day-to-day use of Facebook in our developing social media strategy. I’ve benefitted from literally dozens of PRSA events during my 17 years as a member. It’s wonderful to get a chance to hopefully give back to that fine organization.

Facebook is such a new communication platform, but it has immense potential for those of us looking to nurture mutually beneficial relationships with the strategic audiences — those groups that could make or break our organizations.

I have learned A LOT since setting up a Group and Fan Page for the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services — and continue to do as we blaze this new trail together. We’re definitely breaking new ground here.

After the presentation, I’ll put the PowerPoint on I hope you find it beneficial.

Categories: Facebook, Presentations

Getting into the tactics

August 12, 2009 Leave a comment


Now that we’ve (1) crafted the Situation Statement, (2) established Social Media Goals, (3) written Overall Objectives, and (4) defined Strategic Audiences — it’s time to get into tactics.

This table describes our various social media methods, administrators (who does the actual posting, chat facilitating, etc.), topics, frequency and measurables.

Next, we’re going to establish measurable objectives for each of the methods based on past experience. For example, our live chats have averaged 10 participants, 15 questions and 74 views. We’ll set a goal of maintaining or exceeding that level.

We’ll include a weekly production schedule and several appendecies such as the breakdowns of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

And, we plan to get more feedback through surveys and focus groups. A survey of 200-some Twitter followers drew just nine participants, but did give us a little insight. But we want more understanding of how our audiences use social media, so we’ll conduct focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

Any feedback on our methodology from you would be greatly appreciated!

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Putting the social media plan in writing

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment


We’ve drafted a social media strategy for the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services. I’ll be sharing portions here to get your feedback. Here’s the start….


Due to the economic downturn, the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services finds itself serving more customers with fewer employees. More than a third of the agency’s workers have been laid off or retired early as the result of a 50-percent decline in state funding. Yet demands for services such as Medicaid, food stamps, cash assistance, child support, subsidized child care, child protection and adult protection have increased. Hamilton County leadership has stressed the need to take innovative approaches to address these challenges. One innovation involves implementing a social media strategy.

Social media goals

• Improve accessibility and transparency — respond to customers’ needs and “put a face” on the agency
• Engage audiences (Don’t just broadcast messages)
• Complement and enhance successful communication processes already in place (media relations, speakers bureau, special events)

Overall objectives

• To relieve pressure on crowded waiting rooms and busy call centers
• To build and strengthen relationships with key influencers in target audiences
• To make potential customers aware of the agency’s many services
• To help new customers efficiently access the agency’s services
• To give quick answers to customers’ questions
• To reinforce positive perceptions of the agency by its peers

Strategic audiences

• Clients/customers, especially those unfamiliar with agency programs/services
• Social service partners
• Taxpayers/voters
• Overseers
• Government peers
• Employees
• Former employees (retired, laid off, moved on to other jobs)

Video of presentation

Clermont County Social Media Bootcamp

August 1, 2009 2 comments

42-15732322This week, I had the pleasure of helping a diverse group of 50 people learn how to tap the power of social media. Participants ranged from a county commissioner to an attorney to an admissions coordinator for an elderly care facility.

At the invitation of James R. Sutter of DVP Multimedia Ltd., I participated in the Clermont County Social Media Bootcamp at Live Oaks Career Campus. I shared my experience with creating and implementing a social media strategy at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, my employer for more than 15 years.

Other presenters were: 

  • Michelle Beckham Corbin of 3C,  who gave an excellent overview about developing a strategic social media plan and described the basics of platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook;
  • Tim Root of WebEchoes, who showed how you can measure, evaluate and fine-tune your social media efforts using sophisticated analytics and search engine optimization; and
  • Nathan Penny from CTTS,who gave helpful information to people looking to set up Facebook business pages.

Here is a link to my PowerPoint presentation

And a look at  video of 15 minute Q/A session

I hope you find this information helpful as we blaze the social media trail together.