SXSW is exhausting. It was my first time to Austin for this event and I’m beat. It’s too much for an old dude like me. Now that I’m home, I’m hanging out with the family, fighting through a massive amount of email, looking at the business cards I collected and LinkedIn connections I made. I had a great time, but after a week, I’m happy to be back home.
On SXi Monday, my company, Dynamic Signal, hosted a Brand Innovators event discussing the Employee Advocacy ecosystem. I was thrilled to MC the event, not just because I’m a showboat and love to talk to a crowd, but because it gave me a unique view of all the content and conversations. There was a grip of information shared that I got a ton of insight from. The following is a brief collection of things that I gleaned from the experts.
The first panel, highlighted the successes and findings from their programs. It included Julie Hayes, Sr. Brand Communications Manager, Autodesk, Kyle Peterson, Global Digital Marketing Manager, Ingram Micro, Wayne Kurtzman, Manager, Social Media Marketing Insights & Monitoring, Pitney Bowes, Amber Armstrong, Director, Digital, Social and Influencers, IBM Commerce and was moderated by moderated by Bryan Kramer, TED Speaker, and CEO of PureMatter.
The discussions were impressive, especially as it pertained to the unexpected value of Employee Advocacy, how gamification works best (seriously), how Employee Advocacy programs break down barriers to social enablement and the use of metrics. I particularly enjoyed Amber speaking out about the importance of custom tweets, and how she “encourages” this behavior at IBM.
I also loved this bit from Julie about how Employee Advocacy has affected their internal communications function.
Program Has Affected Internal Comms for Autodesk
Click here to view video of the entire panel
The next panel discussed how communications and PR agencies add value in the Employee Advocacy mix. The panel included three agencies and their respective clients. They were Elizabeth Ford, Global Head, Internal Communications, Novartis Pharma, Heather McClurg, Social Media Manager, Monsanto Company, Sherri Maxson, SVP Digital Communications, Dairy Management Inc., David Armano, Global Strategy Director, Edelman, Virginia Cromwell, Director, Employee Engagement & Change Management, Weber Shandwick, Erin Husband, Vice President, Social & Digital Media, FleishmanHillard.
Working with a partner like those guys makes things so much more smooth. The group spoke about the importance of a clear content strategy and curation, the power of language localization for a global enterprise, and the biggest hurdles to motivate employees to join the program and share content.
The following video did a great job letting each of the six panelists reveal what the biggest surprise was from their Employee Advocacy program so far.
That Surprised Them About their Employee Advocacy Program
Click here to view the entire panel
Finally, with many a Samuel L. Jackson joke, was the fireside chat with Rich ‘What’s in your Wallet?’ Pesce, Sr. Manager, Social Media Communications & Digital Media, Capital One. Hosted by Bryan Kramer, this conversation was a deep dive into the Employee Advocacy program at Capital One and included a great story from Rich about his personal journey to employee advocacy, which started in 2008 with a Clif Bar.
In this video, Rich addresses an important topic, Employee Advocacy in a regulated industry.
Employee Advocacy In A Regulated Industry
Click here to view the entire fireside chat
The whole event was fantastic from start to finish, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make it happen!
What did you do at SXSW? I would love to hear @Schnaars.