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Things I learned at the IABC Victoria social media content workshop

 

Lisa Bigelow reflects on IABC Victoria’s highly successful and informative workshop… Content from the Inside Out.

Boo680

There’s a dog named Boo with his own Facebook page that has over 17 million followers.

 

Zombie680

The Whitehouse has a crisis planning strategy called The Zombie Apocalypse.

 

Ark680

If you can hear thunder, it’s too late to start building an ark!

 

IABC’s half-day workshop on June 24, Content From The Inside Out, examining marketing content and social media, was a chance for communicators to immerse themselves in the sometimes murky waters of content creation and crisis planning. Led by three local digital communication specialists, Zora Artis, Jordana Borensztajn and Nicole Matejic, the participants traversed three distinct but critical aspects of creating great social media communication campaigns; planning, creating compelling content and managing risk and crisis.

​Zora Artis, an integrated communicator and managing director of Zora Artis Consulting, took the group back to the beginning of any effective communication campaign; the strategy and thinking critically about its purpose before you embark on the big campaign idea and creating content. She recommended posing the questions; What is your purpose? Who do you serve and what do you produce? What are your business goals? What do you want to achieve?

She highlighted the difference between content strategy and content marketing, stressing that strategy is not set and forget but rather a living plan that needs to be re-evaluated to ensure the campaigns are relevant and on track. Using two distinctly different case studies, ANZ BlueNotes and Tourism Australia’s ‘World’s Biggest Social Media Team’, Zora took us through the core elements of the strategic framework to develop content; understanding; audit and analysis; planning and alignment; goals and context; audience profiling; storytelling; channel planning; process and measurement.

Zora also reminded us that good campaigns are about behaviour change – doing something for the first time, for the last time, doing it less often or more often. To achieve these outcomes it is important to know your audience, know the influencers, your organisation and its information and content availability and gaps, decide who’ll generate your content and how you’ll manage it.

Jordana Borensztajn is a creative content consultant, humourist and social media trainer with a background in print journalism who—as a self-described social media addict—found it exceptionally difficult to put her smart phone down for an hour while she presented her session. Jordana quickly established that our hunger for awesome content continues to grow and that compelling content needs to be funny, short and snappy.

She also explained that online content is important for business because it defines your brand, helps you to develop trust and loyalty and it starts conversations. It also creates a gut or emotional reaction; it hooks viewer in or pushes them away. It stirs the emotions.

Jordana said your brand voice must be true and authentic but that it can and should evolve. She said story telling adds emotion to content and creates deeper audience experiences and that it is critical to understand the affordances of different social media channels to ensure you are reaching the right customers via their preferred platforms.

Any social media strategy must contain clear goals and objectives, she said, and it requires passion; you need to commit and immerse in yourself social media, it’s a round the clock job to do it well.

Our third presentation came from internationally recognised military information operations, social media and crisis communications advisor Nicole Matejic, who is a regular instructor for, and speaker to, NATO. Nicole’s first tip for crisis management planning was to learn lessons from what others have done wrong.

Nicole reminded us that as communication managers, we are the most important part of our organisation’s social media risk plan because we know the company, its brand and potential risks better than anyone.

Other highlights of Nicole’s presentation included thought prompts such as:

  • Is your product being drawn into crisis by association?
  • How safe are you from crises out of your control or planning — think the Lindt Café siege and it’s associated brand damage.
  • You must plan for any eventuality, have content and a talking head ready and practice often.
  • Think about how people will react to your content. You want it shared positively not in a case study or blog on mistakes.
  • Plan for social imposters by owning your IP address, being present and active and continuously monitor your social sphere.
  • During a crisis, direct your communication through social media to avoid the danger of media spin.
  • Make it easy for people to understand your message.
  • Deliver a public mea culpa if required but it must be authentic and heartfelt.

Thank you to all of our presenters for such thoughtful and informative sessions. As digital and social media channels continue to evolve, it’s great to get new perspectives on planning and reminders of how the experts generate award-winning campaigns. This comprehensive workshop delivered compelling information with excellent graphics, in language we could all understand; a fabulous example of best practice communication.

 

Nicole Matejic’s new book, ‘Social Media Rules of Engagement’,  is published through Wiley and available in Dymocks stores, on iTunes and Amazon.

 

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IABC Victoria is the world's largest IABC chapter outside North America. Through our active program of communications thought leadership, events, certification and awards, IABC Victoria can offer you professional development, connection to your local and global peers and global recognition that will set you apart from the rest.

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