No place for cheap talkin’

Last night I made a trip back to Centennial College where I spent the majority of my life after high school. No it wasn’t for a class, but for Talk is Cheap,¬† an UN-conference put on by the Corporate¬† Communications & PR students.

The sessions

We got there a little late so ended up missing the opening discussion on Social Media & Haiti but fortunately I was able to make it to School Board Social Media with T.J Goertz and Stuart Oakley from the TDSB; Being a Community Manager with Mary Pretotto from Rogers (obviously); and finally I’m not here to make friends! with Jaime Woo.

School Board Social Media:

I want to say any time I see anything to do with the government taking part in social media they automatically get kudos from me. It’s important that the TDSB is getting out there and providing that outlet where there was was none before.¬† The most active forum I found the TDSB takes part in is their blog; here is where they answer questions/concerns the most. The Facebook/Twitter presence is great, but my biggest criticism (and I noticed a couple in the twitter stream felt the same way) is the lack of conversation; this isn’t a big knock – it comes with time. Starting small (actually being there) is the important step. As long as questions are being answered on the Facebook and Twitter pages I see no fault in what they’re doing. Eventually though it’s important to build and promote that conversation (questions, contests, etc.) and not just answer concerns in a reactive way.

Being a community manager:

My co-worker Mary Pretotto is the Community Manager on the Social Media team here at Rogers. You likely know her as @RogersMary and she’s out there engaging with Rogers customers on Twitter, Forums, Blogs and wherever else she needs to be. The gist of her presentation dealt with building that relationship with customers online and turning it into a positive one (if negative before). She broke down how the team is separated into proactive (ie. RedBoard blog posts) and reactive outreach (ie. Twitter, forums), but engagement online is done by different members of the team, depending on the issue. Come question time it was interesting (and a bit surprising) to see the majority were professionals looking to incorporate or grow social media at their organizations. They were looking out to Rogers for guidance and best practices. It went well and I can’t wait to see her present again! (As you may know I currently work at Rogers, but I’m not a spokesperson – this is just “In Sean’s Opinion” – heh.)

I’m not here to make friends:

Jaime Woo‘s presentation compared how people use Twitter to various reality show scenarios. The title was a bit misleading, as someone brought up during question time, because the entire presentation was about how to engage and make friends on Twitter. Once over that hump, the analogies began making a little more sense. It essentially boiled down to: be real on Twitter, being fake leads to high school (or reality show) drama, and share as much as you want, but within reason.

In the end

It was a fun time heading back to Centennial for the first time since graduation. The CC&PR class put on a great event and it went off without a hitch. I can’t wait til next year!

Going to PodCamp Toronto? Here’s where you’ll find me…

This weekend I’ll be heading down to Ryerson University to PodCamp Toronto (#PCTO2010), the go-to social media unconference in the city. There are so many sessions to choose from but I’ve narrowed it down and here’s where I plan to be:


10:30-11:45 – A live recording of Inside PR. (Hosted of course by: Terry Fallis, David Jones and Martin Waxman.)

1:15-1:45 – The Inside Scoop on Social Media Analytics (Hosted by Aubrey Podolsky.)

2:00-2:30 – The Social Web, Crisis Response & Reputation Rejuvenation in the Automotive Industry (Hosted by Christopher Barger.)

2:45-3:15 – Defaulting Privacy: Personal information and the social web (Hosted by Brad Buset.)

4:15-4:45 – When Social Media Becom Unsociable (Hosted by David Bradfield and Miranda McCurlie.)

Sunday (Should I make it out as planned)

10:45-11:15am – Community Management and the future of communications at companies big and small (Hosted by Erin Bury.)

11:30-12:00pm – Hack Your Workflow for Productivity and Creativity (Hosted by Leona Hobbs.)

Are you making it out to PodCamp this weekend, and if so what sessions do you plan on dropping in on?

%d bloggers like this: