Michelle Sullivan Communications

Un « Community manager » … ça mange quoi en hiver?

Vous ne savez toujours pas tout à fait ce qu’est un gestionnaire/animateur de communauté ou community manager?  Je vous invite à écouter l’entrevue suivante avec Nellie Brière, community manager chez ARTV. Un excellent résumé.

Je vous invite à vous abonner à la chaine d’Emmanuel Chila sur YouTube pour voir la 2e partie de cette entrevue ce vendredi.

Bon visionnement!

MAJ: La suite, maintenant disponible.

Cooks Source’s annus horribilis: a Marley-esque warning for CEOs and Community Managers

Last month, I walked you through the firestorm surrounding Cooks Source. The editor of this food magazine had unleashed the wrath of bloggers (and those who love them) first for copyright infringement, then by mishandling the blogger she had wronged.

Time for an update.

The protest launched by the online community in support of blogger Monica Gaudio and critical of Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs not only bombarded the Cooks Source Facebook page with negative comments, making it virtually unusable, it was picked up as a story by traditional media. Cooks Source began to lose advertisers and, consequently, revenue. In an interview with a far-too-sympathetic journalist from the  Daily Hampshire Gazette, Griggs explains the impact the online campaign has had on her publication as well as on her, personally.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a death knell.

Cooks Source magazine closed mid November. Its Thanksgiving edition was, apparently, its last. Toronto Star/Montreal Gazette contributor Craig Silverman sums it up in his Crunks 2010 : The Year in Media Errors and Corrections piece : Error of the year? Cooks Source Magazine!

While Sarah Lacy of Techcrunch is critical of the online campaign in her « Congrats, Self-Righteous Internet Mob. You killed a magazine » blog post, Caitlan Fitzsimmons of the All Facebook blog has another take on Cooks Source’s disappearance, laying blame squarely on the shoulders of editor Griggs.

What does this dramatic saga tell CEOs and Community Managers?

Big Brother is actually Little Brothers .. and they’re watching you. Orwell warned that Big Brother would be watching. I doubt he imagined that Big Brother would in fact end up being made up of millions of Little Brothers with the power to share information and mobilize online to affect change. Corporate conduct, whether it be from a customer relations point of view, or social engagement point of view, can now be amplified — either positively or negatively — through social media. There’s no such thing as  letting a single disgruntled client go anymore because, after all, how much harm can he do? Angry clients might have complained to their immediate circle ten years ago. Today, they’re complaining to their 600 Facebook friends and Twitter followers. CEOs and Community managers must be aware that poor behaviour is of even greater consequence in a social media world.

The Internet isn’t a huge place. It’s a village. And people talk. Before the average person travelled particularly far, the village he lived in was his world. There was no television, radio or Internet to keep people indoors. Villagers would look for ways to connect with one another, whether it be on the church steps after mass or spending evenings dancing to the music of a single violin at a neighbour’s house. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. Online communities aren’t that different from those villages. Divided into niche groups, they form relatively small circles with tools at their disposal to speak to one another and to share information. CEOs and community managers need to tap into their tribes and listen to them. More than that, they need to join the tribe.

It’s wise not to lose sight of the Wisdom of crowds. James Surowiecki coined the phrase, and it is applicable to the Cooks Source scenario. The crowd not only rallied against Cooks Source’s editor Judith  Griggs, it mobilized to fact check, research, dig up other copyright infringements attributed to Cooks Source and publish a list of its advertisers. The crowd pulled its resources together to make the protest movement a reality. Had Griggs apologized sincerely and humbly, she might have quieted the opposition. Her unfortunate attitude, however, only served to fuel the fire. CEOs and community managers should not underestimate the wisdom of crowds, their ability to self-mediate and, especially, their potential for intelligent mobilisation.

You have to react to a building crisis and react quickly. Cooks Source proves that a situation can turn into a crisis within a matter of hours. CEOs and Community managers need to stay on top of their online reputation by ongoing monitoring. Setting up something as easy as a Google Alerts is a quick way to monitor your brand. More sophisticated tools like Sysomos’ Heartbeat and Radian6 comb social media platforms for you and pull together conversations into buzzgraphs and share of voice. Whichever you choose, know that the key to nipping an impending crisis in the bud is staying ahead of it. Address complaints head on, apologize when appropriate and, if Judith Griggs has taught you anything, always communicate with respect and humility. Arrogance does not go over well, and you’ll end up looking like an ass.

Know your tribe. Really know them. If you don’t already engage with the online community that is interested in your industry or market, you’re missing an opportunity to build goodwill before a crisis can happen. Become a respected member of the community and people will not only give you the benefit of the doubt, they’ll come to your defence. Nothing should please a CEO or Community Manager more than to see that the community has his back.

Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs will certainly consider 2010 as her annus horribilis. The damage she created for her brand not only through her initial mistake but through her mishandling of the online community cause her brand irreparable damage. This all sounds very ominous, but it shouldn’t. The good news for CEOs and Community Manager paying attention to the Cooks Source soap opera? They’ll take it as yet another sign that companies and brands appreciated by consumers, who treat them right, and who engage in dialogue with them, will come out as winners in the social media space. Cultivating and working hard to deserve and maintain a good reputation has never been more important as in the age of social media.

Because I’d never heard of Cooks Source two months ago. Had you? Now it has its own wikipedia page. And not for the right reasons.

Did you know: Griggs is now a verb. As in « Why’d you get an F on that essay? » « I griggs’d the professor’s doctoral thesis from her website, and I even cleaned it up for her and told her she should give me an A, but she failed me anyway. »

Let Judith Griggs be your Jacob Marley. Repent, Scrooge. Repent!

McGill certificate course in social media and digital communication … taught by MOI!

Business owners, managers and communications professionals looking to boost their team’s social media skills will be interested to learn that McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies is offering a new certificate program called Digital content and community management. And guessed who helped design it? (hint: MOI!). And guess who will be launching it on September 18th? (hint: see hint #1). I’m thrilled to be teaching the program’s kickoff course, Current Trends in Digital Communication. It’ll feature dynamic industry speakers and great discussions that’ll be of interest to social media beginners and seasoned professionals alike.

I have some fantastic speakers like CT Moore, Adele McAlear and Ligia Pena lined up to talk about everything from digital marketing and SEO, to community management, to social media for non-profits … with a few surprises up my sleeve …

Having followed the evolution of a similar course offered by friends like Martin Waxman, Eden Spodek and Donna Papacosta at UofT, I’m expecting a mix of communications professionals with limited social media experience, with more than a few experienced community managers thrown in (because sometimes a little piece of paper called an attestation or a certificate helps with HR and pay raises). Because of this, I’ve designed a course that will be of interest to communications professionals at any level. And since this is a continuing ed. course, we’ll be able to pull from real-world experiences. Should make for a fantastic laboratory! I’m looking forward to the conversations we’ll have.

The class provides an overview of current uses of internet-based media (websites, blogs, social networks) in public relations, direct marketing, internal communications, fundraising, consumer relations and reputation management. Participants will leave the course with a firm grasp of best practices, and will be able to implement social media tactics based on strategic considerations.

Registration for this 10-class, 6-week course is now open.
Information: 514-398-5454

McGill Digital content and community mgmt flyer

Welcome home Commander Hadfield: Canada’s social media astonaut comes back to Earth

Canadian Chris Hadfield, who commanded the International space station for nearly five months, has made his mark in the social media space — no pun intended — as the first astronaut to fully leverage the power of social networks as a way to share his passion for science and space travel with the world. The Canadian Space Agency has literally never had an ambassador with as great a reach. Astronauts like Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, Julie Payette and Steve MacLean, though household names, had to rely on traditional media outlets to get their messages across. With the help of a team that includes his 28-year old son Evan, back on Earth, Chris Hadfield is able to communicate directly with Canadians and space enthusiasts around the world.

There are important lessons to be learned from Commander Hadfield — and I’m not just talking musically. Whether you’re the community manager for a startup, small business or huge business, take note:

1. Be creative: Hadfield’s science experiments and renditions of famous songs meant he was able to stand out from the crowd. Granted, he has the advantage of being able to show us what happens to water in zero-gravity, but you have a similar advantage as a niche expert. You just need to identify the opportunity and present it in a way that will capture the attention and imagination of your own target audience.

How does this apply back here on Earth?

Owens-Illinois is one of my favourite examples of how a B2B brand has managed to leverage social media in a creative way in order to position itself as an industry leader. Its Glass Is Life campaign captures the beauty of glass across a variety of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest). Proof that B2B social media marketing doesn’t need to be boring.

This is the first in a series of 7 ways social media types can draw inspiration from Chris Hadfield’s social media experiment. Seven — a lucky number for Commander Hadfield, wishing him a safe return to Earth. I suspect his feet won’t touch the ground for quite awhile after his spacecrafts lands!

Note: this post was written prior to … but for technical reasons published after … Commander Hadfield’s safe landing.

Le Gestionnaire de communauté : un visuel

Pour ceux qui sont plutôt visuels, j’ai le bonheur de vous présenter un bon aperçu des qualités requises pour devenir un gestionnaire de communauté hors pair. A ceci j’ajouterais qu’un bon gestionnaire de communauté doit être doué d’un certain instinct protecteur, toujours conscient de bien gérer la réputation de la marque qu’il représente. C’est la raison pour laquelle vous êtes toujours mieux d’embaucher un gestionnaire de communauté qui connaît et respecte (pour ne pas dire admire) déjà votre entreprise et votre marque. Il deviendra votre meilleur ambassadeur sur le web. Avez vous songé embaucher quelqu’un à l’interne? Vous avez peut-être déjà parmi vos employés la perle rare, qui, avec l’aide d’un spécialiste en médias sociaux, peut rapidement devenir le représentant idéal de votre marque sur la toile.

source: getsatisfaction.com