Social media tools for big business

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Case studies and real-life insights, as well as new approaches to internal comms dominated the agenda at the seventh SMiLE London last week, attended by several IABC UK board members

SMiLE is a hugely popular event run by Simply Communicate twice a year to discuss issues, trends and challenges in the implementation and execution of social media in large organisations.

Companies represented at the event this year included Philips, the Football Association, British Gas, EY and Virgin Trains.

Industry speaker highlights

Paddy Power: Rosie Boylan, head of internal communication at the online betting service talked about the direction in which internal comms is heading, saying that companies are moving away from “posters and email”. Rosie’s view is that comms teams should aim for one primary message per month to staff; it’s vital that, rather than just pushing out a message, comms teams focus on defining and measuring the impact of the messaging. Briefing templates can help with this process.

The Football Association: Jamie Crigg of the Football Association outlined the FA’s use of Telligent app to link its 1,800 staff. The FA creates a range of topic and department groups for focused, targeted coms; governance ensures that the number of groups is limited, and that multiple groups that deal with the same matters are not created. To make Telligent work effectively and to manage and archive groups, internal community owners are needed. In addition to the general internal comms material being created and shared via Telligent, senior managers are blogging to provide updates and progress, rather than sending multiple corporate emails.

Philips: Dennis Agusi , head of global internal comms at Philips, mapped out the organisation’s range of tools. The company is using IBM Connections, as well as SocialCast plus SharePoint. Mr Agusi’s view is that these tools support managers to communicate directly with staff, rather than tactically ‘sending’ comms messages out to all. As well as the social and integrated social software, the company is also using Kaltura for centralised video hosting to save time and money with video hosting and sharing. Philips has also ‘reimagined’ its intranet, moving away from a straightforward navigation-based intranet to a task-based, topic-based intranet.

Casilda Malagon, IABC-UK Chapter President, attended the conference and reflected:

“Integration seemed to be the name of the game. Whether we are looking at adopting new tools or platforms, or raising engagement in existing ones, the discussion is now focussing on how we use everything we have in hand for the purpose of our businesses.”

“The way forward will be to start with the needs and desires of our audiences – in this case employees – and map out how social can support them. SMiLE brought the human back into social, again!”

Other IABC attendees at SMiLE included Lesley Crook IABC-UK Chapter board member, and newly appointed consultant at Enterprise Strategies. Lesley ran a table discussion on Working out Loud in a Network. Coincidentally its International Working Out Loud this week, 16-23 November 2015.

Liam Fitzpatrick IABC Certification Council and Partner at Working Strategies also ran a table discussion “What’s On Your Dashboard?”.

For more stories and information from SMiLE London see the event conversations on Storify

The next IABC event will be our IABC Meaningful Measurement workshop on 25 November, 6pm at Anglo American, 20 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AN.

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