This week I headed to sunny Amsterdam to take part in Social Media in a Corporate Context, a conference organised by Communicate magazine and held in the awesome ex-newspaper building TrouwAmsterdam (which also has slightly terrifying toilets).
Me looking stern and talking communities with chair Andy Wood (Freestyle Interactive), Andrew Thomas (publisher of Communicate) and Keith Bennett (Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance)
I presented a keynote on effective authenticity and took part in a panel on community management, and there was lots to learn from the other speakers and attendees, who were from brands as diverse as Airbus, Lloyds and Greenpeace.
For me, one of the highlights was the panel discussion ‘Surviving the social media thunderstorm’, which considered the threats and challenges of social media for certain industries. Polly Markandya of Médicins Sans Frontieres was particularly eloquent on the challenge of managing social for a huge global enterprise with a small team, and Donald Steel spoke inspiringly about how the BBC approaches UGC with caution and rigour (I’ve written about the BBC World Service’s excellent approach to social before).
Another gem was Cecilia Scolaro from TNT presenting their social media guidelines. We often talk about the importance of a good policy – we create Social Manifestos for clients from Mars to Cancer Research UK – and we also flag up our favourites, such as Coca-Cola’s three page effort. TNT’s guidelines are a great addition, based on clarity and common sense; and, as Scolaro pointed out, they are based on two important assumptions (which are surprisingly rare):
- Social media are a good thing
- You can trust your staff
Best of all, they’ve been released under creative commons so brands can take them and tweak them for their own needs. Now what could be more social than that?
If you like the sound of SMCC, Communicate are holding their London version of the conference on Thursday 2nd June.