Look into the crystal ball: #CommsChat with Adam Vincenzini, 31 October

This week's chat

It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about next year (especially if you are bidding for budget allocation within marketing departments).

So, why not spend an hour with the #CommsChat community on Monday 31 October 2011 to get a feel for what to look out for in 2012?

This special ‘crystal ball’ session will be hosted by #CommsChat co-founder Adam Vincenzini, and will specifically look at:

– Which platforms will increase in importance in 2012
– The types / formats of content that are ‘on the rise’
– How ‘2nd tier’ influences look set to increase in significance
– And loads more

We’d also like you to bring your predictions along too.

See you at 8pm (UK time: click here for local equivalents) on Monday 31 October. You can take part right here on the #CommsChat website – or just remember to tag your tweets! A transcript will go up on Tuesday morning.


Transcript of #CommsChat on gamification with Michael Wu

This week's chat

On Monday evening #CommsChat was delighted to host Michael Wu, principal scientist, analytics, at Lithium, for a session discussing gamification and how brands are using gaming mechanics to connect with customers.

You can download a full transcript of the chat below, but I’ve pulled out some of the tweets that cuaght my eye during the hour.

@mich8elwu The reason that game mechanics and game dynamics work is because they drive a temporal convergence of 3 factors … Those 3 factors are: motivation, ability, and trigger. If they all happen at the same time, humans tend to take action.

@mynewsdesk_uk Yes so game mechanics are like when LinkedIn shows completion progress bar to encourage you to fill in all parts of your profile.

@mich8elwu In terms of gamification, you don’t really target [your customers], you simply make it simpler for them to participate … from the Behavioral model, by making the gamify action simpler (or perceived simpler), you give the player more ability factor #2

@KyanaHansson interesting and effective much better than checking items off a list!

@mich8elwu b4 [social media] game mechanics only leverage fun for the player/user, w/social, it can leverage social facilitation/competition

@blogbrevity What about shares? And Google Analytics metrics like “time on page” and # pages viewed. Those are things I measure.

>>>>>>>> @mynewsdesk_uk Some journalists/bloggers are being paid (or sacked) based on the ‘game’ metrics of views and comments.

The full transcript from Monday evening is here: 24 October Michael Wu on gamification. Details of next week’s chat coming shortly.



#CommsChat on gamification with Dr Michael Wu, 24 October

This week's chat

On Monday 24 October at 8pm (UK time – see here for your local equivalent) we’re delighted to have Dr Michael Wu, principal scientist, analytics at Lithium, joining us for a chat about gamification.

Lithium enables brands to find and connect with their most passionate social customers, using gaming mechanics to build an engaged community of “superfans”. Lithium built its Community platform on the principles of gaming mechanics, coming from a background of professional gamers. Lithium’s technology incorporates gamification into branded communities. Michael’s blogged extensively on the subject, and you can read some recent here, here, and here.

We’ll be talking about gaming mechanics and gamifying brands from 8pm on Monday. Topics will include:

– How does using gaming mechanics produce brand advocates?

– How can you target the people who are most likely to participate?

– How has social media changed the nature of gamification?

– What concrete results can gaming mechanics produce?

– How can gamification be monetised?

– Doesn’t the idea of providing rewards for “super fans” run the risk putting off other potential customers?

A transcript of the session will be available from Tuesday morning. To take part, tag your tweets with #commschat and follow the chat at http://commschat.com/commschat-now


UPDATED: #CommsChat with Philip Davies

This week's chat

UPDATED: Unfortunately, due to some technical issues with last night’s #CommsChat, we don’t have a transcript for you today. We can only apologise for this, but sometimes these things can’t be helped. #CommsChat will be up and running again next week.

Tonight’s #CommsChat is all about emotional intelligence. Ahead of his speaking slot at Communicate magazine’s Transform conference on Thursday (when he’ll be joined Amanda Clay of Telefónica Europe), Philip Davies of Siegel+Gale will be discussing how emotional intelligence can improve brands. We’ll be starting at 8pm and you can take part right here on the Commschat website.

Topics include:

–          Where does emotional intelligence start for brands?

–          Which brands display high levels of emotional intelligence? And who’s displayed a lack of it recently?

–          Why is emotional intelligence just so important for brands? What difference does it make in the long run?

–          If your brand isn’t built on emotional intelligence from the start, can it be retrofitted into your identity?

–          What’s the relationship between brand advocates and emotional intelligence? How can this be deepened?


Transcript of #CommsChat with Scott Gould

This week's chat

Our midweek #CommsChat with Scott Gould, co-founder of Like Minds, looked at how digital media and business – specifically SMEs – are getting along. The transcript of a busy chat can be found below, but we’ve pulled out a few of our favourite messages:

@scottgould: And here’s the scary thing: we judge people on Twitter by their content, not reality. So now wonder we are all blogging #likeminds #commschat

@AbigailH: Is it something 2 do with the ‘dna’ of personalities attracted to the business? Similar to PR – full of introverted extroverts?

@Britt_W: Economic aspect to this as well: Few jobs around = increased competition = more ‘lies’.

@scottgould: So here is the thing with social media: can we separate business from pleasure?

@RobertPickstone: You don’t need to be an expert to get anything out of social. I’m no expert on the phone but have fruitful calls

@innov8design: What Apple offers in terms of the App store is vast choice. SMEs can’t really take that approach

@benjaminellis: “continuous partial transparency” = social media gives the appearance of openness but does not dissolve privacy

@GemmaWent: If digital practitioners can’t get results for themselves, they have no business doing it for clients

@AbigailH: twitter is only cramped/noisy if you don’t filter, make relevant etc.

@scottgould: When we INVOLVE people, we nail social. Not broadcasting not expecting tons of followers but involve the ones we have.

There’s plenty more insight in the transcript, so make sure to check it out: 12 October Scott Gould


Midweek #CommsChat on digital media and business, with Scott Gould

This week's chat

This Wednesday’s #CommsChat, with LikeMinds co-founder Scott Gould, will focus on the opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses provided by digital and social media.

Midweek #CommsChats take place at 2pm, and last just 40 minutes. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the comms issues of the day. The annual LikeMinds conference, taking place in Exeter next week, is a three day event looking at how digital techniques are changing the face of business.

Topics to be discussed on Wednesday’s #CommsChat include:

–          The pressure digital media exerts on practitioners to be “experts”

–          Is the digital riptide going the way we expect? Isn’t there a divide between the expectation of openness and the success of those who practise a more secure approach?

–          Are the people working for an organisation more valuable than its parts?

–          How can you use digital to help make the case for digital?

#Commschat will take place at 2pm today, right here on the CommsChat site: http://commschat.com/commschat-now. A transcript will be available shortly afterwards.


Transcript of #CommsChat with Andrew Hawkins, Alex Hilton, and Jonathan Sheppard

This week's chat

On last night’s #CommsChat we were joined by Jonathan Sheppard from Insight Public Affairs and founder of Tory Radio, and Alex Hilton, a Labour blogger who stood for Chelsea and Fulham in the 2010 General Election to discuss political reputations following the 2011 party conferences.

The session was moderated by Andrew Hawkins, executive chairman of polling and research consultancy ComRes.

We looked at to what extent the 2011 party conferences were a success for each of the parties, and what defines conference success. And what is their purpose anyway? To address the issues that the public are currently most invested in, to discuss policies? Or are party conferences now little more than glorified public relations exercises?

You can download a full transcript below, but we’ve also pulled out some of the tweets that we thought were interesting:

Andrew_ComRes #CommsChat I think Ed M is the question – Lab is up in

the high 30s despite a leader who scores badly on most imp issue of day


alexhilton #commschat labour conceded ground on economy and gordon

b4 the election. Thats made it hard to recover

alexhilton @Andrew_ComRes #commschat. Gay marriage big win 4

cam on messaging. Straw man 4 him to beat while underlining no longer nasty party

DavidPrescott Fair to say all conferences failed to reach out to the public.

Not one party had a post conference bounce. Public’s tuned out


toryradio #commschat But surely the diff leaders had different objectives?

Cameron as governing party just wanted to get through unscathed.

DavidPrescott @CommsChat @toryradio Three reasons we have

conferences. Rally members. A week if coverage. And make money. Tories

raised £2m #commschat

JohnnyCov #CommsChat all 3 parties so hung up on presentation that

nothing has enough weight to resonate. Media tells us pres is everything….

…and voters believe that.

SandyLindsay RT @edacuk: RT @Andrew_ComRes: #CommsChat would

Yvette Cooper do any better? <- Anyone human would do better…

Robertcgage @CommsChat If they are, they have failed. Don’t feel they have

made much of a connection to the majority of the public. #commschat

>>>> @CommsChat Ok, so our final topic for tonight: Are party conferences

now little more than glorified public relations exercises?

DavidPrescott “@Andrew_ComRes: #CommsChat @alexhilton – your party needs you”

> It certainly does 😉 #Hilton2015

The full transcript is available here: 10 October Andrew Hawkins, Jonathan Sheppard, Alex Hilton


#CommsChat with Andrew Hawkins, Jonathan Sheppard and Alex Hilton

This week's chat

At 8pm on Monday 10 October, #CommsChat will be taking on political reputations in the wake of the 2011 party conferences. As the conferences are replaced in the news cycle by new political stories, our guests will be looking at the reputational fallout for the Conservative and Labour parties, and what the conferences now mean in the UK political system.

Andrew Hawkins, executive chairman of polling and research consultancy ComRes, will guest-moderate the session, and we will be joined by Jonathan Sheppard from Insight Public Affairs and founder of Tory Radio, as well as Alex Hilton, a Labour blogger who stood for Chelsea and Fulham in the 2010 General Election.

Topics up for debate tonight include:

– Are the reputations of the Conservative and Labour parties better or worse off than they were pre-conference season?
– Did the parties succeed in addressing the issues that the public are currently most invested in?
– In a (cat)flap: were the 2011 conferences more notable for Coalition squabbles than for actual policies?
– Are party conferences now little more than glorified public relations exercises?

#CommsChat will take place from 8-9pm BST on 10 October. You can join in right here on the CommsChat website: http://commschat.com/commschat-now. A transcript of the session will be posted on Tuesday morning.


Transcript of #CommsChat with Samaritans & Vodafone UK

This week's chat

On Monday’s #CommsChat we were joined by Nicola Peckett, head of communications at Samaritans, and Jakub Hrabovsky, head of web relations at Vodafone UK, for a session looking at creative brand communications on Facebook.

Samaritans has set up a partnership with Facebook, so that users who are worried about a friend online can report their concerns to Facebook, utilising its unique position in the charity landscape to get positive results for the people who need its help. For Vodafone, Facebook is a site for multiple campaigns, including its World of Difference UK programme.

A full transcript can be downloaded below, but we’ve also pulled out a few tweets from the course of the hour:

@Sams_Nicola: I think new media is so new that we just don’t know all the pitfalls yet – at Samaritans we deal with the worst end result

@JakubH: @greenwellys HI, depends on the campaign but we’d usually measure engagement and sentiment for light engagement campaigns

>>>>>>> @greenwellys: If tactical stuff is working well, what are the key ROI metrics that Vodafone uses in Facebook to ensure that?

@PaulCTayla: Brands are scratching the surface if only Fbook & Twitter. Need to stay ahead, @percolate is an exciting new player

@spirals: behaviour change as an ROI from comms is a huge challenge whatever your theme

@DipikaKulkarni: V true @spirals & often when supporters take up a cause they will become very vocal and passionate about it.

You can read the transcript at: 3 October Vodafone UK and Samaritans. Details of next week’s #CommsChat will be up soon.


Social media in the workplace and employee communication

This week's chat

By Doug Shaw

com•mu•ni•cate: Verb/kəˈmyo͞oniˌkāt/
To share or exchange information, news, or ideas.

Social tools are everywhere. Some companies try to restrict access to these tools for fear of what their employees may say, about the company, about each other and about the customer. Why do companies persist in employing people they clearly don’t trust? I wish I knew the answer. And as fast as the company blocks access to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more, employees arm themselves with smart phones and tablets and step outside the restricted zone. Control is increasingly becoming an illusion.

I will be engaged in an active panel discussion about social tools and employee communications at the Social Workplace Conference in London, on 1st November 2011, with other communications professionals.

Far too often the role of employee communication is in fact a broadcast role, not a communicating one. The company predominantly wishes to get its message across and is not particularly interested in hearing back the other way. In a recent conversation about employee communication, the CEO of a global company professed to me a complete ignorance of the world of blogging despite the company having an active blogging platform which staff used to share issues and ideas. Instead he preferred a printed newspaper sent to all staff once every two months. That’s not communicating, that’s telling.

In order to be authentic nowadays employee communication should be available via social tools in order to create dialogue more simply and effectively. Or just recast it as employee broadcast and be honest with your people. We just want to tell you stuff; your opinion is of no interest to us. And please, don’t tell me there’s a staff survey for that – from my experience staff surveys are one of the biggest wastes of company time and money. Staff plough through endless questions for people to turn vast swathes of ticked boxes into coloured charts and reports which then serve as wonderful desk drawer linings.

I believe using social tools as a means of communication creates fantastic opportunities to engage with each other, with customers, with any group you care to think of. And of course as fallible humans, we will make mistakes along the way. When a company drops the ball it is simultaneously creating an opportunity to recover and delight a disappointed customer.

I recently experienced difficulty with a company who made some system changes and lost my mailing preferences. This resulted in unwanted emails and phone calls from them to me. We tried to resolve the dialogue together and it wasn’t working. One blog post and a few tweets later the company founder is in contact making an honest apology for the errors. The company picked up the vibes on social media, and communicated. The resulting feedback on the blog and on Twitter was excellent, and the company gained new customers as a result. We all make mistakes; it’s how we recover from them that counts.

Social tools are here to stay. The smart workplaces will embrace them and define new employee and customer experiences, and if I was the printed newspaper favouring CEO, I’d be worried.

Doug Shaw is founder of What Goes Around Limited. Engage with him on twitter.