Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category


Happy Monday

July 28, 2008

Morning all,

I am curious whether you have had a chance to digest all of the information from the conference? What opinions have you been able to form about social media and do you see it playing a part in your organization?

I look forward to hearing from you.



Hartford Police Department’s Social Media Experience

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Nancy Mulroy – Hartford Police Department’s Public Information Officer

Topic: From the past to the present: How to gain social media success

Nancy is a former attendee of the social media conference and in a very short amount of time after attending she has been able to bring social media to the Harford Police Department. She emphasized the “one step at a time” approach. At first the Dept. brought RSS feeds to the websites and she sold the local press and media on their use vs. conventional listserv technology. It took approximately a week to develop the RSS feed with a few hours from an internal developer.

As the possible benefits of social media became apparent, police chief Daryl Roberts started a blog to gain trust with the community, work with people and address the need for help solving certain crimes in the area.

Nancy recommended using a three E approach when changing your organization:

  • Explore
  • Engage
  • Enlighten

Nancy’s involvement came in part with the Web Governance Committee and gaining buy in. By taking a lead in web governance Nancy was able to apply her new knowledge and guide discussions on development.

Key Points:

  • Use multi-purpose content
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – add social media (e.g., comment features) to existing sites
  • Maintain Service Relationships and safety


Chief Roberts’ Blog

Harford Police Website


NIH: Using audio & video to your advantage

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Joe Balintfy – National Institutes of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Topic: How to use audio and video to transform your internal and external communications and reap the benefits – with minimal costs

In order to reach a larger audience, Joe has had extensive experience working with Audio Reports, Podcasts and Vodcasts. Joe shared his experience and stated his affinity for higher production quality, scripted content. He has invested in a production quality camera and recording equipment. The reasoning stems from a desire for any individual or organization to look at his content and possibly rebroadcast his information, extending his marketing reach.

YouTube Channel:


Time invested costs much more than equipment. Joe offered some time estimates for professional quality productions based on his experience.

Audio report – One to Two days
Podcast – Additional One to Two days
Vodcast – Approximately 1 – 2 Weeks depending on length


Cross promote across all of your social media outlets. Simple actions increase traffic to other websites.

Use tools that make your life easier, for example:

Eureka Alert (A system to make sure journalists covering science get distribution)
Audio tools such as: Adobe Audition, ITunes distribution

Video: Final Cut Pro (MAC based)

Additional Resources:


DoD Social Media & Outreach Efforts

July 18, 2008

Speakers: Charles Holt & Jamie – US Department of Defense

Topic: How to integrate social media (blogging, podcasting & other new media) with traditional channels to maximize your communication efforts and results


The DoD is becoming more attuned to digital natives; those aged 18-25. Along with being raised in generation “me” the DoD recognized many of their incoming recruits were intermediate to advanced users in social media. The traditional military hierarchy had to adjust. Paraphrasing the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates stated in the featured video clip, “It is a sad state of affairs when Al Qaeda is better at communications than the US.”

Charles and many of his colleagues have started creating a culture within the DoD where social media is not only accepted, it is embraced like traditional media. Of course the DoD is similar to many other organizations. They tried many social media applications and test them for their functionality before committing resources to their upkeep.

Their outreach efforts were very similar to DHS by conducting blogger roundtables. In addition the DoD has their own blog as well as their own online video channel where they post as many military videos as possible.

DoD Link Blog:


As a result of the social media presence, the DoD is maintaining a presence in the blogosphere even when they are not on the national news. As items become more popular they are getting new requests for information that may have been disseminated days and months ago. For video they use feedroom.

A key lesson learned is to always upload linkable source information. By doing this, members of on-line communities can argue over the facts and not opinions that very well could be based on inaccurate information.

Key Thing to Remember:

The DoD has experimented with many social media applications and found what works best for their organization. Perhaps your organization should take on a similar mentality.


Don Burke & Intellipedia

July 18, 2008

Speaker: Don Burke – CIA: Directorate of Science and Technology

Topic: Implementing Social Software in a Need-To-Know Culture


I personally enjoyed learning about history from this CIA social media expert. Rightly so, many organizations build up scar tissue from rough experiences as they mature. New policies and safeguards are often put in place and they hinder collaboration across an organization. Social media offers a new opportunity to overcome scar tissue. Collaboration behind the firewall is possible for complex and adaptive organizations.

Don’s personal experience with social media stems from the implementation of Intellipedia. The site enables any user to contribute with all users able to see changes. In many ways it is an aggregator service for the organization. In addition users are asked to use attributable points of view instead of neutral points of view.

Intellipedia adheres to three core principles

  1. Work at broadest audience possible
  2. Think topically, not organizationally
  3. Replace existing business processes

Key Point

When implementing social media make sure you do it for yourself. By taking the time to make yourself more efficient you will better yourself and collaboration will be a by-product.


YouTube: Did you know 2.0

Simple sabotage field manual written in 1944 (Yes, I found the real manual for you to reference)


DHS: Recognizing bloggers as equal members of the media

July 17, 2008

Speaker: John Verrico

Topic: How to open your media relations doors to bloggers and broaden your reach to your target audience in the process.


John’s experiences with bloggers have been positive and they continue to trend in this direction. As a representative for the Department of Homeland Security he understands the importance of having accurate information available to the public. As more individuals include blogs into their daily lives as news sources, David stressed the importance of working with bloggers to establish relationships. Bloggers are news sources; each blogger is capable of reporting good and bad news to their subscribers and often help readers form their opinions.

In order to combat bloggers commenting or publishing false information, DHS works with bloggers via regular meetings or “blogger round tables” as they are often named. By bringing bloggers together, DHS has been able to decrease the spread of false or inaccurate stories. John’s advice included treating each of the bloggers as though they were conducting a media briefing event. As a result DHS is not only able to have their official voice in the public realm, but often bloggers carry stronger voices among Internet users because they carry a trusting citizen’s voice out in the public.

David helped steer DHS towards not implementing any in-house blogging capabilities. A proactive campaign to get existing bloggers to write about DHS activities was a much more rewarding exercise. Interestingly enough, John’s experience found many bloggers carried extensive experience and were often experts in a particular subject. Traditional news reporters on the other hand can sometimes be seen as having a large reach but few areas of deeper knowledge.

Remember the exercise…

Remember trying to open the hand of the person next to you when they had it closed. Many of us took an adversarial approach when a simple question may have sufficed. In short, don’t be adversarial with bloggers, find them and develop a relationship with them. In high stress situations where false or misleading information may exist or leak out about your organization, bloggers need to have the ability to call a person in charge to fact check.

When working with bloggers, John had many considerations based on his experience for you to remember. These considerations include:

  • Bloggers are not always available like representatives from the media
  • Blogs are immediate
  • No chance to respond before story goes viral
  • Difficult to track information spread
  • Treat bloggers like traditional media (e.g., invite them to press events)
  • Hold blogger roundtables
  • Bloggers are an excellent communication tool that will expand your media reach

American Cancer Society’s Social Media Experience

July 17, 2008

Speaker: David J. Neff – CIW, American Cancer Society

Topic: How to Spread Your Message And Harness The Power Of Social Media While Being Cost-Effective

David had many insights into social media since his organization had grown its online presence. To begin David offered practical advice such as, people tend not to watch video over 10 minutes long. This is a useful piece of information for future vodcasters.

When asked about time savers and tools David mentioned is a resource to consider. Of course he is just speaking about his experiences and not endorsing anything. is a resource that came to mind when the discussion turned to captioning.

David first addressed social media by looking at what it means to the general population. His goal is to get the greatest audience penetration and participation in cancer related events. In David’s opinion, social media allows the populations to take on a group think mentality around your message; people will talk about your message in good and bad ways. Whether the messages are good or bad, David mentions that any organization will experience these things and you have to deal with it, and encourage it.

When discussing how messages were previously disseminated to the general population David introduced his thoughts on the old model:

Long Leads
National Business Press
Local business press
National consumer/broadcast media

As social media has been introduced, a new media model has emerged:

Core communities
Trend spotters
First “credible” source
National media

This part was important…

David stressed that success was a result of having an interesting and unique message to help you stand out. Compelling content and digital story-telling is critical to disseminating your message. For instance recall his experience with and how one woman’s fight with cancer helped raise awareness and significant donations. FYI – The digital story David played online is located here

As another FYI, David’s experience with social media resources include:
Global Neighbourhoods
DivamarketingBlog – interviews with favorite bloggers
PEW marketing research – report on-line about digital

Tracking – Google Analytics,,,, Google blog alerts, Facebook search,