Tag Archive | SMRTCCE

A Social Media Case Study – #BSOMF

The following social media case study is a group assignment for the course: Social Media Research and Techniques at McMaster University.  Objective of this assignment is to create a social media planning case study based on a company profile that a member of each group worked on for the last assignment.  Our group chose the Burlington Sound of Music Festival profile by Brent Posthuma – #BSOMF 

Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2013– A Social Media Project

Festival Overview

Going strong for over 33 years, the Burlington Sound of Music festival is an annual free music festival held every Father’s Day weekend in June.  It takes place around the waterfront and downtown Burlington featuring with over 90 musical artists entertaining the crowd across 10 stages.

Every year the event draws over 200,000 visitors to the city, providing substantial financial assistance to the local businesses, promotion for the city of Burlington and donations that support local charities.

In 2012 the Burlington Sound of Music Festival made the list of the top 100 Festivals in Ontario for a 12th consecutive year.  This festival is known as being a great family event with something for everyone.

The festival not only provides a diverse offering of both local and international musicians but also features local artists, culinary experiences, a midway, shopping, and all the benefits already within Spencer Smith Park.

In February of 1997 the festival officially became a not for profit organization called ‘Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival Inc.’  and powered the volunteer efforts provided by over 700 volunteers, 100 of which provide their services year round on their board and committees.  The festival also operates year-round promoting and improving access to the arts to children ages 4 – 12 through the ‘TakingittotheStreets’ free music education program.

Supporting Documents

  • Strategy document – a detailed social media strategy for the Burlington Sound of Music Festival
  • Sample Video for outlined Tactic – “Sound of Music Festival Memories” – Video contest
  • Powerpoint (below) – A high level overview presentation for the social media strategy for BSOMF

Contributors

Disclosure

The information in this blog and all related documents is based on public information found online (references available at the end of this document) and from personal experiences by one of the authors. Business goals and other assumptions were made up based on a possible scenario to support this class project and in no way reflect the views or actual business plans of the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, their volunteers or anyone else related to the Festival (including their sponsors).

References

  1. Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Media Kit
  2. Fun Ontario Newsletter 2012
  3. Burlington Sound of Music – Website

Social Media Lessons Learned – #SMRTCCE

The Social Media Research & Techniques (#SMRTCCE) course at McMaster University is coming to a close.  One of the most valued lessons I have learned from this course is that peer sharing is very important. This offers professional development as individual communicators, but also to support the development of best practices within our industry.

Three points brought up during this course were important reminders to me:

Research is the cornerstone of all Social Media Strategies

Research offers the benchmark for the entire plan.  Without research you can’t answer the important questions of: who, what, why, when and where.  Like any race, if you don’t know where the starting line is, you won’t be able to know if you won (among other things).  ‘Gut instinct’ is fine to use for part of your research, but spend the time and money to get some hard metrics – your success depends on it.

Best evaluation of Social Media efforts requires human intervention

Software tools are plentiful, but many are still in the beta / development stage.  Yes, they can get the hard metrics for you.  However, when it comes to measuring sentiment, the human experience is indispensable.

“Please” trumps “I am sorry” every time

Ask permission before posting anything – quotes, photos, etc.  Do not assume that since you personally think it is okay (because YOU would be okay with it), that this is true for everyone else.  Not only will this help protect you (the professional) against possible liability, but will also demonstrate good character to those around you.  A good reputation is incredibly valuable and takes a long time to acquire, so take care of it.  Even though “I am sorry” goes a long way when a mistake is made (none of us are perfect), remembering to say “please” is the better way.

Social Media (as a business communication tool) has grown up, and now has acquired enough history behind it to be able to evaluate, learn, and re-direct as needed.  The readily available information shared by experts in this field (in the areas of research, planning, execution, and evaluation) will make it easier for those just starting to introduce Social Media into their business practices.  For those who want to take Social Media to the next stage, and start using Social Media as part of their strategic planning, this information will be even more helpful.  But there is a lot of so-called ‘expert’ advice out there.  Look for those thought leaders that have experience using Social Media as a tool to support business objectives, that will offer metrics to support a good ROI (Return on Investment) for social media , and that have experience in various aspects of business (not just within marketing or public relations).

My professional road map…

  1. Continue to work with small businesses in the area of strategic communications to support their business objectives.
  2. Take the next course in the Public Relations Diploma program at McMaster University this Fall (learning never ends!)
  3. Spend more time networking with other communicators to support best practice development within our industry.

KLOUT – Topic of Discussion

KLOUT – Good or Bad – is the topic that was discussed in our Social Media class last night at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) #SMRTCCE.

What is KLOUT?

KLOUT is a tool to measure someone’s online influence.  “We measure your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks. We process this data on a daily basis to give you an updated Klout Score each morning.”  – says KLOUT   “Retweets, Likes, comments and other interactions on the social web are all signals of influence. However, just looking at the count of these actions does not tell the whole story of a person’s influence. It’s important to look at how much content a person creates compared to the amount of engagement they generate.”

Is it an effective Tool?

  • There are flaws in it’s calculations (i.e. showed one person having influence about cats and yet never mentioned cats online).
  • The system can be ‘gamed’ which means that the scores for these individuals will be higher than they should be.
  • It is pulling data from a limited number of social media platforms excluding valuable data about someone’s influence on the excluded sites.

With these factors alone, KLOUT cannot be used as exact numbers to define someone’s online influence.  However,  it has some relevance.  I personally use it as a secondary reference check against my other engagement measurement tools.  I also use KLOUT in my arsenal of marketing research tools to see who is talking about what, but it is still a very secondary source.

Today my KLOUT score is 46, tomorrow it will be something different…maybe.  One absolute in all of this, is that I won’t lose any sleep over my KLOUT score.

References:

Image above is borrowed from Salon – Blog  Klout is bad for your Soul – by Bonnie Stewart

Emergency Management and Communications

Who are our emergency managers?

Emergency management (EM) professionals’ role is to protect people, property, critical infrastructure and the environment during emergencies and disasters.  They are often involved in educating  the public on how to be prepared for such events. When a disaster occurs, they are the ones that are organizing the efforts to get help to those in need.  You will find emergency managers in any organization that are First-Responders during a disaster or emergency – i.e. Fire, Police, Paramedics, Hospitals, Municipalities, etc.

In Ontario, it is law that each municipality is required to have an Emergency Management Program Coordinator. [1] [2] Emergency management is sometimes a role within a role.  For example, a fire chief may take on the job of an emergency manager [3].  A sample task within this role could be overseeing the implementation of a more effective communication program between various First-Responders (i.e. police, fire, mayor’s office, etc) to use during an emergency.

How do they communicate?

Working with FutureShield for a couple of years, I have had the privilege of meeting some exceptional EM pros from across our country.  One aspect of FutureShield’s  business is to help their customers find the right software technology to support better communications within their organizations.  These men and women in charge of sourcing out such solutions are some of the most innovative, visionary and tech-savvy among their peers.  They understand the advantages of using technology to assist their efforts to support the welfare of our communities.  Examples –  Windsor Exercise , U Windsor wins the MTIA award , BC Hydro’s security during the  Olympics

Do these same people embrace social media as part of their overall communication plan?  How is social media affecting their roles?  How does it fit within their overall communication strategy?

Related Blogs:

References:

[1]  Ontario Regulation 380/04

[2] Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

[3] Emergency Management Coordinator as an additional position – North Bay, Meaford, New Tecumseth

People, Links, Related Articles:

Patrice Cloutier  – Communications Strategist for the Ontario Government

Shared Emergency Management links

IAEM – International Association of Emergency Managers

OAEM – Ontario Association of Emergency Managers

Emergency Management Ontario – EMO

www.sm4em.org – online group for Social Media for Emergency Management – including Twitter Hash tag discussions #SMEM