Exciting news for social media types in Canada: Dell’s Lionel Menchaca is making a swing through Ontario. On May 28, he will be the featured speaker at this month’s Third Monday social media meetup in Ottawa. The following day, he will be attending Third Tuesday in Toronto and then participating in a panel at the mesh conference.
Lionel Menchaca has been at the heart of Dell’s social media program. A 14-year Dell veteran, Lionel is the main blogger behind Direct2Dell. Beyond the blog, he works to coordinate Dell’s digital media activities. He says that, “These initiatives all have one thing in common: to provide Dell’s customers a way to interact or communicate feedback to the company.”
In my view, Dell stands out as a company that has learned how to engage with its community through social media. Last year, the company was delivered a double whammy of online videos showing Dell notebook computers going up in flames followed by Jeff Jarvis‘ now famous proclamation that he was in Dell Hell.
The company took its lumps. But it also learned from its experiences.
Since that time, Dell has launched a series of social media initiatives, including its Direct2Dell blog and Dell Ideastorm. It has demonstrated how a company’s relationship with its community can go from antagonistic to positive by using social media to personalize itself, to share its thinking and to solicit feedback. And most recently, through its embrace of community feedback regarding Linux on Dell computers, it has demonstrated that it can win back fans.
Third Monday-ers will have a chance to hear Lionel talk about how Dell has embraced social media and engaged its community.
And there’s a Canadian connection in Dell’s social media program. Richard Binhammer, who once worked on Parliament Hill during the Mulroney years and subsequently joined Dell’s PR agency and then Dell itself, has been a key member of the Dell blogger outreach program. Richard will be joining Lionel on his Canadian swing. We’ll be counting on Richard to add his first hand perspective on blogger relations.
If you’re interested in a great evening of intelligent discussion with others who are testing the potential of social media, register to attend this session at the Third Monday meetup site.