Toronto communication executives talk social media with Shel Israel

Shel Israel wrapped up his Canadian social media tour with a breakfast session with Toronto communication executives.

‘You gain credibility for your organization by being honest about your company even when it has made a mistake.”

“Dell computer has demonstrated that a company can learn. That a company which is under attack can enter into conversation with its critics. And if it listens and is willing to respond to the feedback it receives, it will find that those people who care, those people with passion, will become engaged with the company. And the company can develop a stronger bond with those who are most passionate.”

“The power of the blogosphere is that we’re all influential.”

 How about the lawyers? “Lawyers are paid to assess risk and warn clients that this could happen. A blogger could say something to embarrass the company, reveal IP, reveal trade secrets. Yes, this might happen. But to date, with over 55 million blogs existing, there has been no lawsuit relating to leakage of IP. There has been no groundswell of consumers in arms because of something they learned about a company on an employee blog. This may happen. But it hasn’t happened yet. So, the response to the lawyers is found in a realistic assessment of the real risk.”

How does a company get above the noise level? “Write something relevant to me. You don’t need to reach everyone. You need to reach the people who care about you. So write something useful and of interest to them.”

“And understand that blogging requires patience. You must  listen over time. Understand the community. Then you must develop your own voice by posting, listening to feedback, learning and adjusting. But if you are prepared to do this over time, you will succeed.”

“One of the great benefits to a company when it allows employees to blog is that it is sending a signal that ‘We trust you.'”