RichardAtDell is at Third Tuesday

Richard BinhammerRichard Binhammer, RichardatDell, will be speaking at the Third Tuesday Ottawa and Third Tuesday Toronto social media gatherings on December 3 and 4.

Hear from one of Dell’s key social media architects

Dell is a prime case study of a company that took its lumps through social media. In the summer of 2006, the company was hit by two social media crises: Jeff Jarvis’ Dell Hell meme over his unhappiness with the company’s support service followed by exploding batteries on YouTube

Dell also is a prime example of a company that adopted social media as part of the response to its problems. The company launched Direct to Dell, a blog where real employees talk about Dell’s products and services and answer questions and issues raised by people in comments or in posts on their own blogs. It has buttressed that with a program of blogger relations, reaching out to bloggers to get to know them and become part of their community. It also has launched Dell IdeaStorm, a site that allows consumers to make suggestions to Dell and then enables the community to vote for or against these suggestions.

Richard Binhammer has been at the centre of Dell’s social media efforts from the outset. A key member of the Dell blogger outreach program, his comments, signed as RichardAtDell, appear across a broad range of blogs dealing with computing and social media. Recently, he stepped out front, launching his own blog, where he writes about corporate communications and social media relations.

Richard will be on hand at both Third Tuesday Ottawa and Third Tuesday Toronto to share the personal perspective he gained as one of the key players behind Dell’s drive to learn about and adopt social media best practices.

A Personal Connection

I’m especially looking forward to these event because I have a personal connection to Richard. I’m one of the bloggers that RichardAtDell reached out to as part of Dell’s blogger relations program.

Richard first made contact with me when I posted about a presentation that Robert Scoble made at a conference in September 2006. Within a couple hours of my post, I received a comment from RichardAtDell. That was the first of many comments, posts, shared links and emails that Richard exchanged with me about social media.

Third TuesdayLast winter, I invited Richard and his colleague, Lionel Menchaca, the principal force behind Direct to Dell, to visit Canada to speak to Third Tuesday. Lionel made it to Toronto for Third Tuesday and the Mesh Conference. However, the first game of the Senators first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance was scheduled for the same night as his planned Ottawa appearance. Anyone who knows Canada knows that you don’t compete with Stanley Cup fever in a hockey town. So, we had to cancel the Ottawa session.

However, when we cancelled the Third Tuesday Ottawa event, Richard was generous enough to indicate that he’d still make the trip at another date. Next week, he’s making good on this promise – appearing not only at Third Tuesday Ottawa, but also Third Tuesday Toronto and the Canadian Institute’s Conference on Social Media. On top of that, he’ll speak to a combined CPRS/IABC Ottawa luncheon while he’s here. That’s a lot of work for one person over just three days. But that’s also the way that Richard has approached social media. An all-in commitment.

So, if you’re near Ottawa or Toronto Monday and Tuesday, don’t miss this chance to meet and talk with RichardAtDell. Sign up to attend Third Tuesday Ottawa or to attend Third Tuesday Toronto.


My company, Thornley Fallis, has been using Dell computers since the company was founded in 1995. Today, we have Dell desktops, notebooks, servers, printers, and LCD projectors. I even bought a Dell LCD television for my family at Christmas last year. Dell’s 24 hour support lines have has always been there for me when I needed help. So, when Dell offered Thornley Fallis a chance to compete for an assignment with Dell Canada this past summer, we jumped at it. And I’m happy to say that we won the competition. So, now I work for Dell. That’s why I haven’t mentioned Dell in any posts for several months. But with Richard’s trip to Canada, I needed to post about his appearance at Third Tuesday. So, I thought I’d provide some of the background along with this disclosure. I hope that this meets an acceptable standard of transparency.

CNW GroupThanks to our sponsors

And thank you again CNW Group for sponsoring these events. Your support lets us focus on programming great events without an admission fee.

Related Posts:

Jeremiah Owyang and Geoff Livingston chronicle Dell’s social media saga

Jeff Jarvis updates the Dell story for Business Week. See also his original draft of the story.

Third Tuesday group on Facebook


The First Podcamp Ottawa

Mark Blevis, co-founder of Podcasters Across Borders and Canadian Podcast Buffet is organizing the first Podcamp Ottawa this Sunday.

Podcamp is an Unconference. So, people who feel they have some knowledge or expertise they’d like to share with other participants can slot themselves into the schedule on the Podcamp Wiki. Speakers who’ve already indicated that they will lead sessions include Charles Hodgson, Tommy Vallier, Bob Goyetche and Mark.

Mark and I bumped into one another on Parliament Hill where he took a few minutes to discuss his plans to make Podcamp Ottawa a special experience for participants. Toward the end, he also provided a preview of this year’s Podcasters Across Borders.

You can watch Mark’s discussion with me by clicking on the image below.


If you can make it to Ottawa this Sunday, sign up to attend PodCamp Ottawa.


Happy Thanksgiving Day from Ottawa, Canada

First snow at the Parliament Buildings in OttawaI want to wish all my American friends Happy Thanksgiving.

And today you have one more thing to celebrate. That you didn’t have to commute to work this morning through 15 centimetres of snow like we did in Ottawa.

Of course, we’ll be able to ski in a couple weeks. Just something to think about when I invite you to speak at a Third Tuesday!

First snow - No more soccer this yearHave a great, happy and warm holiday.


Gadzooks. ProPR is two years old!

The first post on ProPR was dated two years ago today.

Here’s what I wrote in that first post:

Through this blog, I hope to have a voice in the discussion surrounding new developments in public relations, communications and marketing.

At my firm, we encourage people to develop to their maximum potential.

Thought leadership is an important goal for all professionals. With this blog, I hope to stimulate others to think about these issues and advance their own thinking.

Comments are an important means of contributing to the discussion. I encourage any who read this blog to offer their comments on my entries.

I’m still comfortable with that statement of purpose after two years. So, I think I’ll keep going.

And to you, my community, THANK YOU for reading, subscribing and, most of all commenting. Your comments are what really makes writing ProPR worthwhile.

Third Tuesday Toronto postponed to December 4

CaseCamp Toronto6 has been scheduled on November 20, the same night as this month’s Third Tuesday Toronto.

Third TuesdayWe love CaseCamp as much as we love Third Tuesday. And we don’t want people to have to choose which event to attend.

So, we’ve decided to postpone Third Tuesday Toronto to December 4 so that people don’t have to choose.

And in December, we’ll have a great speaker Richard Binhammer – RichardatDell. We’ll also be moving to a larger venue so that we won’t have to turn anyone away.

I’ll post more info about the December 4 event in the next few days. In the meantime,  mark it in your calendars. You won’t want to miss Richard’s session.

Colin McKay looks behind the curtain of government blogging

Third Tuesday Ottawa has a speaker this month who’s been there, done that, and is finding ever better ways to do it.

CanuckflackColin McKay has been one of Canada’s blogging pioneers since he started posting to Canuckflack in 2003. Since then, he has built a loyal following of readers who count on Colin’s eclectic interests to take them on a voyage of discovery through the profound, the whimsical and the offbeat. His inventive posts have driven Canuckflack to #65 on the AdAge Power 150 – the highest rated Canadian blog authored by a single person.

Earlier this year, Colin set up a new blog, SoSaidTheOrganization, to provide him with a space where he could post primarily about “how government organizations communicate and integrate social media.”

With all this experience, it’s not surprising that Colin is the moving force behind what is currently the state of the art Canadian government blog for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Colin has demonstrated that a government blog can deal with issues of real consequence and stimulate broader debate in mainstream media as well as the blogosphere in a way that enhances trust in the blogging government institution.

Third TuesdayIf this isn’t enough to make this event a must-attend for you, I’ll give the final word about Colin to Colin himself. The About section of Canuckflack leads off with the following:

Supremely disappointed that he was neither raised by beavers nor moose, Colin McKay never heard his name being called during the closing “mirror” segment of Romper Room. An owner of Generation “X” in first run hardcover, he feels uncomfortable saying things like “for shizzle” and “peeps.” He’s old enough to remember when advertisers only wanted your cold hard cash, and had no aspirations to move in, become friends with your cat and get invited to Thanksgiving dinner.

How can you resist spending an evening with the author of that passage?

If you’re in Ottawa on November 19, plan to attend Third Tuesday. You’ll meet some smart people and have a chance to talk about the latest developments in social media in Canada. Guaranteed.

Christopher Loudon previews Marketing Mag's 100th. anniversary

In November 2008, Canada’s Marketing Magazine and its predecessors will have been in publication for 100 years.

Chris Loudon, the newly minted Publisher and Editor in Chief of Marketing, sat down with me following a meeting with the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms to talk about the plans for the 2008 anniversary.

The anniversary celebrations will be reflected in the magazine’s editorial content, but also in planned industry gatherings and events.

In January 2008, Marketing will begin a series of 20 articles covering the history of marketing, advertising and media in Canada. The series will culminate in November with a special 100th anniversary issue in which 100 of Canada’s marketing movers and shakers will be asked to look ahead at where they see our industry going in the future.

The anniversary will also bring Canadian marketers together in Toronto for the inaugural Marketing Week. For three days in November, the marketing industry will be invited to participate in a conference featuring a program of Canada’s best marketing speakers, panels and workshops. The centrepiece of the Week will be an event combining the Digital Media Awards, the Marketing Innovation Awards, and the Marque Awards along with a party to celebrate Marketing Mag’s 100 year history.

These celebrations come on the heels of the revitalization in 2007 of Marketing Magazine. This year, the mag has switched to a biweekly magazine format from it’s previous weekly tabloid format. The editorial content has been refocused to provide a more balanced perspective on agencies, marketing and media, with a conscious effort to provide a national perspective by including voices from the east, the west and Quebec as well as Toronto.

Good news as well for PR practitioners. Loudon, who once worked in a public relations role at Canada’s Stratford Festival, signalled during his meeting with the CCPRF members that Marketing will provide more coverage to public relations as part of the marketing mix. This is timely, as advertising and public relations perspectives converge in the new online social media and their application to community building and marketing.

During our conversation, Loudon also told me that Marketing will be revamping their online presence, with a new Website in 2008 and by launching an afternoon edition of Marketing Daily email newsletter in addition to the morning edition, which has proven to be hugely popular.

You can watch Chris Loudon’s interview with me here. It runs about 5 minutes.


Third Tuesday Toronto has a nightcap with Giovanni Rodriguez

Giovanni RodriguezGiovanni Rodriguez, one of the pioneers of social media and public relations, is coming to Toronto and we’ve scheduled a special Third Tuesday Nightcap with him.

Giovanni is a a leading pr blogger, a principal in The Conversation Group social media consultancy and a Research Fellow and Advisory Board member of the Society for New Communications Research. He also is co-author of a thought-provoking paper, Relating to the Public: The Evolving Role of Public Relations in the Age of Social Media, published this past summer by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

Giovanni will be speaking earlier in the evening at a CPRS Toronto Workshop. But because he’s committed to sharing his insight into social media and to help build our community, he’s offered to join us for a special “Third Tuesday Nightcap” after the CPRS Workshop concludes.

So, if you’re interested in meeting a real thought leader in public relations and social media, let us know that you plan to attend the Third Tuesday Nightcap with Giovanni Rodriguez. And, if you’re planning to join us, try to attend the CPRS workshop earlier in the evening to hear Giovanni’s full presentation. It should be a great evening of learning and sharing in Toronto!
UPDATE: I want to extend special thanks to Martin Waxman and his firm Palette PR, who are bringing Giovanni to Toronto. Thank you Martin for making this possible.