IABC launches online social media workshop for communications professionals

International Association of Business Communicators

Professional communicators who want to extend and deepen their knowledge of  social media will be interested in a new online social media workshop being offered for the first time this month by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

The course, Develop and implement an integrative approach to social media, will be delivered through online training modules that participants can review at a time convenient to themselves combined with live sessions with the instructors. The program material has been prepared by Shel Holtz and me – and we will be the live instructors for the first set of sessions.

We’ll start with an orientation session on January 9 during which Shel and I will outline the course content and answer questions from participants. Following this orientation, the first two of eight learning modules will be available to participants to review at their convenience. Then we begin the weekly live sessions on January 19 and they will run through February 23.

Each module will focus on a different aspect of social media:

  • Module 1: Social media’s role in communications and PR
  • Module 2: The key categories of social media
  • Module 3: Monitoring social media
  • Module 4: Strategizing and measuring social media
  • Module 5: The core skills communicators need to acquire
  • Module 6: Social media behind the firewall
  • Module 7: Adapting corporate culture to embrace social media
  • Module 8: Social media during a crisis

So, in just eight weeks, you will acquire up to date knowledge on how social media is being integrated into corporate communications and the best practices you can apply in your organization.

Does this sound like something you can use? If so, click over to the IABC site to register for the IABC’s social media online workshop.

This will be only my second experience offering online training. So, I’m very much looking forward to sharing what I know with the participants and learning from their feedback.


My first podcast. How did I do?

Shel Holtz has posted the episode of the For Immediate Release podcast that I recorded with him today.

FIRI had a great time doing this with Shel. The hour rushed by for me, as I hope it will for anyone who listens to the podcast.

And thanks to this peek behind the curtain of FIR, I came away with even more respect for Shel. He is a gracious and generous host. He took my hand (figuratively) and guided me through my first podcast experience, making a fairly complex process feel effortless.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty good. However, what you think matters a heck of a lot more than what I think.

So, if you listen to the show, please let me know what you thought of it. And if there are ways I could improve my own performance, feel free to leave a comment with any advice you’d care to offer.

Things I'd like to discuss on the For Immediate Release podcast

FIRShel Holtz has asked me to co-host the For Immediate Release podcast with him tomorrow. Regular co-host Neville Hobson is busy attending Twestival in the U.K. and Shel needs a foil for the day. And that’s me.

Shel has asked me to suggest some topics for discussion on the episode. Here are a few ideas I’ve developed. What do you think of them?

One area I’d like to highlight in the discussion is Canada’s experience of being close neighbours with the United States and the opportunities and challenges that social media present for us to see ourselves while being part of the larger global community. One aspect of this is what I call the “Content Creation Gap.”

What do I mean by a content creation gap? Well simply put, the Forrester Social Technographics data shows that U.S. Internet users are more likely to engage in active social media content creation – authoring, critiquing and collecting – than are Canadians.

To understand the potential significance of this, consider that search engine algorithms already reward the most popular links. A U.S. population ten times Canada’s population is more likley to click on U.S.-relevant pages, driving them higher on future search results for the same term.than links relevant to other countries. Add to this that we are less likely than Americans to produce as much content on a per capital basis and it seems to me, there is potential for it to become harder for us to see ourselves reflected in the increasing flow of social media content.

Another aspect of living close to the U.S. and being so similar to Americans is the profound impact it has on the composition of our business community. As Chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, I see that Canadian public relations firms are most directly affected by the consolidation of accounts into global relationships, most often anchored in the United States. This is a different approach to a topic I’ve heard addressed at both this year’s PRSA Counselors Academy conference and the IABC World Conference – how the (mostly-U.S.-based) PR industry can ensure that its strategies and programs are sensitive to the unique cultures and contexts of every country in which they are rolled out.

Another topic I’d like to discuss would be the importance of public relations practitioners grounding their approach to social media in sociology and anthropology as well as technology. Yes, the technology is important. But more important than the shiny new objects is what people want to do with them and how they interact and form communities of interest. This continues to be public relations strong suit, if we keep our focus on it.

What do you think of these topics? Are there related topics that I should add?

Are there other things you’d like me to discuss?

Third Tuesday Toronto dinner with Shel Holtz

Podcaster and blogger, Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz of For Immediate Release and A Shel of My Former Self will be joining us for a Third Tuesday dinner tomorrow. We`re not planning any special presentation this week. Just a chance for people to meet and talk with Shel – and for us all to enjoy one another`s company.

Because of the dinner format, attendance will be limited to only 30 people. We`re instituting a $20 sign up fee to try to cut down on no shows. All people who register will be refunded their sign up fee by way of a credit on your dinner bill. So, in fact it won`t cost you any extra.

RSVP on the Third Tuesday Toronto meetup site to let us know whether you plan to attend.

Shel Holtz will be at Third Tuesday Montreal

If you can make it to Montr√©al on Monday night, plan to take in Shel Holtz’s session at Third Tuesday Montreal .

Shel is co-host with Neville Hobson of the For Immediate Release podcast and blogs at A Shel of My Former Self (his PR blog) and Road Weary (his travel blog).

He is one of the most widely followed commentators on the intersection of social media and public relations. Over time, he has been one of my primary sources for news and commentary about new developments in social media. In fact, the list of the TopLinks blogs that I have linked to most often when writing posts in my own blog shows that I have linked to Shel, Neville and the FIR podcast more often than any other source other than Shel Israel .

If you want to hear one of the best speakers on social media, consider making the trip to Montreal to take in Shel. I’m planning to make the trip myself. So, I hope to see you there. And if you read this blog and see me at the event, please say hi.