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The IABC wine and chocolate night was our first free members-only event of 2013. Those who were quick off the mark and got tickets enjoyed good wine, gourmet chocolates from Mamor Chocolates, and a casual yet spirited discussion in the ambient surroundings of Madame Brussels.

IABC President, Monika Lancucki welcomed guests before Ross Monaghan opened the discussion with two very simple questions – who is using social and what are you using it for?

When you ask a room full of professional communicators how they are using social, you might expect a dozen different answers thanks to the plethora of communication platforms available, but surprisinglythe responses were similar. The conversation quickly focused on how companies were using Yammer as a social tool in the workplace.  From construction managers providing progress updates on projects to CEO’s engaging with thousands of staff – the message was the same, communicators are using social to connect people quickly and easily in a fast paced work environment.

Ross went on to ask whether we needed to develop strategies around implementing platforms such as Yammer or whether we let them develop organically. The reaction was mixed but most agreed it was best to let it develop organically.

Some interesting topics of discussion on the night: (beginning with the crowd pleaser)

  • The most popular photo in Australia for the past two and a half years is of a frog hitching a ride on a snake during the Queensland floods – taken on an iphone.
  • Know who your audiences are and how they are using social media.
  • Listen to the conversations taking place first then think about participating.
  • When you decide the time is right to participate in the conversation, give people value through your content and start a genuine conversation.
  • If things go bad in your online community;
  • try moving the conversation offline
  • let your brand champions speak for you.
  • Have some rules of engagement with social in the workplace but also trust your staff – they will be your biggest brand champions if you encourage them.
  • Google plus is a good place to experiment with social as it hasn’t gained a lot of traction with the Australian public yet and mistakes are likely to be less visible.

IABC would like to thank event sponsors Mamor and Madame Brussels for helping make the night a success.

The next event on 24 April 2013 will provide value to all our members by showcasing some of the creative ways social has been used to communicate meaningful messages and remind us that if you have the right inspiration, anything can be achieved. Read more about our next event: Big Ideas – Small Budget, here.

Event wrap-up provided by Melanie Cahani  (Brand & PR Chair)