I participated in the Leveraging Blogs For Corporate Communications - Maximizing Marketing Opportunities and Mitigating The Risks conference today. Leveraging Blogs For Corporate Communications is being hosted over the next few days by The Canadian Institute and is taking place in Toronto.
The day kicked off with opening remarks from the event Chair, Michael O'Connor Clarke, who is also the Vice-President of Marqui. Clarke gets it. He's passionate about Blogs and speaks clearly on the subject and how it affects marketing and communications professionals.
Leveraging Blogs For Corporate Communications is playing host to about sixty attendees from some of Canada's best and brightest brands. Most of the participants seem to be corporate communications professionals who are still trying to wrap their heads around how this whole Blog thing is going down and how they can make it roll in their corporations without getting the legal and PR departments too heavily involved.
Next up were two young whipper-snappers (love that old man saying) who get it, live it and Blog it. Incorporating Blogs Into The Marketing Mix featured panelists Colin McKay, Manager, Advisory Team, Communications and Marketing Branch - Industry Canada (who also happens to run CanuckFlack) and Tim Shore, Account Supervisor at MacLaren McCann Canada who also runs a Canadian Blog network, FreshDaily.
Meredith MacKeigan, Vice-President, Strategic Design at Web Feat spoke next on Leveraging The Internet To Support Your Communication Initiatives where MacKeigan focused on how ROI and statistics play a key role in measuring your online effectiveness.
After lunch, I got all heated up listening to the Media Relations: "Is The Blog Mightier Than The Sword" panel which was moderated by John McHugh, Senior Vice President at Avant Strategic Communications and featured The Globe & Mail Senior Technology Columnist, Jack Kapica, National Post Senior Technology Reporter, Mark Evans, and Canadian Business Technology Columnist, Andrew Wahl.
As a journalist I think I get it. I wonder if others do. When people use words like "chatter" and "noise" to explain what's happening online and define "credible source" as someone who works for a big-named media company, my antennas went up. I wonder how many people really think that Fox News provides "credible sources" and "reliable information?" My guess is people will vote with the delete button. This is the new world and traffic is the new Darwinism.
I had the chance to do my song and dance after York University Professor, Chanchal Bhattacharya, presented on Blogs and their effect on modern politics. Our session was titled: Leveraging Blogs For Cost Effective Communications Channel Alternatives.
The first day ended with Diane Patell-Pernari who is Director, Employee Communications, for Canada Post. Diane did a case study about why Canada Post's President and Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, decided to start an internal Blog to speak to the employees and shareholders. Hint: Greene does not want to rule from high above. She wants all employees to have equal access to her and her thoughts. This is a personal relationship Greene wants to have with everybody that works for Canada Post (that sounds like a good reason to Blog).
Day one is a wrap. I'm looking for more meat, tactics and tricks for day two of the Leveraging Blogs For Corporate Communications.