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Social Media inside the Corporation

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Social Media inside the Corporation

Hello everyone.  My name is Frank and I’m a Social Media addict.  There, that’s out of the way.  As a bonus I actually get paid for my addiction – great isn’t it!!!

This is my first post for Bloggertone, and I thought that I’d start by introducing myself and giving you a taster of what I hope to be blogging about on this site.

I’m 33, coming 34, and I like in Kilkenny City.  I’m originally from Derry in Northern Ireland, and I’ve made my way to Kilkenny via Manchester, England (where I went to University), and Dublin.  I moved to Kilkenny just over 3 years ago, as my wife and I wanted to get out of the commuter hell that was Dublin.  Why Kilkenny?  Well primarily because my wife was born and raised here, and we already had a network of friends and family in the area.

My wife got a job down here, and I successfully negotiated with my employer to work from home, initially starting with a few days per week, and eventually building it up to a point where I’m now only up in Dublin a few days per month.

I work for a multinational computer technology corporation that specializes in developing and marketing enterprise software products.  I’ve worked in this company for just over 8 years, joining in February 2002, after 2 short stints at Irish dotcom startups, Norkom Technologies, and Nebula Technologies.  In 1998 I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Business Information Technology.

My interest in Social Media (or Web 2.0 as we used to refer to it) started in late 2006, coincidently around the time that I started working from home.  As I left the regular 9-5 office environment, I started looking for ways to socially reach out to other people in the organisation.  It was then that I started learning about the power of Blogs, Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn and later Twitter), Wikis, Podcasts, and Video sharing sites such as YouTube.  Through these various tools I started hooking up with like minded people, both inside and outside the organisation, who shared my work and personal interests.

At this time I was working in the EMEA (European & Middle East) Knowledge Management Team, with responsibilities for what we called KM Infrastructure, which was essentially making sure that our EMEA teams were able to fully exploit our Knowledge Sharing tools, specifically the Corporate Intranet and Forums.

It wasn’t too long before I started seeing the impact that Social Tools could have on the teams that I was supporting.  As I dug deeper, I started seeing small pockets within the organisation that were already abiding by Social Media principles.  I was even surprised to learn of some internal tools that would allow employees to socially connect more easily.  The problem was that many of these teams were not doing a good job of sharing what they were doing, or had already achieved.

I approached my boss, and eventually convinced him to let me dedicate a certain percentage of my time to Social Media.  Over the coming months I started familiarising myself with what was happening inside the organisation, and slowly building a picture of what the Social Media scene was like internally.

During this period I started working closely with a senior colleague who had also bought into the idea of Social Media.  In mid/late 2008 my colleague established the EMEA SNBC (Social Networking & Collaboration) Team.  I joined this team, and immediately we started working on a more formalised approach to embedding the principles of Social Media in the EMEA organisation.

The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster journey, and a big learning curve for the team, as we have faced up to the various issues and challenges of bringing about a change of mindset.

What I’d like to bring to the readers of Bloggertone is an opportunity to read about our Social Media experience a multi-national organisation.  This is an ongoing and very dynamic story, and hopefully one that will continue for some time yet.

I’d also like to learn from the readers, and maybe get your stories and experiences with using Social Media in your organisations.  Hopefully we can learn a lot from each other.

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments.  Also let me know if there is anything in particular that you would like me to talk about in future posts.

The views expressed on this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

I live in Kilkenny, Ireland, and I'm married with one daughter. I was born in Derry, and came to Kilkenny via Manchester, England, and Dublin. My passion is all things Social Media, and for the last 2 years I have been working as a Social Media Evangelist for Oracle, where I have worked for the last 8 years. This role entails, promoting the use of Social Media internally for improved communication and collaboration. My other interests include sports, especially football (soccer), reading, video games, movies/tv, music and walking.

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  • Welcome to Bloggertone Frank! Looking forward to learning from your experience in applying social media for internal communications

  • Hi Frank, Welcome to Bloggertone, it’s great to have you on board 🙂 Really looking forward to hearing about how Oracle is using social media to connect. What advice would you give someone before engaging with social media? Do you learn as you go or are there ways to get it right first time?

  • Hi Frank. Welcome to the world of the Bloggertoner. Looking forward to reading how a “big corporation” manages/uses social media.

  • Anonymous

    This is very interesting, Frank, and it’s something that is very close to my heart right now as I consult with a company on this and other marketing communications issues. It will be great to learn from your experiences.

  • Hi Frank,
    Interesting that the mention ‘mindset’. In my experience it’s usually people that form the barrier to change.
    I feel that companies should segment their marketing and research budget and save one piece for the unknown and experiental. It generally pays off.

    Corporate blogging – how does it differ? Whats the main focuses? It cost or loyalty a driver?

    Will have to catch up on some of your more recent posts …

  • Oh Barney this is a great topic and one which nearly every salesperson and business owner will be familiar with. As you point out prevention is always better than cure and there are many things you can do to help avoid this situation. Let me give some additional pointers, social media is great in that with a little work, it allows you to develop a relationship with more many people and points of contact within the organisation. I try to form strong allies and these donu2019t necessarily need to be decision makers. One great tip Iu2019ve picked up is to make contact with and build a relationship with one of the sales team. We speak the same language, they understand better than anyone the issues and problems and are generally very helpful in providing an inside track as to whatu2019s going on and any internal politics that may be relevant. In short, the more research you do and the more people you seek out, the more opportunity you will have to know.

  • Hehehe Barney – Star Wars reigns supreme!nnThe DMU (decision making unit) can encompass a number of personnel for a business. Usually there’s a gatekeeper for that first contact, a financial member and a senior member (this person rules the roost and has the most sway). You can’t always meet the top guy, so you’ll have to impress as many as you can to reach them. Lets hope this person isn’t Mr D Vadar!nnOver-promising is an unethical practice I mentioned in a post last year and a terrible technique, because you should never promise something which you cannot deliver. The company will expect you to make good on your promises. It puts undue pressure on your organisation.nnIf you have one key contact and they leave, you lose your relationship building, so it is advisable to extend your networking within a business for this reason. nnGreat read Barney. And remember; the force will be with you…!

  • Hi Christina – you are quite right. You’ll rarely meet the top guy until the deal is almost done. Getting access to as many players as possible is the only solution to making sure you’re not left out in the cold.nThanks for adding your thoughts (and your obvious knowledge of Star Wars etiquette!)

  • Hi NiallnnSome great pointers – thanks a million for taking the time out to add to the conversation. POint well made on making alliances outside the direct line of decision makers. This indeed can help. nnThanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for sharing that link Fred. That is a good article by Chris and worth a read.

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