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Recap: Brand Management in the Social Media Jungle

September 23, 2009

What makes a live expert panel a success? This question came to my mind today during today’s Brand Management in the Social Media Jungle panel held at Electronic Arts. Here are the reasons why I enjoyed the event.

  • Solid Panelists: Jeanette Gibson (Cisco), Garnor Morantes (eBay), and Jaap Tuinman (Electronic Arts) were joined by Joel Postman (formerly with HP and Sun).  All of them have deep experience in cross-functional communications roles with high visibility, and each have been responsible for significant social media or community programs at their organizations.
  • Good Stories: It is always enjoyable to hear stories like Cisco Fatty and Tiger Woods Walk on Water from insiders. What came as a bit of a surprise were the multiple examples Electronic Arts discussed where they admitted they failed to engage with their community in the past. They demonstrated how they have addressed this oversight with a variety of social media programs that continue to the present.
  • Celebrity Guest: Jeremiah Owyang made a brief appearance before dashing off to speak at the Intel Developer Forum.
  • Qualified Moderator: Larry Vincent (Siegel and Gale), an expert in branding, held his own with the panelists and kept things moving.
  • Designated Tweeter: Rebecca Murtagh (@virualmarketer), tweeted key updates and status updates throughout the session at #SVBF. She monitored incoming tweets, voiced questions to the moderator, and then tweeted the answers back. Her tweeting came in very handy because the venue did NOT have wireless access. This was the biggest disappointment of the event.
  • Twitter Feed on Giant Screen: This was fabulous!  A Twubs window set to #SVBF was projected on a theater-sized screen behind the panelists. Talk about transparency! This is a best practice I would like to see on every panel.
  • Engaged Audience: The event was attended by some 70 mid-to-senior level professionals who had plenty of questions for the panelists.
  • Leisurely Pace: It was nice to have 3 1/2 hours for one panel and Steve Farnsworth’s presentation on monitoring. It didn’t feel rushed.

This was my first event with Silicon Valley Brand Forum , a group founded by Kevin Heney 10 years ago. He and his volunteers seem to have the formula down. Unfortunately (for us) they host only two events per year. I look forward to the next one. For additional video clips of the seminar, see the Silicon Valley Brand Forum site.

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