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GENERAL SESSIONS - Day 1: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

8:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Chairperson's Welcome, Opening Remarks, And Presentation

Capitalizing On Social Media: How An Organization Of Any Size Can Use Social Media To Generate Engagement And Be Successful

How does a large organization such as a post-secondary institution capitalize on social media? In the case of the MacEwan School of Business, this institution was faced with the challenge to help raise the awareness and enquiries for a specific set of courses - Management Studies. In order for this project to be successful, key obstacles had to be overcome, such as generating "engagement" amongst a specific audience.

In this session, you will hear about what worked, what didn’t and what could be improved upon for next time.

Specifically, you will learn:
  • Why without a strategy, the social web is like "herding cats"
  • What common obstacles you’ll encounter and how to plan for them effectively
  • You'll learn about how fusedlogic used these critical five steps to success – Listen, People, Outcomes, Strategy, Technology
  • How to turn fans of your project into evangelists

Walter Schwabe, CEO


9:35 a.m.
Break-Out Blitz!
Share Your Challenges And Begin To Brainstorm Solutions

This session will open the conversation by connecting you with other conference participants and gain greater understanding into many similar issues, concerns, and challenges that your peers are also facing. Become acquainted with your fellow conference attendees in this fun and fast-paced forum!

10:05 a.m.
Morning Refreshment & Networking Break

10:35 a.m.
Moving Towards Government 2.0: Using Gradual And Deliberate Steps To Gain Management Acceptance And Citizen Engagement

How do you use the thin edge of a wedge to open the door to social media, while avoiding government mandarins who may want to "stab" you with the wedge, citing risks such as loss of information control, security threats, staff workload, policies/standards concerns, technological capacity and reputation management?

This case study will highlight the initial baby steps of using social media in pilot projects, followed by a slow integration of tools and strategies to meet various municipal government objectives. The "thin edge" approach aims to gain senior management buy-in while laying a solid foundation of local citizen engagement that can be leveraged into greater participation in the municipal government. The ultimate goal is the new Government 2.0 with its promise of "government by the people, for the people... with interactive information technology."

The City of Edmonton was not an early adopter of social media, but its gradual, deliberate steps into the Web 2.0 world have helped this mid-sized North American city government move from internal resistance to timid acceptance, then from active participation towards more open, listening and responsive government.

In this case study session, you will hear about:
  • Social media and management – presenting it as a solution, not a risk
  • Tips and teams for starting small but strong, to ensure future returns
  • Strategies for jumping into Web 2.0 and tools/channels such as Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, blogs, microblogs, e-forums, wikis, IM, sharing sites
  • Pilot projects suitable for increasing internal acceptance while widening citizen engagement
  • Planned and unintended consequences (good and bad) resulting from social media activities
  • Complementary activity to keep moving towards the holy grail of Government 2.0

Jas Darrah, Communications Business Partner


11:25 a.m.
Making Sense Of Social Media: 12 Things To Learn About How To Communicate With Your Audience - - Your Friends, Fans And Followers

Are you ready for the conversation? Which social media tool is appropriate for you and your organization? In this session, you will gain from the City of Calgary's experiences in using various social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, and social bookmarking sites. From using these tools, they will be sharing a dozen lessons they learned.

In this session, learn from the City of Calgary's experiences in using various social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, and social bookmarking sites, and hear their lessons learned to apply to your own plans and strategies.

Specifically, you will hear practical tips and tools and learn how to:
  • Determine when social media is appropriate to use
  • Develop a social media strategy and plan
  • Obtain management buy-in
  • Coach your communication team to use social media
  • Measure social media effectiveness
  • Use social media to recruit and retain good talent
  • Apply and live by best practices

Jacob George, Manager, Corporate Marketing & Communications

12:15 p.m.
Lunch On Your Own -- But Not Alone!

Join a group of your colleagues for lunch with an informal discussion facilitated by one of our expert speakers. Take this opportunity to connect with others in a small, interactive group setting to network and brainstorm solutions to your most pressing social media for government concerns.

1:45 p.m.
Enriching Your Public Engagement Initiatives Through A Variety Of Social Media Tools

"Inspiring Education, A Dialogue with Albertans" is an important undertaking and has engaged Albertans from all walks of life to share their ideas and experiences. It's about looking to the future and deciding what education in Alberta should be in twenty years. This province-wide dialogue led by the Ministry of Education has made active and innovative use of technology to broaden the breadth and depth of this dialogue, making this a landmark Web 2.0-enabled public engagement initiative.

In this session, Alberta Education and Ascentum, Inc. will discuss how social media was used throughout the Inspiring Education project and share lessons learned with respect to how technology, can enrich public engagement initiatives.

Specifically, you will learn:
  • How and why social media can become an important component of your public engagement strategy
  • How to integrate tools such as blogs, Twitter, wikis, YouTube and web-casting in your public engagement initiatives

Nathan Freed, Senior Manager, Online Engagement, Inspiring Education:
A Dialogue with Albertans

Manon Abud, Partner and Service Delivery Lead


2:35 p.m.
Afternoon Refreshment & Networking Break


2:50 p.m.
Cracking The Internal Culture:
How To Use Social Media As a Catalyst For Internal Change

Social media is often brought into play by governments as a tool for strictly external communications; but, it can also be seen as a catalyst for internal change. The critical challenge is to address the capacity and readiness for cultural adaptation within government before adopting the social technologies in the Web 2.0 world.

The experiences gained from operating within the political culture of a government caucus will guide the discussion and assist in identifying opportunities for positive change while avoiding the negative challenges that are inherent in the internal structure of the party system.

Thought-provoking questions that will be answered in this session include:
  • How do you assess the internal culture of your organization and the overall ability and willingness to adopt social media technologies?
  • What if your culture is not ready to participate in the Web 2.0 world, but your active constituents are already using social media technologies? Can you or, better yet, should you convince the powers that be that a social media strategy is essential?
  • Should you attempt to convince those same powers that be by only showing them the successful case studies, or should you attempt to persuade them by presenting the real consequences suffered by those cultures that don’t adapt internally?
  • What are some of the risks and rewards associated with cultural change and the adaptation of social media technologies?

Troy M. Wason, Director of Strategic Initiatives
Former Senior Communications Officer (Social Media), Alberta Government Caucus


3:40 p.m.
How To Integrate Social Media With Traditional Media Relations To Maximize Communication Results

Empowering staff, promoting open communication and using technology as an enabling tool are key components of Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT) guiding principles for fostering leadership and enhancing student and staff success. These principles also resonate with the NAIT corporate communications team, which has introduced social media to evolve their solid traditional media relations program.

In this session, you will hear and learn:
  • How social media can supplement current media relations activities
  • Why building relationships with local bloggers is important
  • How both the community and your organization can benefit through social media relations
  • What a successful social media campaign can look like

While the vastness of social media can seem intimidating, it doesn't have to be. In this session, you will hear how NAIT initiated a successful social media strategy by starting small, building on their successes and learning from their failures.

Diane Bégin, Communications Specialist


4:30 p.m.
Close Of Day One

4:45 p.m.
Networking Reception: Please Join Us!

We invite you to join us for a drink as you relax with your peers. All conference attendees and speakers are welcome to join us for this special opportunity to continue networking. Don't miss this chance to benchmark new ideas over complimentary drinks!

6:30 p.m.
Dine Around

Sign up during the day for dinner with a group. Take advantage of Edmonton's fine dining while you continue to network with your colleagues.

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