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General Session - DAY 1: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

8:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Chairpersons' Welcome & Opening Remarks

speakerJennifer Torney, Senior Vice President
Seminar Co-Chairperson



speakerKatie Robb, Senior Consultant
Seminar Co-Chairperson


8:45 a.m.
How To Integrate The Power Of Social Media Into Your Corporate Communications Strategies

The City of Richmond, British Columbia used social media to help promote its role as an official Venue City for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Richmond had tremendous success when a tongue-in-cheek exchange with American talk show host/satirist Stephen Colbert went viral.

Despite that initial success, Richmond took a slow, methodical approach toward embracing social media, wrestling with the same issues many governmental organizations face when dealing with social media -- lack of resources and policy as well as concerns about privacy and other legal implications.

However, by integrating Web 2.0 and social media with tried and true tactics, Richmond is now consistently achieving, and exceeding, its communications objectives. They’ve even won awards and media accolades for their communications savvy.

In this session, you will discover ways to help your organization stand out against the masses, including:
  • The potential power and pitfalls of using Web 2.0 and social media tools to connect with new audiences
  • How to overcome organizational resistance to utilizing social media tools and other creative tactics
  • Collaborating with media to create and enhance your story
  • Remembering that no matter how new or powerful the tool, there is absolutely no substitute for creativity

Ted Townsend, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications


9:30 a.m.
Utilizing Twitter For Reputation Management And Customer Service While Creating A "Face" For Your Organization

Casual, transparent and non-bureaucratic aren’t the first words that come to mind when people think of a Crown corporation. Yet that is exactly how the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) hoped to come across when launching their Twitter account.

During the past year and a half, ICBC has begun engaging with their customers on Twitter in an effort to correct false information, provide customer service, search out and resolve issues with current customers and bring a “face” to a company that many of their customers describe as “faceless.” Proving that social media allows you to customize and tailor the image of your organization while providing a “human” contact for your audience to connect with.

From this session, you will leave with practical tactics on how to create a social media platform that successfully represents your organization, including:

  • How to cut down the approvals process in order to respond in a timely fashion
  • How to speak to audiences online in a manner that is casual, yet professional
  • Ways to reach multiple demographics with a variety of messages
  • Knowledge to mitigate the fears of risk-adverse senior management
  • How to respect the privacy of your audience while providing effective customer service

speakerKarin Basaraba, Senior Communications Specialist



10:15 a.m.
Break-Out Blitz! Network And Discuss Social Media Challenges With Your Fellow Seminar Attendees

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

10:45 a.m.
Morning Refreshment & Networking Break

11:15 a.m.
New Communication Channels And What They Mean For You: Evaluating The Business Value Of New Technologies

Webinars, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Office Communicator, Groove, the list goes on. You are being told to utilize social media, but through which tools and how?
During the last two years, the Province of BC has developed a wide variety of new communication channels to improve operational efficiency, break down traditional silos, share corporate knowledge, crowdsource solutions, drive results-oriented services, and engage citizens and employees.

In this session, you will learn how to evaluate the business value of new technology and transformation initiatives, including learning about:

  • Re-usable business solutions for advanced communication and collaboration tools
  • How you can use telepresence to reduce travel cost and carbon emissions and to transform business and intergovernmental relations
  • Tips on how to leverage YouTube, Twitter, and/or Facebook
  • The Citizens @ the Center: Gov 2.0 strategy to address changes in demographics, technology and public expectations in the future

speakerKieran Harrop, Director Business Engagement, Strategic Initiatives,
Office of the Chief Information Officer


12:00 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 join others in a small, interactive group setting to network and brainstorm solutions to your most pressing social media concerns.


1:30 p.m.
How To Launch Your Social Media Strategy:
10 Imperative Steps To Take

Have you ever wanted to experience the freedom of social media, but were afraid to enter into that space as a public servant? Do you want to fully understand a tool that is so powerful that countries dealing with revolution turn it off to control their people? Are you prepared to enter into a series of conversations about your organization that are happening that you are totally unaware of?

Leave this session with the ten steps necessary to consider in launching, and enhancing, your social media strategy, including:

  • How to have one identity in social media and the importance of this
  • Ways to actively participate in conversations that are changing our world
  • Learn how you can introduce innovation and collaboration into your organization
  • Feeling the freedom and power of social media

speakerChris Moore, Chief Information Officer


2:15 p.m.
Walking The Line Between Professional And Personal Usage Of Social Media: How To Manage Your Virtual Reputation

Since the advent of social media networks, government organizations have struggled to (re)define the rules and norms of employee behavior in an online setting. For the employees of the U.S. Department of State, one’s professional reputation is so important that it carries its own corridor reputation, and is one of the topics covered in new hire orientation courses.

With an increasing number of social media sites available for professional purposes, State Department personnel are faced with the additional responsibility of maintaining their virtual corridor reputations, and are learning that the line between personal and professional personas is thinning.

Navigating this new space of online reputations, ever-shifting norms and rules, and blended personal and professional identities is no easy feat. Those government employees who are successfully building and managing their online personas in the workplace deserve credit for the sophisticated forays they have made; what’s more, many at the State Department have already begun to reap the benefits of their participation.

In this session, you will learn the techniques needed to successfully manage your own virtual reputation, including:
  • Why social media is for everyone – not just the PR department
  • The benefits of a good virtual reputation
  • How social media literacy differs drastically from traditional literacy
  • How to use web reputation systems to identify and develop organizational norms
  • Why Facebook is not enough - why you do need to maintain more
    than one online profile
  • The pros and cons of anonymous authorship
  • How to take stock of your own virtual reputation at work

Molly Moran, New Media Advisor, Executive Secretariat

3:00 p.m.
Afternoon Refreshment & Networking Break


3:15 p.m.

How To Leverage Social Media And Mobile Tools For Effective Public Engagement On Pressing Policy Issues

Digital engagement redefines the government-public relationship and offers unparalleled opportunities to develop mutually valuable interactions. Engaging the public with online, mobile and social tools can result in innovative ideas for complex problems, increased trust, shared responsibility for action, and decisions that reflect the priorities of people most affected by the issue.

The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University’s Greenest City Conversations Project is researching the role of digital media in public engagement efforts.

In this session, you will learn foundational concepts, hear about innovative case studies and consider the evolving potential of digital media for public engagement, including:

  • Powerful principles for effective digital citizen engagement
  • Benefits and limitations of online, mobile and face-to-face engagement strategies and how to develop integrated approaches to get the best of all worlds
  • Making best use of the information you collect through digital public conversations
  • Examples of digital engagement #wins and #fails from governments
    across North America

speakerSusanna Haas Lyons, Public Engagement Specialist and Masters Candidate


4:00 p.m.

The Path Towards Increased Government Engagement, A Citizenís View of Social Media

After years of grass roots organizing, Janis La Couvée was dismayed to note dramatically decreased citizen engagement at all levels of government; whether it was community open houses, voter turnout or participation in vital committees.

Initially dismissive of social media as a time-suck, she had an “aha” moment at a breakfast meeting in spring 2009, when someone innocently remarked “well, they’re actually having tweetups in Victoria”. Janis had no doubt that if people were willing to meet face to face, they could be encouraged to build community.

In this session, we will explore the question “What can various levels of government do to build systems that will allow citizens to engage?”

At a time of budgetary constraint when citizen initiated counter-petitions, referenda and recall initiatives can cost governments significant resources, the importance of communicating effectively can not be understated.

You will leave this session with the ability to "answer the question:" why do some government public relations & social media campaigns succeed while others fail, including:

  • New information and understanding of effective social media communication
  • Techniques to increase engagement with citizens
  • Lessons learned from various citizen led initiatives, past and present

speakerJanis La Couvée, Blogger, Writer & Lead Organizer


4:45 p.m.

Q&A Session With Our Speakers

Didnít get a chance to ask your question? Youíll have the opportunity now to get your most pressing social media questions answered in this interactive forum.

5:15 p.m.

End of Day One

5:20 p.m.
Networking Reception: Please Join Us!

We invite you to join us for a drink as you relax with your peers. All seminar 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 Victoriaís fine dining while you continue to network with your colleagues.

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