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Swirls Revolutionize Corporate Comms with Social Media

Posted by Media Relations on Sunday, August 29th, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Paula DFW is a conference focused on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and .NET development. There are a few sessions touching on blogs and social media and surprisingly, one on public relations. Paula Berg was with Southwest Airlines for 10 years building their social media effort to 8 people and becoming a very legitimate and significant source of revenue for the airline.

Her presentation at started with an admission of being somewhat hungover, we are at a tech conference after all, and a rate of speech that was more like East Coast than South West. She was engaging and entertaining.

A lot of companies are doing “Third world social media”. They’re doing things tactically and not integrating into their overall business.

1. About jaw dropping reports:  Sure, servies like Radian6 can create nice looking reports, but what does it mean?

It’s not all about the numbers. What is the data trying to tell us? What are we tring to prove or accomplish. What should we be doing differently. Who cares about this insight?

2. Launch an all out PR assault – tell everyone about your social media program

3. Make executives love it. Dazzle them. Scare them. Do what you have to do.

4. Get your house in order: Who “owns” social media. This includes people, policies, processes and plans. Social media strategy and task forces are the biggest killer of social media in companies. Develop a philosophy and move forward.


  • Brands don’t communicate with people, people do.
  • Becoming a social business takes time.
  • Social media is not a burden, it is a gift.


2 Responses to “ Revolutionize Corporate Comms with Social Media”

  1. Lauren Fernandez Says:

    I’m bummed that I missed OpenCamp, especially to hear Paula speak. You nailed it on the head – she doesn’t talk like someone from the Southwest, and she’s blunt in how brands aren’t approaching social media correctly. As usual, she hit it out of the park with the recap points I see here.

    Reporting is what you make of it, and training and education are imperative at the foundation. If we are educating from the start, then brands will know what clients are looking for, what questions to ask, and how to approach it.

    Thanks for the recap!

    Lauren Fernandez, Radian6

  2. Elise Lopez Says:

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for giving a re-cap of Paula’s talk. I think the takeaway point that “Brands don’t communicate with people, people do” is an important one.

    To some companies, this is probably overwhelming. They are thinking- how do we connect with everyone on the web talking about our brand?

    I propose two suggestions:
    1) Only focus on the relevant communities- i.e. if you’re a tech company, focus on the tech community. That way you reach the people who actually care about your company and will drive opinions.

    2) Involve everyone in the company- whether it’s a blog post, a tweet or a fb comment, everyone can be part of the “face” of the company. When everyone does a little, your company becomes more “social” more quickly.

    What do you think?

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