Yesterday I attended a discussion with members of the exco of a huge multinational company at their Johannesburg CBD headquarters. I had been given quite specific directions to one of their many parkades, and upon arrival I was greeted by an outsourced security slash access guard with a navy blue jersey and a demeanour as ice cold as the freezing Jozi winter air. I scrambled through the emails on my phone to find the one containing the parking reference and showed it to my new best friend.
After some discussion, I was redirected to a second parkade two blocks away with a central parking office, and my friend suggested I ask them to contact the person I was meeting with to get a new reference number. This little story is an extreme example, usually reserved for the biggest and scariest of corporates, but this disease of consistently bad experiences with the companies that we invest so much money and expectation in is pandemic. The thing is, all of these roles, and the staff that populate them, make perfect sense in an Industrial Age organisation where we want to cut costs, sweat assets and squeeze the bottom end of the organogram for all it’s worth. This didn’t really matter until the customer developed such a significant voice in the equation. Love this article, community managers play a vital role in conveying the voice of your brand!

The bigger the company gets, the harder it is to scale personability at the most critical customer touch points.
Companies are outsourcing their social media engagement to (at best) some junior in their marketing department who knows something about Facebook and Twitter, or an agency. You have ECDs and CSDs and CEOs and MDs, but none of them are monitoring your brand’s Twitter handle.
There is none, but it stems from an inordinate obsession with the acquisition of new business, and a desperate hope that the barrier to change is too high. Whether you choose to outsource to an agency or insource to marketing, they should have a solid grasp on the business in its entirety, the target audience and its nuances, the global and local zeitgeist, and they should be nice to boot.
As the owner of my brand, Hayley Joy, I am aware that I cannot be everywhere, all the time. Mike was given the unfortunate graveyard shift but due to the insightful, enthusiastic and passionate way in which Mike delivered his talk made it the most interactive and interesting session of conference.
Without exception, the delegates were highly complimentary of his presentation style and his insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with the era of social business and digital transformation.

We do extensive post event reviews from our delegates and Mike always performs in the top tier of speakers. His presentation skills are world class and the content always relevant to our conference theme and delegates expectations. Luckily for me there were no traffic hiccups and so I reached my destination with a half hour to spare. It’s the collective thoughts, associations  feelings and stories customers tell about your corporate identity. I turned down a job at another company because of the cold, distant conversation I had with their people.
Whether it’s business or personal, people are people and interaction, on the web or in the real world, matters. Even though this part of the business is transforming into a consulting, training and advisory role as some of our clients internalise their community managent, we try our very best to put highly skilled, highly intelligent, experienced staff in those roles.

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