We’ve all heard the litany of excuses our executive partners give us for why they can’t be a bit more active on social channels.
“I just don’t have any time.”
“It’s just too risky.”
“I still don’t see the business benefit.”
In fact, according to recent reports, only 38% of public and private company CEOs have updated their social media channels in the last YEAR.
Apparently, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor, Jim Schmidt doesn’t fall into that bucket.
UW-EC grad, Kevin Hunt and I had the chance to interview Chancellor Schmidt earlier this week as part of our Talking Points Podcast. And, we learned he’s taking time almost DAILY to interact with media, legislators, community members, staff and students on Twitter (he also blogs here).
During our interview, I couldn’t help but think: Executive leaders at organizations across the U.S. could learn a lot from this guy. Specifically:
You don’t need an hour–you just need five minutes
This is probably the excuse we hear most often from our executive partners–and the one I have the biggest problem with. Here’s why: I’m not asking you to spend an hour on Twitter today. I’m asking you to spend 5 minutes. Chancellor Jim is a perfect example. Much like a company CEO, he’s a busy guy. He’s locked in meetings. He’s traveling. He’s meeting with important people. But, he also has short bursts of “downtime” he can use to check in on Twitter on his phone. In fact, he was doing just that when he got to our podcast interview a bit early. He uses those five minute bursts to check in on his mentions and conducts some basic keyword and hash tag searches to find tweets to retweet and respond to–like this one below from a UW-EC alum. Everyone has five minutes–even your CEO.
— Chancellor Jim (@ChancellorJim) April 5, 2017
Who says the CEO can’t also handle customer service?
One of the things that immediately struck me about the Chancellor was his ability to connect with students. He was approachable and down-to-earth with the students during our podcast interview. And, on Twitter, that’s really no different (he was even careful about his Twitter handle based on how approachable he thought it would make him). I’ve noticed Chancellor Jim routinely responds to students and prospective students who tweet at him. In fact, he often serves as a “customer service” rep of sorts for UW-EC. The example below is not out of the ordinary for him. Now, you might say, my executives don’t have time to handle customer complaints. And I would point to Chancellor Jim. By responding to these concerns, openly, on Twitter (where others can see them), he’s demonstrating to a whole lot of people (including prospective students, current students, and staff) that he, and the university, cares about their futures. And, by the way, he’s most likely not solving these “customer issues”–he’s merely responding to them and serving as a triage point to get them to the right people internally.
Could you send an email explaining the situation? Chancellor@uwec.edu https://t.co/bsp2MII67e
— Chancellor Jim (@ChancellorJim) April 12, 2017
What better way to connect with employees (or students, in this case)?
“How can you lead an institution if you don’t have a sense of what’s on the minds of your students?” This was a quote from Chancellor Jim on the Talking Points Podcast–and I think it illustrates perfectly one of the bigger business cases for more C-level leaders using social media. How can you lead a company if you don’t have a sense of what’s on the minds of your customers (or employees, for that matter)? Now, there are other ways to get that information–I get that. But, nothing as direct, immediate and unfiltered as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media tools. And it’s not like Chancellor Jim isn’t dealing with difficult situations on Twitter. A quick glance at his feed, and you’ll see he is addressing problems and tackling issues head-on–he’s not shying away from the tough stuff. Which is what a good leader should do, right? I just wish we’d see more corporate leaders embrace that mindset.
— Chancellor Jim (@ChancellorJim) January 12, 2017
In this episode of the Talking Points Podcast, Kevin and I discuss trends impacting corporate communicators in 2016, the recent GE #DigitalSnowGlobe campaign and Limelight’s State of the User Experience Report.
SHOW NOTES – December 17, 2015
“Seven Tech Trends Chief Communications Officers Should Track in 2016”
SPOTLIGHT: “GE #DigitalSnowGlobe: Magic of Tech Meets the Holidays”
“Is Corporate Social Media Losing its Human Face?”
“The State of User Experience [Report]”
SHOUTOUT: Nolan Carleton, AT&T
In this episode of the Talking Points Podcast, Kevin and I sat down with Jen Swanson, director of digital marketing at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics (one of our families very favorite local hospitals–they’ve taken VERY good care of our kids in the past). On the show, Jen talks about her varied background, her role in helping shape women’s leadership locally and nationally, and why she’s so bullish on LinkedIn Publishing.
Hope you’ll take a listen.
SHOW NOTES – November 12, 2015
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
In this episode of the Talking Points Podcast, Kevin and I talk about tech and media trends–from a little different perspective (that of a former Yahoo board member). I say “different” because it’s not the usual marketing predictions. Instead, this deck (featured in the show notes below) talks about much broader tech and media trends–but trends that will definitely have an impact on us all in the year(s) ahead.
Take a listen.
SHOW NOTES – October 29, 2015
“Epic slide deck from former Yahoo board member lays out the future of tech and media”
SPOTLIGHT: “Target Gets Into Halloween Spirit With Virtual Reality, Mobile Site”
SPOTLIGHT: “Target Debuts Spooky Interactive 360-Degree Video Ads To Showcase Its Halloween Merchandise”
SPOTLIGHT: “New Treatster Tool Maps Out Your Best Trick-or-Treating Route Ever”
“Behind-the-scenes content: The most over-rated content in the history of the Internet”
“We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic In the Last 12 Months”
SHOUTOUT: “How the General Mills Newsroom Became an Earned Media Machine”
Fun show this week. Kevin and I talked about the #PlayMoreMN campaign, why brands need to have an opinion (big topic!), and the rough-and-tumble life of today’s blogger (insert sarcasm here).
Hope you enjoy the show!
SHOW NOTES – October 15, 2015
“How to Work with Journalists: Straight from a Tribune Panel”
SPOTLIGHT: “#PlayMoreMN case study: Why the “tell us your story” approach is NOT dead”
“Why Your Brand Needs to Have an Opinion”
“Does creating content make you dumb?”
SHOUTOUT: Jen Swanson