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People-Centered Content - 4/21/2015 -

People-Centered Content

Associations do best in social media when they put people at the center of their strategies and stop focusing on just pushing out content.

By Dori Meinert

The June 15, 2015 Master Workshops, just prior to the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting this year, offer the opportunity for some deep thinking on social media strategies and advancing our own careers. Here’s a quick a interview with Master Workshop presenter Anthony Shop, sure to spur your interest in joining us at the Annual Meeting this year.


Anthony Shop, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Social Driver, a digital innovation agency, is the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club Board of Governors.

Sidebar: How did you get started?

Shop: I started as a print journalist for a legal newspaper, then I went into PR, attended business school, and started this company five years ago. My husband and I started the company together. He’s a software engineer by background and I’m a PR/communications guy. We had both worked in various environments where we had seen the problem of trying to tackle business challenges with only marketing or only technology. Neither one is the whole picture. When we bring marketing and technology together, we just get way better results. We started doing that together and found that we were able to help companies do things that bigger agencies weren’t able to do.

Sidebar: What’s the biggest mistake that organizations and editors make when it comes to social media?

Shop: Sometimes they are focused on pushing content in one direction. Social media is less like television and more like a telephone — it facilitates conversations among people. We have to adapt what we are doing. We have to put people at the center of our strategies. We have to make the content about them. People are writing real-time biographies every day. Rather than trying to twist someone’s arm into talking about us, we must ask the question: What can I do to be a character in the story they’re already telling? Associations are poised to do this and many of them are doing it quite well. Associations are the original social networks. They were created to bring facilitate conversations and share knowledge and bring people together. They are all about people. They are all about moving an industry forward.

Sidebar: What’s one thing attendees can expect to take away from your Master Workshop?

Shop: There are five ways we can use social media to engage people: educate, entertain, ease (make things easier for people), empower, and finally, elevate. We’ll show examples of how associations and companies are effectively doing these things. We’ll do some theory, we’ll show some practices, and then we’ll have people work through the concepts together to identify what they can do.

Innovation is all about understanding best practices, not just so you can copy them, but so you can develop your own "next practices.”

Register for the AM&P Master Workshops June 15 and the Annual Meeting education sessions June 16-17. To register, visit amp15conferencespot.org.

Dori Meinert is senior writer for HR Magazine, published by the Society for Human Resource Management, and a member of the AM&P Annual Meeting Committee.


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