Online communications for the CEO: Challenges and Opportunities


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Greg Savage, Global CEO for Firebrand Talent Search keynote presentation at Sydney Bloggers Festival on 9th November 2010 on online communications for the CEO, Challenges and Opportunities. A rare glimpse at how a global CEO manages his own social media platforms to great advantage.

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  • There are actually three reasons why I should NOT be up here to day and only one why I should
    Not a professional speaker – CPAs
    Not of the blogging generation, 52 , what do I know about SM and on line influence
    In this not only am I not the most savvy marketing pro and Pr expect I am not even the most experienced PR expert in my family- who is in the room – brother CEO STW
    BUT before you leave what I do have is an insiders perspective
    Not because I run one of the largest marketing and PR staffing companies in the world – Firebrand Talent Search
    But because I am CEO who has embraced social media by using it – effectively mainly – but also by making many mistakes
    And this is what I hope share today
  • Wanted to be able to debate sm with my gen y staff from a position of understanding
    Exceptional hype in my industry about SM particularly LI and Twitter going to replace our service al together
    Most of our candidates and clients are in marketing design and digital – I need to know what's hot for these people
    These are the embracers and early adopters of blogging and SM and technology so I MUST understand
    And I had a vague realize about how my strong off line brand could benefit from online exposure
  • Wordpress blog
    Free to set up I think
    Got our design agency to mock up a bit of a look and feel
    Added a few extra pages as you can see
    Cost about 14 $ a month to host
    90 % of the admin, blog posting, approving of comments etc can be done yourself.
    Very little technical support needed
    Anyone can blog
  • EG od stories, Lost my wallet, overheard conversation in lunge, got good service on a Qantas flight, my notes from a Japan trip
    Micro vs macro – how to handle an offer situation – 10 trends changing rec right now
  • Lest have a look at each of these seprately
  • RT button on each blog drove visist hugely. This tweet got RTd just from this page nearly 400 times. Drove expose to millions of people and this article was read by 10,000 people in 24 hours
    No point blogging unless you build visitors
    Whatever your goals, influence, making money whatever – volume of readers will drive success
  • This works
    “Add to any” Plug in
    Its free
    Since I installed these buttons my google analysts shows me that 6 % of NEW visitors come via Face book to my blog
    Might not seem a lot but that’s many thousands
    And I don’t even have a FB page!So its other people sharing my blog on FB from these buttons
  • This little button has created something of huge value to me
    1300 subscribers
    People who voluntarily have signed up to get an alert when I post a blog
    And I can use the at exceptionally powerful flu mailing list for many other marketing and PR reason
    And it is powerful
    These people have come to me
    Its not a normal mailing list
    These people want to hear from me
    They are ready buyers
    Not of products in my case –but of opinion., information and maybe jobs
  • Easy to subscribe
    20 seconds max
  • 1300 subscribers –why that’s so cool
    Email them every time I post a new blog
    Immediately drives 500 readers to the site
    They then forward the blog – the data base allows you to see who opened and how many times and build a pattern over time
    Mailchimp – free up to 500 member –then 30$
    Also provide accurate data – who read the blog? who forwarded?
    Build profile on people who regularly read
    Ypu can build a quality list for marketing
    Offer benefits for subscribers – eg my PP notes
    Slice and dice – send to NZ when doing a speech there – send to HK only if looking for staff there
    Remember this is no ordinary list
    Its my very discrete target market
    And they are “fans” already
    And this list grows organically by 15 – 20 per week(
    I help – speeches and notes for eg
    That’s a great example of blending on line with offline
  • The next evolton of the blog was video
    Highly influential
    This drove new visitors, new subscribers and lots of publicity
    Its suits the attention span of some of the younger generation who were brought up on YT
    It’s a tendency to be highly viral
    I had video so that was easy
    I write a blog and insert video
    Very occasionally may create a new vid is special message
  • Once again setting up a YT channel is free
    Can load video and keep them private till you are ready to publish
    Lots of stats
    I for example have had 3500 views of my 5 or six video that have gone up there over the last 6 weeks
    Is it what lady gaga gets or the kid who can push a chopstick through his nostrils?No
    But for my targeted market is powerful
    I get plenty of feedback recruitment companies use my Video and the platform for their in-house training (Ransstad)
    I have had speaking gigs from the YT and
    It gave my kids a massive kick to see dad on you tube until they realized it was just a new way ridicule me
    promote YT via blog, Twitter and LIN
  • HK Manager via linked in status
    NZ speaking gig
    FB clients jobs
    FB recruiter roles
  • Credibility &Profile - speeches all over the world (This month syd, auck, mel, feb london - expert panels, PR, asked to comment
    Connects me with customers – taken jobs,, got feedback, solved customer recovery issues
    Building a community – massive in my space, increasing by dozens a week, twitter 50 followrs a week, subscribers to blog 25 a week, LI 20 -30 a week – all targeted. They are coming to me
    Influence – debate in community when I raise issues on quality and fees and SM. Am referenced as an “oracle” by others in the media alll the time. Speeches, companies use my blogs in training sessions
    Hiring of staff – many examples HK
    Communicating my own staff – comments they read my blog
    PR extraodrodanty –quoted widely in the press and on line all over the world
    Massive referrals – jobs, clients' talent employees, pr etc
  • Never use the blog for blatant self promotion or company news
    But this once it felt right
  • Over 50 blog articles published her
    I do not work no pr agency
    They just lift it off my blog
    25000 recruiters and HR managers
  • I have had a 30 year profile on my industry that had every chance of waning as new generations came through
    Understanding this has incredibly, ade me leading edge again. 25 years olds and business owners at the highest level seek my counsel not only on recruiting but on their personal on line branding
    Now that is influence you cannot buy
  • Online communications for the CEO: Challenges and Opportunities

    1. 1. ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE CEO: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES Greg Savage: Founder and Global CEO •Firebrand Talent Search
    2. 2. www. WHY ? • Not just the blog – it is social media • Needed to understand the hype • Recruitment – threat? Opportunity? • Wanted to make informed decisions • Migrate personal brand – offline to online • BUT…………… | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    3. 3. www. BUT….. The reasons for, and benefits of, blogging and social media evolved and became much clearer for me as I dug deeper and learned how they interact and what they can achieve | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    4. 4. www. THE BLOG – THE SAVAGE TRUTH – | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    5. 5. www. THE BLOG – SOME LEARNINGS • It’s not the blog in isolation – it’s cocktail of SM • Blog has a symbiotic relationship with rest of social media and offline • Blog about what you know • Target a defined audience (for me it was recruiters worldwide) • Blog 4 times a month at least to build following • Mix very micro advice pieces with occasional macro pieces • Content is king –give people a reason to come back • Content is under your nose • Answer your comments and tweet that you have done so – stimulates debate • Tweet your new posts – several times over a week at least • Promote your blog via Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook • Organize reciprocal blog roll links with similar bloggers • There is a “tipping point” where readership increases incrementally • MY readership and subscribers are increasing faster with no more promotion | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    6. 6. www. THE BLOG – THE EVOLUTION | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    7. 7. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    8. 8. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    9. 9. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    10. 10. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    11. 11. www. ‘THE SAVAGE TRUTH’ – SUBSCRIBER GROWTH | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    12. 12. www. ‘MAILCHIMP” CAMPAIGN SUMMARY PAGE | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    13. 13. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    14. 14. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    15. 15. www. STATS? • Run rate of 75,000 visitors a year – 132 countries • Average of 1.5 minutes on the site • 50% visitors from referring site (twitter, Linked in) • 32 % from direct traffic • 10% from Search engines • Most visitors from US • Then Australia • Then UK, NZ, Canada, Singapore • 1,650 comments on the blog – of which 1188 were spam! • But 462 were legit and shows engagement | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    16. 16. www. THE INTEGRATION: BLOGGING + TWITTER + LINKEDIN + YOUTUBE • Tweet a post and 300 – 500 visitors next few hours • RTs means reaches much wider audience • Gives your post a longer life (tweet-u–later) bang for buck • Can encourage a comments debate • Tweet for time zones • LinkedIn status advertises blog post • LinkedIn status advertises a FB job – to 5000 recruiters! • Vlog results in hundreds of YouTube views • Twitter followers link on LinkedIn • Integrate your blog posts into LinkedIn page • 20 LinkedIn requests a week – 90% from Blog/Twitter | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    17. 17. www. COOL CASE STUDIES • Some posts can go viral – “No you are not running late, you are rude and selfish“ • 10,000 hits in 24 hours • Crashed my website! | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    18. 18. www. MY NEW BLOGGING AND SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS • Credibility to a far wider audience • Profile - Personal and company • Connects me with customers • Building a community • Influence • Hiring of staff • Communicating my own staff • PR • Selling • Massive referrals | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    19. 19. www. …AND HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU? • Credibility and profile –huge • Customer interaction – many examples • Complaints resolution • Made many hires from blog and social media • Every candidate I meet has read my blog • Referrals of clients and talent and new hires from blog • Acquisition enquiries • Staff quote my blog to me • Most staff are subscribers • Building a community • Press pick up my blog several times a month • Promoted speaking session (e.g. NZ) • Been invited to speak at conferences all over the world • This one, London, Singapore and many in Australia • Communicated corporate strategy via blog – tens of thousands of dollars of PR | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    20. 20. www. PUBLICITY? HOW MUCH IS THIS WORTH • Launch of Firebrand • Global rebrand • Communicating the message? How and How much • Blog Video • Consistent tweets to 5500 followers • Used blog Subscriber mailing to spread message (1000 plus) • Tweets via Firebrand team • Linked in Updates Did it work? • 8,500 Firebrand Website visitors first 2 weeks • 15,000 page views of Firebrand job posting page • Over 500 mentions/Retweets on twitter • Firebrand Twitter followers grew to 1500 marketing & creative followers in 4 weeks • Thousands of visits to my blog • PR in press, online, and podcasts all over the world (at least 20) • Job brief enquires (20) • Candidates enquiries (hundreds) • Prospective Firebrand employees made approaches • Four new speaking requests • Offers of free trials from several vendors (Job Boards etc) | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    21. 21. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    22. 22. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    23. 23. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    24. 24. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    25. 25. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    26. 26. www. | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    27. 27. www. MAKING MONEY FROM BLOGGING? • Not my goal, not my expertise • But I believe I make a great deal indirectly via PR, referrals, hiring staff • Did install one affiliate link • Generates about 5,000 a year • But to me that just proves the right people visit my blog | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    28. 28. www. OVERARCHING LESSONS • Huge time commitment • Don’t do it unless you are prepared to invest – 12 months at least • Be niche, be expert • Be controversial, have a view • Content is key • Most of the content is under your nose • Consistent • Be generous • Don’t get provoked • Work the integration between platforms • Maintain offline presence | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    29. 29. www. MOSTLY… • I have learned the incredible power and influence of social media • It is not frivolous • Its not “nice to have” • Its not the holy grail either • But its a key part of our business strategy – and I would suggest yours • and personally…… | Sydney Bloggers Festival | 9th November 2010
    30. 30. THANK YOU