The Social Nature of Engineering + Innovation

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More and more, organizations in the science, technology, and engineering industry are using social media as a tool to reach their audiences. They are successfully positioning their organizations and employees as thought leaders to advance industry knowledge and drive innovation. These organizations that have taken the plunge into the world of social media are learning that the tool enhances the efficiency of internal and external communications needs in the industry. Messages shared through social media channels are quicker than traditional communication forms and allow for real-time interaction and outside feedback that drive ideas and innovation further and faster than ever. Like any tactic, social media is most effective when integrated into an overall communications strategy, connected to business objectives, and informed by research, planning, and measurement.

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The Social Nature of Engineering + Innovation

  1. 1. The social nature of engineering + innovation How the science, technology, and engineering industry is using social media + innovation to improve communications Presented by Kristin Halpin, Syracuse University #innovationPRSM pharmaceutical research clinical trials analytical testing
  2. 2. Background For this presentation, social media is defined as: • Blogs (e.g., corporate blog) • Social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) • Micro blogging sites (e.g., Twitter) • Media sharing sites (e.g., YouTube) • Purpose: use social media to reduce distance between people to improve efficiency of internal and external communication needs in the industry DEFINITION | SOCIAL MEDIA #innovationPRSM
  3. 3. Background For this presentation, innovation is defined as: • Process that brings together new ideas in a way that impacts society • Application of new solutions to meet market needs + improve communications • Use of concepts, or social media product, platform, or network, in new ways • Having a vision or goal to impact audiences through social media DEFINITION | INNOVATION #innovationPRSM
  4. 4. Background How social media + innovation has changed communications: •Communications in social media are quicker than traditional forms and reach more people, faster •Messages sent have a longer shelf life •Changes information flow to the public, clients, partners, sub-consultants, and employees, interacting in new ways and building deeper relationships DEFINITION | INNOVATION #innovationPRSM
  5. 5. Background How social media + innovation has changed communications: •Communications happen in real time •Social media fosters immediate input from stakeholders, feedback on projects and firms, and discovery of thought leaders •Further advancing industry knowledge as influencers in specific fields collaborate •This new way of communicating moves innovation and thinking faster and farther DEFINITION | INNOVATION #innovationPRSM “Social media continues to grow and evolve based on the needs of today’s business user …This new form of media is not a trend. It is the way businesses communicate.” AmandaWalter and Holly Berkley, Social Media in Action
  6. 6. Background The Social Nature of Engineers James Kent, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer ViewThe Social Nature of Engineers HOW ENGINEERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA #innovationPRSM
  7. 7. Background The most popular social media sites for engineers: • Facebook – 67% • LinkedIn – 43% • Google+ – 33% • Twitter – 22% Overall, 61% of all engineers use social media for work-related activities. Source: Social media research study carried out by Calgavin HOW ENGINEERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA Most popular sites visited by engineers: Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Facebook #innovationPRSM
  8. 8. Background What engineers use social media for: • Videos • Reading news • Finding products and new suppliers • Learning about engineering solutions • Reading / company recommendations • Viewing white papers Source: Social media research study carried out by Calgavin HOW ENGINEERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA #innovationPRSM
  9. 9. Introduction This presentation has 3 key learning objectives: 1. Define how science, technology, and engineering use social media + innovation to improve communications 2. Identify best practices organizations have using innovation + social strategy, with case studies 3. Identify next steps for innovation + social strategy for science, technology, and engineering LEARNING OBJECTIVES #innovationPRSM
  10. 10. Introduction Connected via LinkedIn: Amanda Walter (San Francisco) is a communications strategist who focuses on the built environment. She is the owner of Walter Communications and co-author of the acclaimed book Social Media in Action: Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning and Environmental Consulting Firms. @waltercomms LinkedIn +AmandaWalter Facebook INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS | AMANDA WALTER #innovationPRSM
  11. 11. Introduction Partner of O’Brien & Gere: MollyWagner (Washington) is Director of Communications at Dewberry, a leading professional services firm, providing architecture, engineering, and management and consulting services to a variety of clients. She directs external communications and public relations for the mid-sized engineering and architecture firm. @TheDewberryWay LinkedIn YouTube Dewberry blog INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS | MOLLY WAGNER #innovationPRSM
  12. 12. Introduction Partner of O’Brien & Gere: Sam Miller (Washington) is Web Content Specialist at Dewberry, a leading professional services firm, providing architecture, engineering, and management and consulting services to a variety of clients. He manages Dewberry’s corporate social media presence and website and blog content. @SamDMiller | @TheDewberryway LinkedIn YouTube Dewberry blog INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS | SAM MILLER #innovationPRSM
  13. 13. Introduction Colleague, PRSA-CNY Board of Directors: Brent Murphy (Syracuse, N.Y.) is International Marketing Communications Manager at Welch Allyn, a global manufacturer of medical devices, products, and solutions. He oversees consistent execution and development of the Welch Allyn brand in 20+ international markets. @brentomurphy | @WelchAllyn LinkedIn YouTube Facebook INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS | BRENT MURPHY #innovationPRSM
  14. 14. Introduction Syracuse University Newhouse School M.S. Communications Management Alum: Tony D’Angelo (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) is Senior Manager, Communications at ITT Corporation (ITT), a diversified leading manufacturer of highly engineered critical components and customized technology solutions for the energy, transportation, and industrial markets. @TonyDAngelo_ITT | @ittcorp LinkedIn YouTube Facebook INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS | TONY D’ANGELO #innovationPRSM
  15. 15. Best practices Questions asked of social media practitioners: 1. What has worked in your social strategy? 2. How do you use innovation in your social strategy? 3. Do you have suggestions of best practices? 4. Where is innovation + social strategy going next in your organization? INTERVIEW QUESTIONS #innovationPRSM
  16. 16. Best practices 1. What has worked in your social strategy? • Comprehensive social media management approach to achieve business objectives • Developing strategy, generating sufficient content, and using analytics to create buzz •Positioning as thought leader to advance industry knowledge • Using video to share content through concise, compelling storytelling INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | ONE #innovationPRSM “We are strategically advancing our business objectives using the various communications tools we can employ, and social media is one of them.” Tony D’Angelo, ITT
  17. 17. Best practices Dewberry | uses video to demonstrate industry thought leadership: Highlighting expertise in topics audience is interested in, such as projects, technology, and people: Visit Dewberry onYouTube INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | ONE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  18. 18. Best practices 1. What has worked in your social strategy? (cont.) • Focusing on employee collaboration to generate sufficient content that is shared through multiple channels • Conducting research to inform strategy by finding out where core audience is: •Dewberry – LinkedIn,YouTube •WelchAllyn – Facebook • ITT – LinkedIn INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | ONE #innovationPRSM
  19. 19. Best practices INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | ONE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM Welch Allyn | focuses on Facebook for audience engagement: Research found audience primarily on Facebook. Focusing content strategy on conversation around subject matter expertise: VisitWelch Allyn on Facebook
  20. 20. Best practices ITT | leverages LinkedIn and expertise for audience engagement: Research found core engineering audience on LinkedIn. Integrating LinkedIn with other tools to effectively reach target audience: Visit ITT on LinkedIn INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | ONE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  21. 21. Best practices 2. How do you use innovation in your social strategy? •Using as multi-directional communications tool to facilitate conversation on topics that matter most to target audiences •Mirroring organization in social media to reflect innovation across platforms •Positioning employees as thought leaders to advance industry knowledge •Using crowdsourcing to gather information INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | TWO #innovationPRSM “Innovation is advancing the industry, interacting with your client base, and supporting your audiences’ quest for knowledge.” AmandaWalter, Walter Communications
  22. 22. Best practices INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | TWO | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM Dewberry | uses LinkedIn to reach professional engineering audience: Sharing new blog content on industry thought leadership to LinkedIn audience, facilitating dialogue to advance the field: Visit Dewberry on LinkedIn
  23. 23. Best practices 2. How do you use innovation in your social strategy? (cont.) •Delivering the information markets, clients, partners, and employees seek •Reaching engineers how they want to engage (e.g., asking technical questions) • Using video to demonstrate products and services and the people behind them •Using data to understand where audiences are and where they are going next INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | TWO #innovationPRSM
  24. 24. Best practices ITT | delivers content audiences want to consume and interact with: Engaging engineering audience online via technical quiz for ITT’s Pump Appreciation Day, a celebration of pumps and those who keep them running: See World of Pumps Quiz Visit Pump Appreciation Day site INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | TWO | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  25. 25. Best practices Welch Allyn | uses video for storytelling and engagement: Producing short-form videos on training, testimonials, news, and products, and syndicating through multiple channels: VisitWelch Allyn onYouTube INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | TWO | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  26. 26. Best practices 3. Do you have suggestions of best practices? •Establish social media objectives and strategy and align with business objectives • Drive strategy by research, planning, and measurement to better communications •Focus on relevant and quality messaging, not quantity, to attract audiences •Be transparent and authentic to drive two- way communication + foster engagement INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE #innovationPRSM “B2B is all about transparency and industry thought leadership.Join the conversation and be as authentic as possible.” Sam Miller, Dewberry
  27. 27. Best practices ITT | conducts comprehensive survey for insights on target audiences: Building social media strategy based on data showing where audience goes for information, LinkedIn: Visit ITT on LinkedIn INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  28. 28. Best practices 3. Do you have suggestions of best practices? (cont.) •Share organization and employee thought leadership to engage with audience and advance the industry (e.g., via LinkedIn) •Understand your audience and key influencers within target audiences • Leverage video to share information through concise, compelling storytelling (e.g., YouTube) INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE #innovationPRSM “It’s important in any industry to use social media channels the way your customers are interacting with them, providing content how they want to consume it.” Brent Murphy, Welch Allyn
  29. 29. Best practices ITT | focuses on video to share stories through social channels: Effectively sharing visual stories of people behind the products through multiple channels: See We are Goulds Pumps Visit ITT on YouTube INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM
  30. 30. Best practices 3. Do you have suggestions of best practices? (cont.) • Do more than broadcast and promote. Foster dialogue about the industry centered on your expertise. • Amplify the organization’s vision and values and how they are advancing • Become a publisher. Leverage content curation and syndication through multiple channels. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE #innovationPRSM
  31. 31. Best practices INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM Dewberry | syndicates blog stories across multiple social channels: Sharing feature blog stories that highlight industry leadership and community across all social media channels to foster dialogue. Visit the Dewberry blog
  32. 32. Best practices 3. Do you have suggestions of best practices? (cont.) • Utilize employee collaboration. Encourage internal social media collaborators. •Tell the story of projects through the eyes of engineers, in a way people understand •Use for media relations to build followers interested in your industry and field •Define employee guidelines and core messaging to further collaboration INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE #innovationPRSM
  33. 33. Best practices INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | THREE | CASE STUDY #innovationPRSM Welch Allyn | builds Twitter audience via media relations strategy: Implementing media relations campaign on Twitter can result in significant increase in followers: @WelchAllyn
  34. 34. Best practices 4. Where is innovation + social strategy going next? • In B2B, social media will become more prominent and integrated as an avenue to reach target audiences • More high-level executives will emerge as spokespeople, sharing the human side of their organizations • Thought leadership and sharing employee skill sets and knowledge will increase INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | FOUR #innovationPRSM “Anyone with a certain skill set in a particular field can become a thought leader. This will continue to push innovation further and faster than ever.” MollyWagner, Dewberry
  35. 35. Best practices 4. Where is innovation + social strategy going next? (cont.) • Increased use for connecting with communities and managing crises • Greater use of video to share latest thinking, interests, and history •Greater reliance on primary industry influencers to cut through the clutter as more people engage with social media and send more messages INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | FOUR #innovationPRSM
  36. 36. Best practices 4. Where is innovation + social strategy going next? (cont.) • Advancement of mobile technology. Immediate access to the web anytime, anywhere will fuel innovation. •Growth of location-based social networking in engineering as the industry designs and builds the locations the public “checks in” to (e.g., Foursquare) INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | FOUR #innovationPRSM
  37. 37. Best practices 4. Where is innovation + social strategy going next? (cont.) •Further customization of social tools for organizations to engage in more powerful ways with audiences •Incorporation of technology into engineering projects and designs INTERVIEW QUESTIONS | FOUR #innovationPRSM “It is an exciting time … as the possibilities for helping to create innovative spaces that engage both the virtual & physical world will put you at the forefront in the next chapter in human interaction with the natural & built environments.” AmandaWalter and Holly Berkley, Social Media in Action
  38. 38. Conclusions In summary, top ways science, technology, and engineering organizations use social media + innovation to achieve better communications: 1) Cost-effective tool for expanding the reach of a brand and the efficiency of internal and external communications 2) Integration of social technologies with traditional communications tactics to reach target audiences across various platforms 3) Multi-directional communications tool to advance the industry, facilitate conversation with audiences, and achieve business objectives 4) Successfully positioning organizations and employees as industry thought leaders to foster two-way communication with core audiences HOW INDUSTRY USES SOCIAL MEDIA + INNOVATION #innovationPRSM
  39. 39. Conclusions In summary, 5 key best practices: 1) Establish social media objectives and strategy. Inform strategy with research, planning, and measurement to better communications. 2) Be transparent and authentic to drive two-way communication 3) Position your organization and employees as industry thought leaders 4) Understand your audience and key influencers within target audiences. Foster dialogue on topics that matter to core audiences. 5) Become a publisher. Leverage content curation and content syndication. KEY BEST PRACTICES #innovationPRSM
  40. 40. Conclusions In summary, 5 key ideas on future of innovation + social media: 1) Greater integration in communications strategy to reach target audiences 2) Greater reliance on primary industry influencers 3) Advancement of mobile technology and location-based social networking 4) Further customization of social media tools 5) Incorporation of technology into engineering projects and designs WHAT’S NEXT? #innovationPRSM
  41. 41. Questions #innovationPRSM
  42. 42. Thank you Kristin Halpin (Syracuse, N.Y.) is a Communications Specialist at O’Brien & Gere, a national engineering solutions provider, and specializes in PR, media relations, technical writing, social media marketing, email marketing, and public affairs. She is completing a master's degree in Communications Management at the Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America - Central NewYork chapter. ABOUT KRISTIN HALPIN #innovationPRSM
  43. 43. Thank you kristin.halpin@gmail.com +Kristin Halpin @kristinhalpin linkedin.com/in/kristinhalpin kristinhalpin.tumblr.com #innovationPRSM CONTACT KRISTIN HALPIN

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