I just spent the last two days at the MARCOM conference in Ottawa at the newly opened Ottawa Convention Centre. The conference was organized by CEPSM and we were happy to go live with a dynamic twitter graph of #marcomforum related tweets in real time.
I enjoyed learning about the differences between public sector marketing and private sector marketing and how social media can bridge the two. Jim Mintz‘ talk on Wednesday morning focused on public sector branding and emphasized that determining brand position and competitors is essential, especially given that branding takes place in social media whether public sector actors expect it or not. Jim made a good point that public sector branding doesn’t have to be expensive if you communicate to clients and stakeholders with a consistent effort over time. Josef Jurkovic discussed the special concerns of public sector actors but still held that it is “a horizontal world where partners and issues matter.” The presentation finished with an interesting discussion of which government departments have good branding: CMHC, SSHRC, Service Canada and Health Canada were pointed out, but in my opinion the social media receptiveness scale runs from Service Canada to Canada Science and Technology Museum to Canada Revenue Agency and Health Canada.
However, next to the keynote by Brian Solis, the presentation on crowdsourcing by Pierre Bisson and Jon Juane from Service Canada was my favourite presentation of the conference. The presentation explained the Service Canada Centres for Youth #sccy crowdsourced video contest and evaluated the key concerns and benefits of crowdsourcing for social marketing:
- Brand reputation
- Crowd control
- Peaks & valleys
- Policies & guidelines
- Creating content
- Building the community
- Marketing and promotion
There was a lot of activity at our booth, which was next to Radian6‘s (Jon McGinley from Radian6 argued that social media represents revolutionary democratization), and the conference participants I spoke with were interested in the power of social media for gauging reactions, issues, actors and reputations related to public marketing campaigns a set of concerns related to social media that public sector actors will increasingly need to face and master.