Amanda_Turner_Bernie_Charland_Employee_Advocacy
Employee Advocacy Experts, Amanda Turner and Bernie Charland

Thank you to all who joined our first LIVE Q&A on the topic of Employee Advocacy.  Bernie Charland, Principal/Founder of Thinktwice Communications teamed up with Amanda Turner, President/Founder of ClearChange Communications, to share their insights on this hot topic and field your questions together to provide you the best answers possible.  Below, you’ll find a full listing of questions with their respective answers.  **Don’t forget to download this FREE list of Employee Advocacy Stats to reinforce your own employee advocacy program! Here are a few key points of the Q&A:

  • Gamification and Incentivizing Employee Advocacy Programs.  Several folks asked about gamification and turning your employee advocacy program into a rewards based “game” with points, scores and a competitive element to drive some friendly competition in the office while promoting the company brand.  For the most part, the answer is yes.  Incentivizing employees to establish a stronger program is effective but needs to be done correctly and must be a good fit within the company.  “Incentives and gamification should be encouraged – not coerced.”
  • Employee Social Pages and Disclaimers.  A noted concern in the conversation was whether or not employee-owned social media channels should feature any type of disclaimer.  The answer varies from company-to-company but the bottom line is that it will not harm your company to have a disclaimer or a company hashtag indicating the employee is a part of the employee advocacy program and their views may not fully represent those of the company’s.
  • Using Caution in Highly Regulated Industries.  Many companies operate within industries that have very complicated and strict rules and regulations surrounding what employees/companies can and cannot say publicly.  Organizations that fit within one of these industries can do a few things to minimize the risk of an employee advocacy program such as ensuring a detailed social media policy and providing rigorous social media training to those participating in the employee advocacy program.
  • Monitoring Employees on Social Media.  Should the brand govern what is said on social media by closely monitoring what employees say and share?  You cannot govern what the employee decides to share; you can only provide them approved content to share.  What they decide to say and which content they decide to share will be determined by what’s relevant to their likes/interests and those of their audience (friends and family).  What they say/share SHOULD be monitored, but it cannot be governed in an effective program.  That would create a “manufactured” marketing program.
























Want more from Bernie and Amanda? Check out their highlight clips from their Speakers’ Corner webisode, “Employee Advocacy: Why Employees Are The Next Big Thing.
-Highlight Clip #1: Mitigate the Risk of an Employee Advocacy Program
-Highlight Clip #2: Employee Advocacy Stats

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About Rich:

Take a serial entrepreneur, add an altruistic core, throw in a dose of chutzpah for good measure, and you’ve got Rich Kylberg. So the last place you might expect to find a person like Kylberg is in a vice president’s chair at an 80-year old, Fortune 150 corporation.

But Kylberg has been defying expectations most of his life.

Whether it was showing up at the starting line of his first Iron-distance triathlon having never participated in a triathlon before, grabbing a camera without a producer to shoot public service announcements as a college intern at a local PBS station, or driving into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with nothing more than a copy of his radio station’s license as a credential to be able to lend a hand, this is a man who defies gravity while producing results.

His current endeavor: leading the marketing and communications team at Arrow Electronics.

Rich’s VOD, “Unconventional Marketing: Courage and Conviction,” is available now.  Subscribe today to get access!

About Bernie:

Bernie is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years experience in corporate communications in Canada and the United States. Though Bernie’s career spans a variety of settings – including agency, corporate, trade association, politics and consulting – for the past 15 years he has specialized in employee communications, leadership outreach and social media planning.

Bernie has been owner and principal of Thinktwice Communications since 2009. Before starting Thinktwice Bernie was Vice President, Internal Communications for Iron Mountain, the global leader in information management services based in Boston. Prior to that he managed the Global Internal Communication function at Dell Inc. and led strategic planning for the award-winning Conversations & Communities (social media) team. During his agency days, Bernie worked with a range of leading organizations including Ford, Deutsche Bank, Boeing, Gerber/Novartis, Toyota, Nationwide, MolsonCoors, Visa and Sprint.

Bernie’s educational background includes a Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern’s Medill School and an Honors Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Bernie has passion and a drive for excellence that extends beyond his work. Personal achievements include completing over 40 marathons (including ultra-marathons), 50 triathlons and climbing trips to Mt. Everest, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua.

Bernie and Amanda’s VOD, “Employee Advocacy: Why Employees Are The Next Big Thing”

About Michael:

Michael is an accomplished leader in the communications industry with more than 25 years of experience building global brands, leading international teams, solving complex strategic problems and developing high-impact creative campaigns. Michael spent eight years with Ogilvy & Mather, where he was the Worldwide Account Director. While there, he managed the SAP account, directing the integrated communications campaign and building a global team in more than 40 countries.

Michael helps individuals, teams, companies and brands with personal and corporate branding, executive and team coaching and one-of-a-kind PowerPoint training (“How to Put the Power Back in PowerPoint”) that turns corporate presenters into uniquely effective communicators. He melds his actor’s training with his professional acumen to create a compelling, transformative experience for all who work with him. Michael studied professional acting at the William Esper Studio and the Deena Levy Theatre Studio in New York.  Last year, he wrote, “Just Add Water,” which shares his secrets on great presentations.  He is a graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin.

Michael’s VOD, “What’s YOUR Point?” is available now.

About Amy:

Author, speaker, and entrepreneur Amy McIlwain shares her knowledge at events around the world ranging from audiences of 1,000 to small executive boardrooms.

Amy McIlwain is Vice President of Social and Digital Strategy at Moore Communications Group. With more than 15 years experience in interactive media, Amy has appeared on FOX, CBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates as a social media expert and delivers keynote presentations to financial service organizations around the world. Always savvy that the rapid shifts between traditional and social marketing can be challenging to navigate and harness, she addresses the most pertinent issues regarding social media, resulting in a clear approach that allows you to cut marketing costs, consistently build your network, and increase your revenue. Her content-packed action items help you tackle the complex compliant issues within the financial industry so you can yield immediate results.

She is a regular contributor to InvestmentNews and in 2014 was named by LifeHealthPro as one of the 24 Most Creative People In Insurance. In addition, her book, The Social Advisor: Social Media Secrets of the Financial Industry, has been featured as a best-seller in the Amazon business category.

Amy launched Financial Social Media (FSM) in 2010 to specifically address the compliance issues surrounding social media and the financial industry. In 2015, the company was acquired by MCG. The fusing of MCG and FSM sparks new opportunities for clients to benefit from MCG’s integrated communications approach to solving client challenges and FSM’s deep understanding of the power of social media to drive results.

Amy’s VOD, “Using Social Strategies to Generate Sales,” is available now.

About Luella:

As Chief Communications Officer for Western Union, Luella Chavez D’Angelo is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic, aligned and highly effective global communication and corporate social responsibility strategy for the company’s growing array of products and delivery channels. She also oversees the Western Union Social Ventures department and the Western Union Foundation, together with its Board of Directors.

Luella received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and in 2014 was recognized by the same organization as one of Colorado’s most powerful women. In 2014 she received Hispanic Executive Magazine’s Top 10 Lideres Award and the Denver Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Women in Business. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and a master’s in Business Administration, with an emphasis on Finance, from the University of New Mexico.

Luella and Diane’s VOD, “Western Union Case Study: The 5 Conversations All Social Brands Should Care About,” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Steven:

Steven Shapiro has designed and executed successful business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and communications strategies for more than 25 years.  He now applies his experience to providing strategic communications direction to the clients of Communications Strategy Group (CSG), a company he founded in May 2004.  Steven started the firm out of a desire to improve the role, reputation and delivery of what had been traditional public relations, and evolve it to what is now the framework of CSG’s “content-based influencer relations” philosophy.

Steven’s career was primarily steeped in the financial services and education industries. He has led the communications aspects of many industry-changing “firsts”, including the launch of the first wrap accounts for Shearson Lehman Brothers; the launch of the first ETF, the SPDR, while at the American Stock Exchange; the first active ETFs for Grail Advisors; and the first fully online accredited university, Jones International University. Steven is best known for his creatively strategic, metrics-based thinking that he applies to the firm’s clients’ challenges and opportunities, including crisis management, company and product launches, brand building, thought leadership and business accelerators.

Earlier in his career, Steven served as the vice president of corporate communications for Scudder Kemper Investments and Founders Funds after serving as the head of public relations for the American Stock Exchange. Steven started his career as an outside communications consultant for Ernst & Young, Lehman Brothers and Prudential, as well as consumer companies, including Sharp Electronics and the United Ski Industries Association.

Just prior to founding CSG, Steven served as vice president of marketing and communications for Jones Knowledge, a holding company for a series of online education companies. In this capacity, he was directly responsible for establishing Jones International University as a recognized pioneer in online post-secondary education. He also helped launch Jones e-global library, a comprehensive suite of online library research tools; and positioned Jones e-education, a learning course management and delivery platform, for dominance in the K-12 market.

Today, Steven continues to evolve and apply CSG’s unique strategic approach for the firm’s clients, while forwarding the firm’s culture of responsibility and value creation. He also serves on the advisory board of Colorado State University Global Campus. Steven received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University.

Steven’s VOD, “Unleashing the Power of Content: Turning Content Into a Strategic Asset,” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Jeffrey:

Jeffrey Daigle is a senior research analyst at E Source who writes and speaks on topics such as marketing, customer analytics, customer experience, website and channel design, and customer care. His expertise on these subjects comes from years of managing a customer experience program for Crocs–the manufacturer of the original foam shoe–and operating two family-owned restaurant franchises. Jeffrey holds a BA in communication and French from the University of Colorado.

Jeffrey’s VOD, “Measure Them!” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Gabe:

Gabe Cohen brings a wealth of practical brand-building experience in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Brazil helping executives across a range of sectors better align and measure their organizations around the customer and employee experience.

His expertise stretches across healthcare, tourism, telecommunications, financial services, oil and gas, services and consumer electronics. Gabe is also a member of the CMO Club, a group of industry peers, and writes and speaks frequently on creating a brand-centric organization.

Prior to joining Monigle Gabe led the Analytics and Brand Valuation practice for Interbrand in Canada. Most recently he spent the last two years with a Boston start-up pioneering the introduction of an innovative simulation technique that allows marketers to use existing insights and research to recreate customers journeys in a virtual environment and test how they might respond to different scenarios.

Gabe’s background includes a stint as a TV commentator at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and analyst for the South Africa World Cup. He also recently realized his ambition of meeting Bono!

Gabe holds a B.A in Economics & Economic History from the University of York in the UK and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.

Gabe’s VOD, “What’s a 50-Cent Hot Dog Got to do With Customer Experience?” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Meg:

Meg VanderLaan is the Chief Communications Officer of MWH Global, headquartered in Broomfield, Colo. In this role, VanderLaan serves as the senior public relations executive and primary company spokesperson. She leads the company in its efforts to enhance its corporate brand and uphold its purpose of Building a Better World. In addition, VanderLaan leads message development across various media channels for the company’s operations in 35 countries.

VanderLaan has a passion for taking the complex subjects that often accompany MWH projects and effectively communicating those topics in a way that is relatable, accessible and easily understood for people in communities around the world.

Prior to joining MWH in 2009, VanderLaan spent 13 years with Gates Corporation, a world leader in industrial and automotive solutions, ultimately serving as the vice president of corporate communications and public affairs. In 2006, she became a member of the board of directors for Gates Winhere, a joint venture based in Yantai, China, serving as the board’s only American and only woman. She also worked in marketing for a dot-com start-up and managed marketing programs in the health insurance industry.

VanderLaan is an active member of the board of directors for several organizations, including the Downtown Denver Partnership Management Group, Downtown Denver Partnership Denver Civic Ventures, Downtown Denver Events and the Foundation for Global Scholars. In 2012, VanderLaan was named to the Board of Trustees for Gannon University in Erie, Pa., her Alma Mater. Since 2008, VanderLaan has chaired the fund-raising task force for the 9News Parade of Lights, a 40-year holiday tradition in Denver.

As a community leader, VanderLaan was named the 2014 Outstanding Woman in Business in Media, PR and Communications by the Denver Business Journal.

VanderLaan earned her bachelor’s in communication arts and a proficiency certificate in German from Gannon University. VanderLaan was recognized with the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. In December 2014, the university also awarded VanderLaan the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

VanderLaan has been a speaker at national association and industry conferences, covering topics such as crisis communications, corporate brand and women in leadership.

In her spare time, VanderLaan enjoys skiing, mountain biking and traveling. She currently lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her husband, John.

Awarded 2015 PRSA CO Business Person of the Year!!

Meg’s VOD, “Always On: How to Be Ready to Communicate in a Crisis,” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Hunter:

With over two decades of experience in industry and academic settings, Hunter has spent his career focusing on the development and application of value driven analytics to improve business performance.

He joined Tendril, a leading provider of Energy Services Management (ESM) solutions in January 2015. As General Manager of Data Services, he is responsible for driving Tendril’s Data Services business unit and leading a team of highly talented, analytics professionals to extend the value of Tendril’s data driven products and services.

Before joining Tendril, he was Chief Operating Officer at Zoola Inc. where he oversaw product development, product marketing, technology and customer service. Previously he served as CEO of Beyond Analysis – North America and was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Knowledge Network International (KNI), a global financial services consultancy.

He has held key executive and management roles in the U.S. and U.K., including Chief Marketing Officer at HBOS Cards Services and Head of Commercial Management at Barclaycard, a strategic business unit of Barclays Bank. In the US he held senior positions at Partners First (formerly Wachovia Bank) and Providian.

During his early years in academia, he was at the forefront of systems and decision science research, and completed a PhD in Systems Engineering at the University of Virginia. Key areas of research included multi-objective optimization, artificial intelligence and decision theory.

He has considerable expertise in the fields of commercial management, strategy, marketing, analytics and customer value management. He has served on the Faculty at Visa Europe Business School and is a frequent conference speaker.

Hunter’s VOD, “Monetizing Data, Are You Doing Enough?” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Arezou:

Arezou Zarafshan is a charismatic leader with a reputation for delivering game-changing business results of monumental magnitude. She has almost 20 years of experience leading customer-centric and research and development functions for global manufacturing and consumer product companies. Arezou is recognized as a visionary in developing processes and products that drive measureable improvement in customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Having lived and worked in Asia and the U.S., Arezou brings a thoughtful international perspective to business, which has solidified her reputation as an adept leader of global cross-functional teams. She is equally strong in left brain and right brain thinking—a differentiator which informs her intentional approach to seizing opportunities and solving problems.

Arezou recently joined OtterBox as the Customer Analytics Sr. Executive. Prior to OtterBox, Arezou was Vice President of Total Consumer Experience at Crocs Inc., a global manufacturer of footwear headquartered in Colorado. In this role she was responsible for instilling a consumer-centric culture and processes globally. During her three-year tenure at Crocs, Arezou designed and deployed innovative programs bringing consistent integration of Voice of the Consumer and Voice of the Ambassador into business management processes. Arezou also established global Customer Experience Management programs, infusing customer centricity into the fabric of the company.

She began her career at Hewlett-Packard, where she spent 13 years in increasingly significant roles. Starting as an engineer, she was promoted to R&D project manager, Design Center program manager, and R&D section manager. Following HP, Arezou was recruited to join ACCO Brands, one of the world’s largest suppliers of branded office products, as its Vice President for R&D and Product Development. At ACCO, Arezou’s responsibilities quickly grew from being solely focused on Document Finishing products to overseeing the entire ACCO Brands product portfolio.

Arezou is a passionate advocate for women’s and children’s rights and equity in the workplace. She is equally passionate about mentoring and coaching professional women, and is a board member of the Denver Chapter of the Ellevate Network, a global organization dedicated to empowering women economically and in the workplace. Arezou previously served on the board of the YWCA in Vancouver, Washington.

She is a dynamic speaker who is frequently invited to industry events to share her expertise on topics including Market Centric Product Development, Customer Experience, and the connection of Customer Experience metrics to hard business metrics./p>

Arezou holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology and Washington State University, respectively.

She and her husband, Evan, live in Golden, Colorado, with their son.

Arezou’s VOD, “Customer Analytics: A Fine Line Between Love and Hate,” will be available soon to a device near you.

About Anne:

Most of Anne’s career has been spent communicating the business of business. From restructuring announcements to CEO succession plans, from thought leadership platforms to issues management initiatives, Anne has a passion for business and a mandate for crisp and clear communications.

Anne has spent more than 30 years in corporate communications serving Fortune 500 companies in the US, Europe and Asia across a variety of industry segments including technology, financial services, health care, engineering and consumer packaged goods. She’s lived in Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Philadelphia and Tokyo. She is now based in Denver and taps into her global network to serve Westmeath’s clients.

In 2010, she founded Westmeath Global Communications, a virtual consulting firm, which offers clients services that help organizations accelerate performance.  Westmeath offers four complementary marketing and communications services:  Advisory Services; Performance Diagnostics; Acceleration Plans and Engagement Services.  Areas of focus include brand and reputation management, corporate social responsibility, issues/crisis management, messaging/positioning, employee communications, change management and customer engagement.  Named after the county where her maternal Grandmother was born, Westmeath relies on a “best practices” methodology and a virtual team that is both experienced and committed to advancing our clients’ agenda.  Simply put, Westmeath takes the mystery out of business communications and builds programs that are tied to the business results.

Prior to launching Westmeath Global Communications, Anne led large communications and marketing programs at Sara Lee Corporation, IBM, Polaroid, DuPont, SAP, Western Union and CH2M HILL.

Anne participated in the 2009 Summit on the Global Agenda (World Economic Forum), was named one of the Business 100 by “Irish America” magazine (2009-2013). She participates as a guest lecturer at the Leeds School of Business (University of Colorado) and Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. She is actively involved with the American Ireland Fund and the Aspen Ideas Festival. In 2014, Anne designed and introduced The Thread Summit, a signature conference for marketing and communications professionals in the Rocky Mountain region and recently launched the Rocky Mountain Performance Barometer, which is designed to help marketing and communications professionals link their programs to business performance.

Anne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Michigan State University and has completed executive education programs at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at INSEAD at Fontainebleau. She lives in Colorado with Mulligan (her Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier) and enjoys tennis, golf, biking and skiing. She is a dual citizen (US and Ireland) and continues to travel the globe.

Anne’s VOD, “Creating Your Leadership Platform,” will be coming soon to a device near you.

About Amanda:

Having spent the past 15 years in corporate communications, Amanda has worked closely with executive teams to drive engagement and effectively lead employees through organizational change. Throughout her career, she has provided valuable communications council to corporate leadership.

Amanda works with companies across a variety of industries including financial services, education and healthcare. Whether a company is redefining its mission, introducing a new strategy, acquiring a competitor or simply seeking to improve upon the status quo, Amanda identifies how to best engage employees and align them toward a common goal.

Amanda spent eight years at Fortune 200 leader, Baxter International. As the head of internal communications, she oversaw financial and strategic messaging, a global rebranding, the introduction of new leadership and the acquisition/divestiture of numerous entities.

Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Communications from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two boys and runs her own firm,

Amanda and Bernie’s VOD, “Employee Advocacy: Why Employees Are The Next Big Thing”

Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Communications from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two boys and runs her own firm, ClearChange Communications.

About Diane:

As Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Diane Scott is focused on developing new products and services for consumers and businesses by leveraging existing assets to increase consumer loyalty and retention, attract new consumers and obtain a higher share of wallet.

Additionally, Scott is responsible for leading strategic global marketing development including brand strategy, customer segmentation, marketing communications, customer experience, and market research and analytics. She is based in Englewood, Colorado, at Western Union’s global headquarters.

Scott’s tenure with Western Union began in 2001 and has included positions as General Manager of the U.S. domestic business and Senior Vice President for marketing in the Americas. Prior to working at Western Union, Scott was the marketing director for US West Dex and Izodia Corporation. In these roles, she was responsible for marketing communications and brand strategy for various consumer and business-to-business segments. Scott began her career working in the advertising industry at McClain Finlon Advertising, where she worked across a wide a variety of industries domestically and internationally.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University.

Diane and Luella’s VOD, “Western Union Case Study: The 5 Conversations All Social Brands Should Care About,” will be coming soon to a device near you.

Watch the second message from Anne