Creating the Complete Social Media Experience for Your Meetings and Events

I am presenting a webinar with Boston Conferencing/Peach New Media next Tuesday at 12 Noon. The title is Creating the Complete Social Media Experience for Your Meetings and Events: Effective Practices from the Leading Edge of Association Social Media. From the description:

Learn how to plan and implement the complete social media experience for your next event, conference or meeting in this unique webinar. C. David Gammel, CAE, will lead us through the entire process from beginning to end, helping you to identify the specific value you wish to create with social media at your events and how to make it happen. David will share cases and examples from associations and others who have effectively used social media to enhance their meetings and events.

Should be a fun program, hope to see you there!

Defining Breakthrough Results with Social Media

Today’s podcast covers what I consider to be breakthrough results with social media for membership organizations.


I debut a new offering in the podcast as well, David Gammel’s Coaching Club on Social Media. This is the perfect opportunity for any executive who wants to work collaboratively on achieving breakthrough results with social media for themselves and their organization.

Quoted on about Cleaning Up Your 'Digital Dirt'

I was quoted yesterday by an columnist about what to do when your online history, as shown by Google search results for your name, begin to cause career problems.

Here is the main portion that quotes me:

Many of us may want to find ways to erase the negative information about us on the Web, but that may not be the best strategy.

“What to do when you don’t like the impression given by your online persona?” asks C. David Gammel, a corporate technology consultant. “The counterintuitive response is the best: Post even more content about yourself online.”

However, he adds: “The content should be of a nature that is at least neutral, at best positive, for your career prospects. Blog about your professional interests. Discuss research you have conducted yourself on a topic of interest.”

Gammel believes in burying the Internet skeletons in positive cyber dust. “Once the less savory items are pushed off your first page of ego search results on Google, you’ll be fine with most people,” he notes. “That’s why you have to post more, not less, to get rid of the impact of those skeletons.”

The same thing is true for organizations as well.

Podcast: Social Media and Young Professionals: An Interview with Lauren Turner

Today I have a real treat for you: an interview with Lauren Turner who is leading some innovative efforts to use social media to engage with young professionals for the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Worth Texas.

In the interview I ask Lauren about where their young professionals are engaging online, how they have reach out to them and which techniques seem to be the most effective.

Here are a few links mentioned in the interview:

The podcast is a tad over 15 minutes long. I will also be discussing Vision Fort Worth as a case in an American Chamber of Commerce Executives webinar on October 2. Be sure to register for that event if you are interested how to engage with young professionals in your community.

Play the interview below or follow the link to download the MP3 file.

When You Get Slammed Online

Eve Tahmincioglu, a columnist for, quoted me recently in a blog post she wrote about her experience interacting with a blogger who slammed one of her articles as ‘sloppy journalism.’ It’s a good case for how to approach criticism online with good results in this instance.

The key thing Eve did was to take a deep breath and respond initially as if the person criticizing her was rational. Turns out he was and they were able to find common ground via comments and blog posts discussing the issue.

Fear of litigation is the mind killer.

Hullabaloo over social media legal issues rears its head yet again in the association world.

Here is the deal folks: if your association tends to get sued or investigated over the comments of your members or staff every few years, then sponsoring participatory media activities may enhance that risk. For everyone else, get over it.

I am not a lawyer, therefore I can actually offer common sense advice about the online world.

What Should ASAE Blog About?

Lisa Junker has asked for feedback on what the ASAE Acronym blog should cover in 2008.

My biggest wish as a member and supporter of ASAE is that they would talk more about themselves. This is often a bad idea but I think that ASAE has an opportunity to use blogging as a way to discuss what they are doing as an organization and to engage more directly with their online member community about the society itself. Walk the transparency talk, in other words.

So, Lisa, that’s my suggestion. Good luck in 2008!

Public Relations and Social Media

A question about sample PR policies for social media came across a list I am on. I responded by saying that before writing policies, it’s important to know how you want to engage online and to what purpose. Without that, any policy is going to be irrelevant, at best, or more likely harmful.

I have written a framing device that you can use for yourself, team, or even your Board to discuss at what level your organization wants to and should be engaged in online conversations: Four Levels of Engagement in the Blogosphere.

Here are some questions you can use with the device:

  • At what level are we currently?
  • What level would best serve our goals and mission?
  • What level will our current organizational culture support?

The answers to those questions should get you on solid footing for identifying how you want to engage online.

For more on PR and social media, see this post by Steve Rubel on why the future of PR is participation rather than pitching.

Deep Thoughts from Peter on Associations and Participation

I was at ASAE’s Annual meeting earlier this week in Chicago and did not blog a single thing about it. Lots of others did, though. (An aside: seems like a blog tipping point was reached at this meeting. Very active and diverse blogging going on all over the place.)

Peter Turner has posted an interesting idea based on the Decision to Join report and Jeff De Cagna’s Ungovernance session:

The longer your association waits to implement governance and product development changes that are more “open and inclusive” to the rank and file member, the more likely you can expect to generate lower retention rates or product sales.

Closed ended models of governance and product development in an era of open innovation and product co-creation is THE CANCER in association management today.

Rings true to me. I think that all the excitement about social media in the association space is a direct response to the subconscious feeling that the time tested models aren’t going to work for much longer.

Podcast: Interview with Jeremiah Owyang on Measuring Social Media

I am working on an article for Associations Now about how to measure social media success. The questions I am exploring: How can you measure success with these tools? How do you know you are creating value with a blog, podcast, wiki, RSS, etc.? What’s beyond the page view?

I interviewed Jeremiah Owyang, about this issue last week. Jeremiah is with PodTech, an online video network. Jeremiah has been writing about social media, and metrics in particular, quite a bit this year. He even started a Facebook group on social media measurement.

In the recording attached to this post we discuss the idea of measuring engagement, subjective vs. objective measures and what the near term future might look like. Jeremiah shares several tips on getting started with measuring social media (follow the link for a write-up of these). Thanks Jeremiah!

Drop me a line if you are using social media at your association and would like to share your experience for the article. You don’t have to have solved the problem (if you have you can write the article!) but I am very interested in talking about the value you think your efforts are providing and issues related to measuring that value.

Update: Jeremiah has posted a few additional comments and links related to what we discussed in the interview.