Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

At Dunning-Creating Sparks we have been converts of Social Media for quite some time. Whilst we don’t consider ourselves to be experts, in reality few practitioners can lay claim to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” guru status of 10,000 hours practice = good, however we do like to think we know what we’re talking about.

So, today we were happy to stand up and share an overview of our knowledge to not one but two business audiences where we boldly stated Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!


Not ones to shirk a challenge, Julian picked up the mic and by 2 o’clock had spoken to over 120 businesses on the merits and the pitfalls of social media. First up was a breakfast seminar starting at 7.30am in GTG Training’s state of the art facility in Whiteinch.  We then moved on to the Corinthian Club in Glasgow City Centre where we presented to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members at the first of their Lunch & Learn series of sponsored events.  Both venues were fully booked, in fact the lunch was the first ever sold out event for the Chamber who had to start late because an extra table was needed to accommodate all the eager, lunch learners.

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

Julian talked about the variety of social media tools available and emphasised the need for a social media:

  • Policy
  • Strategy
  • Measurement criteria
  • ROI demonstration

He offered the following Top Ten Policy Tips:

  1. Introduce the purpose of social media
  2. Be responsible for what you write
  3. Be authentic
  4. Consider your audience
  5. Exercise good judgment
  6. Understand the concept of community
  7. Respect copyrights and fair use
  8. Protect confidential and proprietary info
  9. Bring value
  10. Productivity matters

In conclusion Julian advised everyone to ensure they held tight to the traditional principles of any marketing strategy:

  • Plan
  • Create
  • Publish
  • Govern

And reminded us all that it’s not rocket science and always:

  • Be interesting
  • Be useful
  • Be yourself

If any of this sparks your interest, whether you’re already utilising social media or just want to dip your toe in the water, feel free to get in touch as our first hour of consultancy is free and training can attract up to 80% funding from Glasgow City Council.

Here’s some of the tweets following the events:

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Standing room only!

Today was the day of the very first Corinthian Communications Breakfast!

Great weather, the luxury that is The Corinthian, fantastic foodstuffs (bacon and egg rolls from heaven, pastries and fruit) and of course, Mr Julian Westaby’s insightful and inimitable chat made for a standing-room-only event. We were knocked-out by the near 100% attendance! More

Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!

There’s talk of ‘digital’ this and ‘internet’ that, thrown into every pub conversation and it’s clear it’s ‘the future’. But we reckon, when it comes to speed, we’re not even at the races.

For instance, at Dunning we pay for an Internet connection that’s ‘up to 8mbps’. We tested our speed and it was indeed ‘up to 8mbps’… it was about 5.5mbps.

Sounds okay and it’s actually enough to do most, fairly-standard office stuff. However and it’s a BIG However: If you’re going to be a LEADING Digital Economy, this is flipping hopeless.

Unfortunately in Scotland, we’re competing in a bloody inconvenient thing called the ‘Global Marketplace’. The great news here is that we’ve got a Government who have just announced an initiative and we were lucky enough to attend the launch of Interactive Scotland. If you read the self-congratulatory bumf, apparently, we’ve got a “competitive edge” in the marketplace.

Fine and we’re the biggest believers in ‘Bigging-up’ Scotland and the Scottish people, but let’s get back to that ‘However’ we mentioned earlier.

Scotland’s a small country with hills, hamlets, villages and valleys and although some of the cities are okay for connectivity, most of our wee nation is hopelessly connected when it comes to ‘T’internet’ matters. There’s some momentum and the odd new project but most of Highland Scotland is a ‘no-go zone’. With present connectivity and our cottage industry like, un-joined-up ness (technically and spiritually) Scotland’s aspirations are like wanting to own a Maserati Gransport, but knowing it’s only going to have a Fiat 500 engine.

We sort of HATE comparisons but here’s one anyway: Estonia. Most of Estonia’s population has at least 14mbps connections and lots of the citizens use ‘IPTV’ as their primary (and often only) source of TV content. There’s  also WiFi, ‘WIMAX’ and all sorts of other super- fast wireless networks, literally everywhere.

If you’ve got a laptop in Tallin, with a cheap, wee usb dongle, you could disappear into the Estonian countryside and STILL be able to stream HD content (like movies) with no trouble and no effort. They already HAVE the future. Those lucky Estonians can listen to the trolololo song anywhere , anytime, any place!

Getting back to Scotland, there are other basic areas which more than niggle us. Like the fact that the main Glasgow/Edinburgh rail link has no wifi and you can’t get a decent telephone signal in one of Scotland’s top conference hotels, the Fairmont, St Andrews. Or in parts of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. We could go on…

We agree with all those people in the pub. The ‘Internet’ and ‘Digital’ (whatever ‘Digital’ might be) they are ARE Scotland’s future. However (it’s that word again) we  also UNDERSTAND that to make our stuff World class and REALLY give us a ‘competitive edge’, it’s going to cost a lot of dough and it will involve digging-up roads and inconveniencing people.

In spite of this, we’re actively going to be trying to do something about this. We’ll keep you informed and we’re really interested in finding out what your experiences have been. Do you think there’s VAST room for improvement, or are you quite happy? Let us know.