Three years ago in at its Annual Conference in New Orleans SHRM took a tiny, tentative baby step into the land of Social Media by fielding a concurrent session on HR Blogging. It was called “HR Bloggers: who are they and why should I care?” Four HR bloggers, 2 SHRM members and two (then) non-SHRM members) were featured in a panel discussion. There was only one guideline: no cussing.
The panelists, Kris Dunn (www.hrcapitalist.com), Lance Haun (www.lancehaun.com), Jessica Lee (www.fistfuloftalent.com) and Laurie Ruettimann (www.thecynicalgirl.com), spoke in language not recognized by most HR professionals about social media, tweeting and social community. The most interesting part of the conversation to me was the discussion on whether or not bloggers should be held to commonly accepted journalistic ethical standards.
Also noteworthy about this session was the fact that it was live-streamed, a first-ever event at a SHRM conference.
And that was it. Well, if tentatively, received. Tiny baby steps.
Flash forward 3 years and WOW!
A micro site on the SHRM website dedicated to the conference experience called The Buzz.
A social media lounge for bloggers – and there are lots of them. The Hive – a 3,000 square foot social media hub/genius bar/meeting spot/training ground – prominently positioned and staffed by true HR social media experts to help attendees get started in social media or get more effective at social media.
Want to set up a Twitter account? They’ll help you do it on the spot. Want to change your FaceBook profile? They’ll help you do it on the spot. Can’t figure out how to share a profile on LinkedIn? They’ll help you do it on the spot. Want to fill out your profile on SHRMConnect and get started? They’ll help you do it on the spot.
Curtis Midkiff (@SHRMSocMedGuy), head of SHRM’s social media efforts has conceived and produced a brilliantly elegant approach to adding social media to the fabric of the conference experience. If you’re a newbie, his team at The Hive will get you started. If you’ve started but need help reaching the next level, his team at The Hive will get you there. If you’re an expert, you’re welcome in the social media lounge – but beware. You will feel honor-bound to write a blog post and publish it immediately. (Sort of like this one.)
Couple these efforts with free WiFi connectivity in the convention center and you have a benchmark, 21st century social media enabled conference. Well done, Curtis and team. Well done!