Chennai Chapter Explodes Back In To Life!
With two fantastic speakers, several lively and active discussions and plenty of networking, the Chennai Chapter's first seminar in a long time was a real statement of intent: We're here to educate, promote and debate social media, while at the same time keeping it fun and interesting.
The show started off at 11am and the available seats quickly filled up (note to future attendees, seating *IS* limited so get your name down early and arrive on time!) with people from all walks of life. We had social media professionals, SEO analysts wondering how to add social media in to the mix, business owners, college students and traditional marketing executives who all wanted to find out what social media is about, how it can be used and why it is important to be social media savvy.
Our first speaker was the knowledgable Suganthi Sugumaran who touched on the basic ABC's of social media - and watch this space folks because we know we'll be taking entire seminars on most of the areas she touched on. This resulted in a lively discussion such as how to engage with your Facebook and Twitter fans, how to keep your personal social profile clean.
The lively, sometimes voracious but always civil, discussion gave way to the next speaker, Mr. Srinivasan, a veteran of the PR circuit and a social media enthusiast since the early days of the Internet when communication happened via IRC (an old chat system for those who joined the Internet after 2000).
Mr Srinivasan focused on his personal experiences of using the Internet for public relations such as maintaining his groups of 6,000 members which he leverages when necessary or the time he interviewed the man who threw a shoe at the ex-interior minister for India and got the interview featured in numerous papers.
He also remarked about how your personal social media footprint is a public relations opportunity or pitfall for your own career and recounted a story where a lady was hired on the spot because of her active and convincing discussions she had in a public relations forum.
There was also a reminder that your social media profile can cause some problems for your career because of what you say and upload - so be careful either in what you say or your privacy settings so you control who sees it! He closed by warning on the dangers of installing untrusted apps which can steal your data and a reminder that social media shouldn't consume your life but you must also take the time to do some networking offline for best results.
The end of the talk signalled the start of another passionate discussion on whether corporates should be concerned about what their customers are saying about them online, to which Mr. Srinivasan offered the opinion that any customer complaint should be treated as an opportunity rather than a threat. After the discussion people were freely mingling, networking and exchanging business cards and discussing the various opportunities and threats they are facing from social media.
All in all, it was a pretty fine show and we were delighted that so many people decided to come and join us on a Saturday morning. We're already hard at work planning the next event so we look forward to seeing you and everyone else at the end of September!