Entries in clients (2)


Becoming a PLPeep as social media strategist for Powerful Learning Practice

I've been working in social media for more than six years now, but I'm getting to take my skills to a whole new level with Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). PLP offers professional development to help educators incorporate social media and new technology in their classrooms. Since October, I've been serving as PLP's social networking strategist, managing Facebook, Twitter and the PLP Network Blog. I also get the opportunity to connect with PLP's learning communities online.

PLP offers a long-term, job-embedded professional development program to help educators better understand 21st Century learning environments. PLP's model enables thousands of educators around the country to experience the transformative power of the social Web: Face-to-face in their own schools, exchanging ideas through a community of inquiry and in re-envisioning their own personal learning practice.

So with PLP, I'm not just marketing with social media, I'm participating with social media. I'm directly connecting with educators who are learning to develop their own Personal Learning Networks through social media. I'm very excited to approach social media from this new perspective, and it's opened my eyes even more to the power of social media. I've used social media for learning and connecting with others for many years, and it's truly been priceless for my own personal learning and professional development. It's very rewarding to help educators do the same.

Two of my colleagues at PLP, co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall, recently published The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, a book to help educators create a learning community through social media and take advantage of technology to improve their own learning and ultimately the learning of their students. This would be an excellent gift to share with any teachers in your life.

PLP also offers e-learning courses. There's a free Web 2.0 Tools eCourse that anyone (not just educators) can check out. Sign up and you’ll receive an email every day for two weeks with a Web 2.0 tool activity. At the end of the eCourse, you’ll be well on your way to being a Web 2.0 tools master and developing your personal learning network.

To learn more about Reina Communications' role at Powerful Learning Practice, check out my interview on the PLP blog.


Adventures in taking a Fortune 500 social

My client, Norfolk Southern Corporation, recently announced it is actively engaging with stakeholders on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, as well as offering RSS feeds and links to all its social media pages via the corporate home page. While this may not seem like news relative to what consumer businesses have been doing for years, this is unprecedented in the railroad industry and for many other Fortune 500 companies in the B2B sector.

I have been consulting with Norfolk Southern for several years on developing their social media communications strategy. It's taken a lot of training to get the corporate communications department on board. I put together several social media 101 presentations and training sessions with along with Amber Karnes of Chop Chop Design (Norfolk Southern's Webmaster at the time).

Shortly after, the company put together a New Media Team, composed of employees across the company to advise the company's social media and new media strategies. Karnes and I offered more training sessions and presentations, and with the support of the New Media Team, launched these social media initiatives.

Our biggest challenge was not gaining the buy-in from management (the widespread adoption of Facebook and Twitter eventually made that case for us), but ensuring the legal department there would be no problems. The best way to handle that obstacle was to approach social media cautiously and show success through baby steps. For example, Norfolk Southern's first YouTube video was a 30-second commercial that had aired nationwide on television. Once the lawyers could see there was little need for concern, we began slowly posting more content.

Check out Norfolk Southern's social media profiles, for a first-rate example of how social media can work for a large B2B organization. The Thoroughbred of Transportation is taking the lead on social media engagement in the freight rail transportation industry. So far, NS has more than 9,000 fans on Facebook, more than any other railroad. We're engaging with rail fans across the country, and this is just the beginning as we are continuing to set forth a strategy to enhance our community outreach. In fact, Norfolk Southern has recently added a position to the Corporate Communications department that handles Community Outreach, both online and offline. I look forward to sharing more as Norfolk Southern continues engaging stakeholders online.