I’ve started my own little speaking circuit without even really noticing it. If you haven’t noticed from my other posts, I am huge into PR, Marketing and Social Media. I believe in its power and am always more than happy to share my take on new sites or tools and how they can or cannot help you get your message out.
My first official speaking engagement came earlier this year at the Next Wave Action Summit. At the Summit, I spoke to current and soon-to-be non-profit leaders about ways they could market their cause creatively. This was the first time that I felt the presence of the social media awareness bubble that PR pros and Social Media enthusiasts always speak about. My second engagement was just last week.
Taking the shape of a presentation/group discussion, I shared my thoughts on the business with my 9 interns and members of the Technology and Design team in a presentation titled “Innovation in the Industry.” I highlighted some of what I believed to be good examples of big brands communicating online and engaging their consumers, and while selecting examples for the presentation, I noticed that more companies are creating branded online sites meant to serve as gathering places for people who work/play in their space. The latest company I noticed taking this approach was American Express with its Open Forum.
I first learned of OPEN Forum while catching up on Chris Brogan’s blog, and when I went to check it out, first thoughts were: “I like it. Clean layout, good color choice, clear mission/tagline.” Second thoughts were “really useful network.” Chris figured out how great content networks could be and blogged about this in 2006, but it seems that businesses are now getting the valuable counsel they need to understand the power that comes both with being a part of these networks and being the network providers.
“Our goal was to bring together leading experts in an engaging experience at the OPEN platform itself. Thus, any of the authors work that was picked up on other blogs, social media engines like Digg, StumbleUpon, etc., would all give credit back to OPEN as being the keeper/facilitator of the conversation. In the new world of media, these trackbacks and links provide a new form of Brand Equity for OPEN. This again drives home the point behind the OPEN brand that they are here for Small Businesses to make their life better and grow their business.”
I am not sure that the message will be as clear as OPEN’s “here for Small Businesses to make their life better and grow their business,” but I do appreciate the fact that they created a nice platform where everyone can gather and focus on something they’re interested in.
The most useful or interesting part of the site to me was the events page which features video like this one, sharing discussions with business leaders.
To everyone behind the creation of the OPEN Forum, good job! To anyone who has not checked it out yet, please do!