Category Archives: Events

How NOT to do marketing communications

Oh dear, or dear.  An email which annoyed me in the first sentence.  This poorly formatted email is about ad tech London, the conference for the online marketing and advertising community….

ad:tech is the only event in Europe to focus entirely on digital media & marketing.  I expect that the outbound comms would be up to the standard for a digital marketing conference.


A few minutes later another email arrives.  They do know my name after all…


Fundamental rules of engagement:

    • Get the recipients name right. Put SOMETHING in the merge field.  Even, Sir/Madam would have been better than Example First Name…
    • Test the newsletter. Send it out to different email accounts you have set up.  Check formatting across HTML and text.
    • Test sending the newsletter again. Send it to a group of people in the office before you send it out to a huge mailing list.
    • Check it reads well in different email clients.  Not everyone is running Outlook
    • Check, Check and check again. There is no excuse for being sloppy – especially if digital communications is your specialist business area. 

I was going to attend the event – and I even considered applying to speak at the event.  My skills and knowledge complement the existing speaker line-up rather nicely.

But not now.  One sloppy slip-up has changed the way I perceive the event.  And I’m not sure I’ll even attend now.  But I do wonder how many ‘Example First Name’ attendees will be there…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Social Jersey Conference: Really connecting



It was great to go over to Jersey and speak at the Social Jersey conference – and it was also good that the other main speakers were women too – a rare occurrence.  Katherine Salt runs Marketing My and delivers community management for a range of companies across the UK and Judith Lewis works at Beyond, is very geeky and writes an amazing chocolate blog (she’s very geeky about chocolate too!)


Here are both of them up on stage (although I now have no  idea what Katherine was talking about with the Swiss army knife slide!

There was a lot of interaction and engagement from the audience – where one of their main challenges is that Google doesn’t recognise a Jersey postcode and jersey businesses don’t get a second look by Googles ranking algorithm – it assumes that New Jersey is the only Jersey.

We got time for a quick tour of the Island taking in the chocolate tour of Le Mare as Judith blogged and a drive round the scenic parts of the island too.

Feedback was great from the delegates.  One of the attendees decided to cancel her current marketing plans and switch to new media for her business making an immediate £800 saving for the month – a saving that totally justified her attendance on the day

So, all in all, a great conference with some good engagement – and I hope I get asked back to speak at a follow up event or masterclass over there again. So roll on 2012! Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Social Jersey: Masterclass update


Judith and I are adding an extra set of Masterclasses whilst we’re at Social Jersey.  These workshops will be held on Friday 14th October and you can book them using the links below.

Judith will take you step by step to improve the SEO of your website employing aggressive search techniques. You will learn how to test how effectively your site is optimised to reach the top of Google. The masterclass will involve installing SEO tools on to your site and hands on exercises.

I’ll be running a workshop aimed at those who wish to explore incorporating social media strategic components to complement their existing marketing plans and to define their interactive marketing strategy.

We will

  • discuss strategic practices from leading companies,
  • review what other company leaders are doing today to integrate community marketing and social media to engage
  • share and drive conversations with customers and partners online.

You will gain insights on how to leverage community, engagement, marketing and using social components to drive your marketing efforts to capture mindshare and increase customer satisfaction. We will start to define your strategy and outline your implementation plan to include advocates and community influencers and consider cross team roles and responsibilities to execute your strategy

These workshops are a follow on from the Social Jersey Conference held on 13th October and will extend your knowledge of search and social business strategies.

See you there Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

WEConnect Europe Conference

Conferences for women are so different to the geek conferences I’ve been to.

The heels are higher for a start…

The WEConnect Europe Conference was held in London on the 27th floor of the Clifford Chance building in Docklands. It was a very energising day with lots of corporates there, procurement teams and business owners.

Lots of certified women business owners were there – as well as registered business owners connecting to corporate teams.  Have a look at the video highlights for the day…

The sessions were brilliant – and the Dragons den was inspiring.  Hopefully lots of new connections and deals were made leading to more business – hopefully.

And for me?? Watch this space…

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Social Jersey: Connecting through social media


Social Jersey will be holding its inaugural conference in St Helier and I’ve been asked to speak at the event. Katherine Salt from Marketing my, one of the top social media marketing experts in Jersey will open and close the day, and we’ve pulled together a great line up. Take a look at the agenda..

10:00 – 10:45: The Business Value Of Social Media – Eileen Brown

• Social media is not a fad, is your business ready for this new transparency?
• Identifying industry best practice and how to implement it for your business
• Creating demand and generating buzz using social media technologies

10:45 – 11:30: How Search And Social Media Work Best Together – Judith Lewis

• How does social media affect your search rankings?
• Can social media be used to rank even higher?
• Can social media hurt your search work?
• What happens if it all goes wrong – how bad can it really get?

11:30 – 11:45: Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:30: Strategic Integration Of Social Media In Your Business – Katherine Salt

• Making social media work with existing marketing activity
• Winning over decision makers
• Picking the right platforms to meet your objectives
• Internal adoption from customer service to sales

12:30 – 13:30: Networking Lunch

13:30 – 14:15: Crisis, What Crisis? Eileen Brown

• PR Disasters and how to avoid them
• Crisis management frameworks
• Planning for PR emergencies

14:15-15:00: The Secret Of Search – How To Market Your Business Online – Judith Lewis

• How does Google work?
• What do all these updates really mean and what are the chances of it affecting my business?
• Can an SEO really guarantee me top rankings?
• In search, how do I know when someone is telling the truth?
• How much of search is hidden and is it really as difficult as everyone makes it out to be?

15:00 – 15:15: Coffee Break

15:15 – 16:00: How To Know When You Are Winning: The Cost And Return On Social Media – Katherine Salt

• Selecting your success metrics
• Identifying your return on investment
• Balancing long term value with need for immediate results

16:00 – 16:30: Partner Panel

16:30 – 16:45: Wrap Up And Close

17:00 – 18:30: Networking In The Bar

The venue is lovely too. The conference is being held at the Royal Yacht and there are some great deals on room rates for conference attendees so you can extend your trip and have a long weekend on the island

Reserve your place at Social Jersey here and be part of the Social Jersey experience – and find out the tools to enable your business needs to succeed socially too.

It will be great to see the buzz there…


Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Extended marketing: Gaining 3rd Party reach


Now this is cool.  My publisher at the BCS has just sent me this image, snapped from his phone at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) stand at the Marketing Week Exhibition at Olympia in London.

My book, Working The Crowd got a great write up the other day on the CIM site and a positive email review went out to all of their members too.

Here’s what they said about the book:

For those still stumbling around in the dark, Working the Crowd helps shed light on the game-changing nature of social media, its tremendous opportunities and the many dangers that await those who insist nothing has changed and it is just another route to market.
Social media guru Eileen Brown provides vital information and advice on every aspect of social media marketing, including:

  • Specific sites for various types of networking and engagement.
  • Blogs and microblogs.
  • Brand perception and reputation.
  • Legal issues.
  • The global audience.
  • How different age groups interact online.
  • Viral marketing.
  • Creating brand advocates.

Make sure this highly acclaimed title is the social media marketing book you keep to hand this year.

This example of extended marketing demonstrates how a key influencer – (the BCS) can influence one of their value connections (the CIM) to spread the message on their behalf. 

The message must still have value to the 2nd tier connection otherwise the message will not be propagated. 

By extending the message across different disciplines help you reach a new and wider audience.  This concept of mapping your connections and taking advantage of the weak ties in your social graph can bring you value in your social media outreach activities. 

Utilising the power of your weak ties can bring you significant benefits 

Its good to see that the value extends beyond my traditional geeky arena and onto the broader world of marketing.  It’s nice to see the topic crossing boundaries like this.

“Highly acclaimed”,”help sheds light on the game changing nature of social media”, “the social media marketing book”  All good strong comments in their review.  It’s great to see such a positive review of my work from a large credible organisation like the CIM.  I’m delighted.

I notice that the CIM say I’m a guru too.. surely this means I can buy more shoes?  Well, I reckon any reason at all is a good enough excuse to buy shoes… Now I’m off to the shops to hunt for some high heels…Smile

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Speaking for free

imageI receive requests to present at conferences at least once per week. I’ve got a great pedigree from speaking at conferences and large events and I work with large corporate clients on their social media strategy and online branding activities.

But most of the enquiries I receive want me to travel to the location and present for them for free.  Take these recent requests for my time for example:

One organisation wanted me to speak for them at a social media strategy event.  One of their corporate speakers had dropped out at the last minute and a week before the conference, they had no one to take their place. They had charged each delegate £495 to attend the strategy workshop, but because they sourced their speakers from Agencies and corporates, they would not pay any of their speaker fees.  They reasoned that the great networking opportunity would be worth the investment in my time

Another event in London later this year, boasts some large corporate names.  They are charging each delegate a fee of £500 for the day.  They never pay their speakers a fee and they don’t usually pay any travelling expenses.

Each of these events have costs to bear for hosting the event so it’s understandable that they would have to charge a fee.  They would have to pay the venue, the events team and the marketing team for their work around the event. For the event itself, a venue would normally charge about £50 – £100 per delegate for catering and use of the hotel room for the day.

Yes – you’ve done your sums correctly.  Take away marketing and logistics and the company has turned a  nice profit for each event they run.

And by speaking at their conference,  I would have helped them with their revenue stream.  At my own cost.

I’m happy to speak for free. I regularly talk to networking groups and non profits. I run workshops showing businesses how to use social media to their advantage. Non profit organisations will always pay a reduced fee and my travelling expenses. But I believe that this should be different for profit based organisations.

Of course, I’ve got a great opportunity to meet new businesses, and network.  I’ve got a great opportunity to showcase my knowledge outside of this blog, and I can get to meet and network with other speakers.

But does this actually turn into revenue?

Customer opportunities have to be worked on.  Relationships need to be made and built upon.  Trust needs to be gained, and credibility established, 

That’s hard to do in a 45 minute session on stage.

So when you want to hire a speaker to speak at your event, consider things from their perspective.  The speaker has to spend time preparing for the presentation.  They will have to research, and create the slide deck and interact with the organisers of the event.

They will need to spend their own money travelling to the event, and they will not be able to do any funded work whilst at the event.

If you’re planning to hold an event similar to the type of event that I’ve described above, then don’t be surprised if the ‘free’ speaker lets you down at the very last moment to deliver some funded work for a client.

A client who values their time – and is willing to pay for their knowledge and experience – which will ultimately add to the clients revenue stream and profit.

Think about that when you’re trying to get someone to do something for nothing. 

You might just get what you pay for…

What do you think?  Would you speak for free to a company that makes money out of your efforts?  I’d love to know

Eileen is a social business consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: flickr

Inaugural Connecting Women in Technology Awards



I feel very proud of myself at the moment.  The germ of an idea that I had back in 2007 has matured and grown up.  It was a simple thought about connecting women across the technology industry, to retain all of our talent, and share our stories and best practices across the companies in the CWT team.  Well we’ve now  extended our reach somewhat – across the technology industry.

everywoman hosted the Women in Technology awards on Tuesday, March 22nd.  And my networking group Connecting Women in Technology, were the main sponsors for the event.  CWT came together to collaboratively co-sponsor this prestigious event.  And what an amazing event it was.




There were over 300 people at the lunch.  The event was completely sold out – not bad for our first time.  Carol Vorderman announced the category award winners – and confessed her total love for technology and all things geeky too.We had some truly awe inspiring women in attendance and some stellar winners who were supported by their companies, colleagues and friends.  I had the honour of presenting the Woman of the Year award, here I am on stage with Carol Vorderman, announcing the judges choice for who should get the woman of the year award (Christine Hodgson from Cap Gemini)



Photo copyright everywoman Ltd.  used with permission







After the awards, the winners, and a selection of women leaders who were involved with women’s networks went onto another event hosted by Wise, which was attended by HRH the Princess Royal.  She came to speak to several of us, was engaged, extremely knowledgeable and interested in our successes.  In this photo, she’s talking to the group before ours…








So, all in all, I’ve had an amazing and exhausting day.   I’m truly humbled and inspired by the calibre of the women I met at the event.   And the shoes worn by most of the women were totally wonderful

Roll on next year!


Who’s who at tech.ed

Now I’ve officially joined the tech.ed planning team, I thought I’d share with a little bit about them and what they do.  I joined the weekly team meeting the other day and took my camera along so when you see them at tech.ed, you can come over and say Hi.  I’ve also added a little bit about them  so you can understand how a tiny team organises everything at the event.  Well the story starts with a core team of 6 people who started work on tech.ed Europe 09 in Berlin  just after  tech.ed 08 in Barcelona is  finished.  This team goes through all of the evaluations for the event and looks at how they can give greater value and a better customer experience and builds and designs the event to Microsoft’s strategy for tech.ed worldwide.  Then about 8 to 12 weeks before the event the broader team are engaged  Here’s what they do… TechEd 034

Kim Matlock – Business Owner for TechEd Europe and WorldwideKim 072408

As the WW TechEd Business owner – I’m responsible for the tech.ed experience globally and specifically the final throat to choke for TechEd Europe. 🙂  I’m in training for the 2010 Disney Marathon in January with my two sons.

Neil Evans –  Project Director TechEd 041

Neil has overall responsibility for the agency team, it’s broad deliverables and the budget for Tech.Ed.  Improving the customer experience and designing an event that offers greater value to the attendee and exhibitors / sponsors  is also within Neil’s remit

Aine McElwee – Project Manager

TechEd 047Aine (pronounced “On-Ya” if you’re unsure about Irish names) has overall responsibility for ensuring the successful operational delivery of Tech.Ed across all areas – venue services, IT, AV, registration, ground services

Roz Kara – signage and collateral TechEd 036

Roz produces the floor plan and design, produces all of the maps of the venue that are in your delegate badge and your conference guide, as well as all of the map stands around the Messe Berlin.  She also looks after the  advertising banners, delegate bags t-shirts, pens, badges and badge holders.

Sam Craig – Speaker logisticsTechEd 037

Sam looks after all things relating to the speaker. She creates the speaker agreement for any non Microsoft speakers, she creates their contracts, books their accommodation and flights and she helps James answer all speaker questions related the event.  She also looks after the speaker registrations

Kristina  – Event manager

TechEd 038 Kristina manages to make sure that the whole team stick to their deadlines- she  does critical path analysis and manages the site logistics and keeps us all in check

Rachel, Jo, Suzy – Sponsorship and exhibition and TLCTechEd 039 Rachel, Jo and Suzy are the Sponsorship and Exhibition team.  They manage sponsors, exhibitors, Microsoft product groups and all of the excitement that creates the tech∙ed Europe exhibition Hall!

Nicola Bartley – Event marketing

TechEd 042Nicola looks after demand generation and works to drive registrations.  She works with 40 different audience  marketing managers across Europe to drive registrations in each country and runs the broad email messaging which goes out to about 2 million people throughout the event lifecycle and is localised into each European language

Neil Palmer – Community

TechEd 043Neil is the link to the community for example the MVP and User Groups and looks after the ways for attendees to connect with their community influencers.  He looks after the Facebook page, the meeting points for you to meet up, the community lounge so you can make long lasting valuable connections with the community from the online experience through to onsite conversation

James Dent – Content and speaker managerTechEd 044

James is responsible for the sessions, ensuring that we have all the rooms filled at every session slot, that we have the correct sized rooms and the correct level of great content, whether breakout sessions and Interactive. James also owns the budget for the speakers and keeps the track owners following the correct process

Kate Smith – Production manager TechEd 045

Kate looks after technical set up of the rooms by which I mean the AV, sound, room environment, lighting etc.  She also looks after all of the room managers and the sound technicians at the back of the rooms – everything to house the whole show in the breakout rooms and interactive sessions etc.

Claire Mosley – Logistics Manager

TechEd 046 Claire looks after the hotel accommodation for delegates, food coffee etc, she also liaises with the venue for food and beverage provisions and works with local experts to ensure that you get the best experience, She also works with the event local onsite staffing assistants and the cleaning of the event location before opening and throughout the week.

Dan Coulson – Video ProducerTechEd 048

Dan is responsible for filming the Tech Talks and panel discussions to be posted to Tech.Ed online

And there’s me – Content owner.

I’m responsible for the technical content for the breakout sessions, the Interactive sessions and the Hands on Labs.  I’m also responsible for making sure that you have a really great keynote, with some amazing announcements and some great technical content too.

So a tiny team considering what they do.  Do stop by at Tech.ed and say hello and thanks to them for putting such an amazing event together 🙂

A "Very British Earthquake"

I’m off on my travels for the ebusiness group, on my second part of my tour.  This week I’m in Lincolnshire and Derby talking about blogging for business (I did a couple of sessions in January).  I spent 4 hours getting to Louth, in Lincolnshire, arriving tired, hungry and thirsty in a small family run hotel.  The  restaurant had closed of course (It was 10pm after all) and I checked in feeling frazzled and miserable.

The receptionist offered to make me something to eat.  All I wanted was a BLT and a large glass of wine.  I stomped off to my room, dumped my stuff and went to the bar – which was empty – save for a very decent glass of lovely red wine sitting on the bar on its own.  So I took it, and slumped into a chair feeling sorry for myself.  5 minutes later, a wonderful toasted Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich with a side salad (the size you’d make if you were on your own at home) arrived.  Instant mood lifter.  Small hotels are wonderful when you’re travelling alone aren’t they?  I chatted to the barman / receptionist / cook for an hour whilst eating my sandwich and went to bed…

Only to be woken at 1am and feeling the bed shaking wildly – the sort of feeling that you would get if someone jiggled your water bed whilst you were in it (I’m guessing about the water bed experience by the way!).  I thought that the hotel was haunted and I’d experienced the ghost, and immediately went back to sleep (I told you the wine was lovely!)

So to see the news this morning, and to discover I’d been 15 miles away from the epicentre of the largest earthquake in the UK for over 25 years was quite a surprise.  Of course the British public are very stoic.  “Bit of a wobble eh”, ” Thought a lorry was going past” and lots and lots of “Did the earth move for you” comments.  All understated, nothing dramatic.,  How British  of us to have such a mild earthquake (See Nick’s blog post for an explanation of how mild as he knows a heck of a lot more about it than me)

My event was actually in Market Rasen so I instantly had a blogging topic to talk about to the audience about instant news generation and how Technorati enables you to find other bloggers who are blogging about the same topic as you are.  Like Philip and Aimee for example.

So I left Market Rasen (and was disappointed not to see any quake damage at all – not even a fallen brick) and drove to Derby where the next session is due to take place tomorrow.  I checked in, got a wireless access voucher, sat down and…

The power went out.  not just in the hotel, but across a large part of Derby.  So I’m sitting here, typing this in my freezing cold room before the battery dies on my laptop wondering what else is going to happen around me.

Well they say things happen in 3’s don’t they?…