Camping it up at Measurement Camp and Tuttling about at Tuttle Club

So this week I’ve been out and about, specifically to Measurement Camp and Tuttle Club.

Camping it up

Measurement Camp isn’t actually a camp – that is, we don’t sit around a fire singing songs nor do we wear feather boas – but it is a seriously useful event that I would urge people to visit if they want to gain insight into best current practice in measuring social media.

This was my first Measurement Camp but consensus generally seemed that it had grown. I’m not surprised. I learned a lot and will definitely attend the next one.

We kicked off with a very quick meet and greet, then broke off into groups, in which one member described a current project and we suggested ways in which to approach it. The great thing about this format was that we didn’t just talk about the project in question but branched off into other areas. So, one person got help with their work, while we all got deeper insights into what we do.

I guess my major take-aways were:

  • Figure out the objectives right from the start, and do this with the client. It’s important to get that client buy-in.
  • Don’t overcomplicate measurement. A few good metrics that everyone understands is better than many bad ones that they don’t.
  • Social media is not just PR. There were people there from brand consultancy, reputation management and advertising, and the event is much stronger for it.

My personal insight was that when you embark on a project, you’re actually starting off two. Sure, your ‘main’ project is about how to help the client achieve their objectives, but the other is to achieve your objectives in communicating with the client. So, you need to talk the client’s language, not yours. If the person you’re dealing with needs to report to someone else, make sure the project message is simple and direct enough so they can communicate it internally, with conviction, without dilution.

Tuttling about

This was my second Tuttle. My first was when it resided at Greek Street but now it’s gone all arty-farty and is held at the ICA (where I’m typing this in fact – free wireless and powerpoints, nice piped music and great coffee).

After spending a few minutes trying to find the place, I arrived to find it already fairly full. By the time I left – about two hours later – it was heaving. If Measurement Camp has grown, Tuttle Club has shot up. I’d hazard a guess its attendance had grown five-fold at least: a sure indicator that interest in social media is growing at quite a rate.

Here, I found it interesting to talk to people who had not only worked in comms, but in unrelated industries where they’d hired comms people. The strong message I got was that 15 years ago it might have been ok just to execute on ‘standard’ PR tactics, but not now. Business leaders want comms people to understand not just their communications objectives, but what they’re trying to achieve as a business.

We already knew that, right? But frame it like this: “If you were going to set up this business, what would you do?” Well, what would you do? Would you consider strategy? Objectives? ROI? Of course you would…

I met too many people to mention them all here but take a look at the blog and the Tuttle Friendfeed room to get an idea of who’s who. And if you don’t know about Friendfeed, find out. If 2009 looks like being the year of Twitter, I wouldn’t be surprised if Friendfeed pops up in 2010…

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