Hi Keith, Unfortunately, I haven't done this so can't be helpful but I'm wondering - What videoing tool are you using for this? It's a great idea! Thanks!
We're not planning to use video this time around. Just the discussion feature.
At RadioShack, we've had success with Q and A sessions. We do them via chat with a scheduled time the interviewee will be available, similar to Reddit AMA style. They can be done either by the executive themselves (the preferred method) or by a handler.
If your executive is doing the session themself, ensure you spend a generous amount of time going over all the things they may encounter in their Q and A. Depending on their familiarity with you community, this would include everything to liking and commenting to @-mentioning and referencing other posts.
If you're going to assign a handler (we call them 'Social Guides' to be politically correct ;)), ensure the handler has met with your executives before the session and is comfortable interacting and asking the executive direct questions...it can get hairy in there.
Finally, be sure to set realistic expectations to your community and to your featured executive. Depending on your engagement level, not every question may have time to get answered. Ask if your executive plans on answering any "stragglers" that didn't get answered, and communicate this either way.
We've had success applying this strategy to not only executives but also other featured users -- in our case, for vendors and leadership of some of our major brands we carry in the store. We also held one with members of our internal team as a get-to-know-ya kind of event. Hope this helps!
Keith - I know this will be a success for you! We started this in April 2013 and every month we have an "Office Hours with Chris" - our COO. It is a 1-hour live discussion in Jive, where anyone in the company can ask him questions. We've found the following to be effective:
- Set a featured topic. Although anyone can ask him about anything, there is a focused discussion that he wants to highlight. You may need to plan this out ahead of time (like a content/communications strategy)
- Chris has a guest speaker/a co-host every month. It is a live banter about a relevant topic. It can appeal to all employees or just a segment.
- Coach both hosts to speak in laymen terms, in short bite-sized sentences or paragraphs and keep a good momentum. Avoid business jargon. Give takeaways for the audience, Insert diagrams.
- Feature a video to tease people to join the conversation or to act as a primer for a more complex topic. (just film the exec for 1-2 min)
- Plan an outline with the co-host in advance.
- We all meet in a room and offer guidance on the conversation but luckily, our COO loves to type himself and is pretty fast. He loves to go off the cuff too.
- Offer a badge that the exec awards upon discretion - anyone who contributes to the core conversation is awarded a badge.
- Have a simple document for users on how to participate - MANY get confused that it is a dial-in webinar or a livestream video.
We've found this to be extremely engaging for our community. He gives a high-level report on market share, re-focuses all on where we're going and his Office Hours is always anchored in one theme - our goal for 2018. He uses this platform to feature different divisions and recognize and discuss strategies for growth.
I am looking to do a live video stream but I don't think he is ready for it just yet. I'm also just researching the tools out there (Qumu, MediaPlatform etc).
Happy to share more if you'd like.
Thanks! Good advice. We're also looking at MediaPlatform. I haven't heard of Qumu but will look into it.
The amazing result we've seen beyond increased activity - his co-hosts have converted! We have more than 3 stories of other execs whose light bulbs have "turned on" to our Jive community because of their experience chatting with him in a live discussion. We also track metrics every month and he uses it to tease his peers or direct reports to outbeat the other co-hosts. Lastly, we most always see an uptick of activity in the space AFTER the live session - knowing most cannot attend the live session, it's archivable and most comment afterwards.
One more thing - depending on the topic, it's a good idea to solicit a few people who can give real examples or share their experience around that project or topic or strategy. We often ask the co-host to invite key people to be there live for the discussion.
Using "Moderation" is another idea so Communications folks (or whoever or driving) will be able to approve/reject/ignore a questions before it goes live. That way, you can double check that the exec is ok answering a question before it is published.