As we all know, communicating online is a fantastic way to keep in touch but no technology will ever replace meeting face to face. On May 16, we met in Zurich to exchange information, challenges, and ideas with other program participants. It was an intense but very productive day, and the perfect opportunity to say hi to familiar faces but also many new ones.
We thank everyone who made the trek out to Zurich and to SWISS for hosting us. In the interest of all program participants, we wanted to share some of the highlights of the meeting as well as the presentations shared that day.
Panel discussion with Berner Fachhochschule, EPFL, and University of St.Gallen. I envisioned this panel as a simple discussion, if not a conversation amongst friends, about what works and does not work at each of these schools. I purposely selected three schools that were different in size, budgets, focus, and location to show examples that participants could relate to. The three panelists shared their impressions and even personal experience about managing social media at their institutions. The resulting conclusion: there is not ONE way to implement and run social media. As Andrea Schweizer from BFH advised: “Just do it”.
Upon reflection, I realized that holding such a panel would have been impossible 12 months ago when we first met in Bern, Switzerland. This shows that our community has evolved and matured, seeing each other more as collaborators rather than competitors. Thanks to Andrea Schweizer (BFH), Markus Zinsmaier (HSG), and Michael Mitchell (EPFL) for being so open and generous with their experience.
A video of the panel below. The recording starts 5minutes into the discussion but still captures most of the exchange.
Social Media @ SWISS Air Lines. Christian Lüdi, Chief Learning Officer for SWISS Air Lines, shared his experience managing social media for the airline. What mostly resonated with us was how intense the listening component is. There’s a phrase that still echoes in my head: “Respond to your true fans not slobs.” So often we hear that we need to respond and acknowledge every single comment. However, Christian showed through SWISS’s experience handling the transition to a new logo, that as in the offline world, a lot of people just complain for the sake of it and given the known constraints of time it is imperative that the true fans are not neglected. Responses to difficult people often take a long time to be crafted. Make sure they count. For more, see his presentation below:
XING for Universities. We were really pleased to have Robert Beer, XING’s Country Manager for Switzerland and Austria, present the network and all of its possibilities. We learned a couple of new things. For example, XING is the primary business network for 4 out of 5 Swiss professionals. Check out Slide 17 for an interesting infographic on how XING can generate value for students and how universities can benefit from it.
Concurrent sessions. We held three concurrent sessions in the morning and repeated two of them in the afternoon. The idea was to allow participants to benefit from as many sessions as possible. The sessions focused on the core issues of making the case for social media, monitoring and reporting, as well as content strategy. Find below the presentations for the three sessions. We thank our speakers Kelly Hungerford from Paperli, Ferdinand Kobelt and David Schaefer from SOMEXCLOUD, and Mike Schwede for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us.
1. Making the case for social media in your institution
2. Monitoring and Reporting
3. Content Strategy with Paper.li
Google Switzerland. Last but not least, Michel Benard from Google CH told us briefly how Google works with universities in Switzerland. Did you know that Google Switzerland is the largest engineering office that Google has outside of the U.S.? It has more than 700 employees from over 70 countries. As most tech companies today, Google is keen on finding the best talents and is very active in Switzerland finding and recruiting graduates from top technical universities. Details about research and scholarships opportunities in the presentation below.
In the next few weeks, look out for posts with more information about the meeting, including your feedback, and what’s next with the program.
Florencia Prada is the Head of Digital Marketing at swissnex San Francisco. While she loves all things tech, she tries hard not to get carried away by shiny objects and new ideas that are all too pervasive in Silicon Valley.