IBM Teaches Families for Depression Awareness More About Social Media

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I just had the wonderful pleasure of attending IBM's Celebration of Service conference titled the Future of Marketing Communication at Harvard University.

This is part of their worldwide day of service in honor of their centennial, which is tomorrow, June 16, 2011. Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM along with guest panelists gave an excellent presentation about harnessing the power of social media today to connect with others to drive awareness, loyalty and change. MA Governor Deval Patrick even made a guest appearance and talked about the impact of community collaboration and support, especially in the wake of our recent tornado escapade in Central and Western MA, and how much that related to what social media can do for everyone.

First, Jon gave a hammered down history of marketing and public relations and how it has evolved from just information based to user driven content. Afterwards, three guest panelists (Bob Giannino-Racine from Access, Elizabeth McDonough from City Year, and Alfredo Padilla from Citizen Schools) talked about how they utilized the help and direction from IBM to focus their own social media strategies and how well it took off. Finally, we broke up into smaller groups to talk about our own struggles and successes with social media as small nonprofits. It was amazing to connect with others facing similar struggles we are having and talking about what our main issues have been and how to focus energies on this! What was great to know is that we definitely aren't the only ones trying to navigate the complicated waters of the sea of social media. While I definitely learned a lot to help us at Families for Depression Awareness proceed in generating more dialogue amongst our audience, I more so appreciated the opportunity to connect with others and to continue this conversation. All in all, it was a fun and interesting experience and even more so emphasizes the fact that we want to hear more from you – the Facebook followers, the newsletter subscribers, the people who are actually reading this. If you have something to say, we would love to hear it!

-Kimberly, Families for Depression Awareness Outreach Specialist

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