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Open Text’s Journey to Social Media Awareness

A couple of years ago, we started talking to our client Open Text about doing some “radical” things in social media, like start up a company blog.  A number of other enterprise software companies were starting blogs and gaining some traction so it seemed like a good starting point.

As we pushed ahead, we ran into some obstacles – ones that were pretty common at the time. The company policy forbidding personal blogs was a biggie. There were many doubters who questioned if social media was even worth the effort and time.

Still we forged ahead and in time succeeded in launching ECM Briefs, a corporate blog (but more of a news stream) that lived within the Open Text news pages.  We also started a program of regular “news” podcasts.  While lacking in personal observations, these efforts steadily moved Open Text to a self-publishing model.  The podcasts in particular were a huge hit since they provided a way to hear customers, partners and executives in their own voice.

Fast forward to today.  Based on the early successes, Open Text has fully embraced social media as a way to build buzz and influence audiences

Open Text Conversations

Open Text Conversations

directly.  Employees from around the company on a global basis have set up their own blogs and are developing personal followings.  Their posts are aggregated on a site called Open Text Conversations.

Going to the next step, the company has established its own YouTube channel and teams from around the company have set up audience-specific Twitter feeds, in addition to a large number of personal Twitter accounts. The company also has a presence of Facebook and LinkedIn.  The annual user meeting last month prompted a flood of tweets and retweets using the Content World #otcw hashtag, and many employees and customers documented the event on their blogs.

During a recent meeting with the PR team, one of the folks on the call noticed that a large percentage of our time was devoted to social media topics. We all agreed that was a good thing. While traditional media is still very important to Open Text – we crank out a steady flow of press releases – the new channels have taken on a life of their own and clearly point the way to future.

There are two take aways from the Open Text journey to becoming social media aware: any social media program is better than none, and a little social media always leads to more.  Is your company on the fence about social media? If so, start with baby steps and you’ll be amazed where they lead.

Brian Edwards

Author: Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards is a talented business and technology communications expert with more than 25 years of experience in high-tech public relations and marketing.

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