Wrap-Up: Social Media Training Extravaganza

Photo by Eric Schwartzman

To the hordes breathlessly awaiting the results of last month’s training challenge — my apologies. I’ve been overwhelmed by a cold that won’t quit (bad!) and an avalanche of social media projects (good!).

The story so far: We set 350 EDF employees to creating social media strategies, using the Social Media Game as the basis for the exercise. Each team of 50-70 people created a bunch of strategies, then selected one to present to the entire EDF staff.?  The winning strategy got budget money to make their project happen. When we left off, teams were preparing their final presentations.

The presentations were really good. Even the teams that spent the least time preparing gave polished tales of their ideas. Live actors, props, videos, graphics — the whole deal. The teams took ownership of their ideas and were clearly revved up to show them off to their colleagues. They threw themselves into preparing scripts and filming, gathering costumes bits, and otherwise doing much more in 24 hours than I would have thought possible. Great showing by all.

The “game show” conceit made it all more fun. Our host, Rachel “Seacrest”,?  did a great job of moving things along and adding some clever silliness to the whole affair. The audio-visual crew did a top-notch job juggling all the video, countdown clocks, slides, props and miking. I hope they got to enjoy some of the presentations

Photo by Eric Schwartzman

Photo by Eric Schwartzman

The Health team blew away the competition. Three of the six ideas were strong enough to win, but the Health team’s insane dedication to telling the very best story possible carried the day.

Pam had her six-month-old son at the retreat with her, and the team took full advantage by filming him, with Charlie from our communications team doing a gravelly voiceover of his thoughts. The bulk of the pitch was a conversation between him and his mom about her work on toxic chemicals.

He asked, at the end, “That sounds great Mom, but is it really going to happen?” She turned to the audience and asked us, “Well, will it?”

Applause erupted, votes poured in, and the Health team cleaned up.

Jeff from the Operations team threatened, “Next year, we’re bringing puppies.”

Since this is the project that took over my life, I have two more posts coming:

  • The materials we used. Part of the deal in using the Social Media Game as the foundation for all this is that we will share our materials back with the world. I’ll post them over on the wiki, and explain here how we modified them and what further adjustments I recommend.

(Update: New post covering how the social media game went and what I’d do differently.)

  • A month later…what difference did this make? As I hinted earlier, this exercise has led to a lot more focus on using these tools at EDF. I’ll share a little bit of what’s going on.

(Update: New post looking back three months later.)

Stay tuned!