Jeremy Schultz: Straddling the Firewall

How I ended up at the IABC world conference

Posted in Development by Jeremy Schultz on July 1, 2009

I wrote the following post on my intranet blog, where I titled it, “How social media can supercharge your professional development.” I got some really great feedback from colleagues, so I thought it would be worth sharing here:


So, everybody’s telling you that you need to get active on LinkedIn, jump into Twitter, and write a blog. Yeah right, when do I have time to do that?

I can’t answer that question, but I can illustrate what it can do for you.

Starting early this year, I decided that I wanted to get more serious about my personal development as a communications professional and I would start building out a more consistent presence online by:

  • Writing a personal blog about my work [you’re here!]
  • Consistently reading, commenting, and cross-linking my favorite intranet- and communications-related blogs
  • Beefing up my presence on LinkedIn by participating in groups
  • Continuing to build my mini-community on Twitter
  • Joining a professional association

So far, I’ve done 4 of 5 well; my blog has mostly languished.

Through this work, I’ve exploded my online network and I’ve created (and taken advantage of) opportunities that simply would not have otherwise happened.

A quick example: last week, I spoke on two panels at the world conference for International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Other speakers included the COO/soon-to-be-CEO of Best Buy, several well-known authors, and the VP of all things communication at Cisco. And me.

If it weren’t for my participation in those online forums, none of it would have happened. Here’s how things went:

  • March: I join IABC and the associated LinkedIn group
  • Late April: An IABC member, Debbie Moore, posts a question in LinkedIn asking, What are you doing with social media on the intranet for communications? “Ha, what are we not doing?” I answered.
  • Early May: Debbie asks if I want to be on a panel about social media for internal communications at the world conference in San Francisco in June. Sure, sounds like fun!
  • Friday, June 5: I arrive in San Francisco, and I get a tweet from Steve Crescenzo, an industry legend: Jeremy, do you want to be on my expert panel on employee communication? Sure, sounds like fun!
  • Sunday, Monday: Attend conference sessions, attend mixers, and meet dozens and dozens of brilliant folk, via Twitter and face-to-face.
  • Tuesday: Speak on the early panel with Steve, and then the main, big panel that I was originally invited for. 200 people show up! What a rush.
  • Wednesday: Finish up the conference, head home, and start saving all these new connections on LinkedIn and Twitter. What a flood!

I realize that this is a bit of an unusual case. But you can’t connect if you don’t show up.

At first, I took the opportunity to speak on the panel for granted. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I soon found out that it’s an honor and privilege to do so. I learned a ton during the conference, but better yet, I created an invaluable number of new connections. And it all started with just a little time online.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I can say that my participation in blogs and forums internally got me my current job. But that’s another story.

Have you made similar, never-before-so-easy, life-changing connections via social media?

P.S. You can catch me, Chuck Gose, Paul Barton, and Dave Meyer on Steve’s employee communications panel on Paula Cassin’s Cut Through Communications blog. Thanks Paula!

UPDATE: I just realized I owe a HUGE thank you to Debbie Moore, who found me on LinkedIn and invited me onto the panel. What a priceless experience to participate with Debbie and Karen Horn in a great discussion.

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My schedule for the 2009 IABC World Conference

Posted in Development by Jeremy Schultz on June 6, 2009

I’m in San Francisco for the next couple days attending the annual conference of the International Association of Business Communicators. Roughly 1,000 communicators from around the globe are converging to share best practices for communications on both sides of the firewall.

It’s been quite a rush already. I’m speaking on a panel Tuesday afternoon to talk about social computing for internal communication. Besides that, I’m going to cram in as much knowledge as I can.

My fellow communicator Linda Johannesson set the good example of posting her schedule on her blog, so I thought I’d follow suit. At the worst, it’ll serve as a handy reference for myself.

Sunday

Monday

  • 8 a.m. – 9: Idea Jam on Employee Communication (we use jams pretty frequently internally; nice way to harvest a huge number of ideas or direct feedback and an easy, time-boxed way for leaders to dip their toes in social computing)
  • 9:15 – 10:15: General Session with IABC’s 2009 EXCEL Award Winner with Best Buy President, COO, and soon-to-be CEO Brian Dunn
  • 11:15 – 12:30 p.m.: Stop the world, I want to communicate, a panel
  • 2 – 4:30: Measuring the success of your communication with Angela Sinickas
  • 5:30 – 7: Mixer with regional communicators

Tuesday

Wednesday

Needless to say, I’m going to learn a lot this week.

More about me and what I do

Posted in Work by Jeremy Schultz on December 31, 2008

As I wrote on my about page, I work in employee communications at Intel. My team is called Circuit News; we write global news stories for the central intranet site at Intel, which is called Circuit. (A quick search reveals that a few folks have improperly re-hosted some old articles—note the dropped-e logo—such as this one and that one.)

Our team sits within the employee communications department, which also includes benefits, rewards, manager, and executive communication; video production; events management; and several business group-specific communications. The department then rolls directly into HR.

I tell people that I’m sort of an internal reporter, but I like to do more than that. I’m a problem solver at heart (I was a software developer for 8 years before this job), and I have a thirst for learning that continually drives me to new opportunities. Since I’m responsible for global content, I get to play a part in tons of events and initiatives inside the company, so that helps keep work fresh for me.

I’m the main social media guru, if such a thing exists, on our team. I’ve been an active internal blogger since our blogs were run on a carpet server in a colleague’s cubicle back in 2003. I’ve also been a prominent user and advocate of our main wiki, Intelpedia, which was also started a carpet-server side project (by Josh Bancroft and a few others).

Why blog now? It’s now been just over a year since I moved from IT database engineering to corporate communications. It’s been a wild ride and I’m finally feeling like I have some traction—and things to share. Plus, there aren’t enough of us out here and I’d like to see more open sharing of what’s happening inside companies.

What to write about? Simply put, I want to write about my job. How we use blogs, to how and what we write, to social tools coming soon, to whatever else crosses my path.

Nice to meet you, too!