Tyson Foods: Building Community with Social Media — Live from BlogWell

2:10 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Tyson Food’s Director of Community & Public Relations, Ed Nicholson.

Ed Nicholson of Tyson Foods speaks at BlogWell Cincinnati

2:10 — Ed explains how much things have changed since his first BlogWell a year ago. Tyson uses cause branding, not cause marketing. They have 100 communities with operations.

2:11 – Ed: Hunger Relief for 10 years. Donate 8-10 million pounds of food per year.

2:12 — Ed: 107,000 employees want to engage in productive and visible ways. It makes them feel good about the company. Another step toward being more authentically involved; humanizing the brand.

2:13 — Ed: Social media tools help build awareness about hunger. It’s more than a campaign for us. Social media shows we’re in it for the long run, archives it.

2:14 — Ed: Publicity focused at start. Found inspiring people, lots in community. We could facilitate online connections. Can’t buy your way into the community. Must become engaged.

2:15 — Ed: In 2007 we started a blog. Snuck in with moderated comments. Slipped past lawyers. Expanded awareness of issue. Expanded community online. Community includes national organizations, lawmakers, local food banks and agencies.

2:17 — Ed: Created Hunger All Stars. Share stories online. Example: Phobe Russell, cute kid, raised $20,000 for San Francisco Food Bank. Done to food bank that nominates Hunger All Star.

2:18 — Ed: Social media informs and validates traditional media.

2:19 — Ed: Live blog a lot of events. Use flip camera and YouTube showing employees raising money.

2:20 — Ed: Collecting Twitter handles for all in hunger community. Brought in non-profit social media expert to do workshop.

2:21 — Ed: Digital food drive on WeCanEndThis. Heavy hitters in social media involved. Guest bloggers to talk about and create awareness about issue.

2:22 — Ed: Post most images on Flickr, use YouTube, started @TysonFoods Twitter account to point to other things online.

2:23 — Ed: Started using Google Maps to plot truckload donations.

2:24 — Ed: Wasn’t high on Facebook until 83-year-old mother signed up. Started six weeks ago.

2:25 — Ed: Trying to figure out how to engage people. Lot not aware of hunger in their own communities. Worked with Austin Food Bank to share statistics. Offered 100-pound donation for every blog comment. Took four hours to get 350 comments. Overwhelmingly positive. 2,000 comments in Bay area.

2:26 — Ed: Lot of this activity does a good job of driving other PR activities.

2:27 — Ed: Measure site traffic, monitor blog posts and Twitter and Facebook activity. Provides an archive and credibility. Helps with reputation and relationships, especially with online influencers.

2:29 — Ed: Relationships and reputations will transcend and survive technology changes. Basis: Building community that will last.

Q&A

Q: Daniel Lally asks what challenges faced getting senior management to focus on as core issue for social media.

A: Not hard at all. Looked a lot of issues and causes. Natural because we are a food company.

Q: What’s your policy on engaging with those who do not like your product?

A: Broad spectrum. All the way to those who think what we do is morally wrong. We won’t engage with them much. We’ll look at if we have an opportunity to persuade by telling our story.

Q: Any surprises?

A: We get positive comments from vegetarians.

Q: Resources dedicated?

A: I do a lot of this in my spare time. iPhone, laptop…. We work with an agency too. Had been cynical about agencies but they with content and integrating with traditional media.

Q: How have you worked with bloggers?

A: Not a lot of active outreach. Had a lot of bloggers come to us. Always eager to work with them. We don’t have a blog pitching strategy.

Q: Is this the primary social media strategy at Tyson?

A: It is the primary social media strategy at this point. It’s a safe place to start. Working with food services group on creating a social media strategy, a B-to-B strategy. Consumer products department does blogger outreach. We have some groups interested.

2:10 – Ed explains how much things have changed since his first BlogWell a year ago. Tyson uses for cause branding, not cause marketing. 100 communities with operations.

2:11 – Ed: Hunger Relief for 10 years. Donate 8-10 million pounds of food per year.

2:12 — Ed: 107,000 employees. Want to engage in productive and visible ways. Makes them feel good about the company. Another step toward being more authentically involved; humanizing the brand.

2:13 — Ed: Social media tools help build awareness about hunger. Is more than a campaign for us. Social media shows we’re in it for the long run. Archives it.

2:14 — Ed: Publicity focused at start. Found inspiring people, lots in community. We could facilitate online connections. Can’t buy your way into the community. Must become engaged.

2:15 — Ed: 2007 started a blog. Snuck in with moderated comments. Slipped past lawyers. Expanded awareness of issue. Expanded community online. Community includes national organizations, lawmakers, local food banks and agencies.

2:17 — Ed: Created Hunger All Stars. Share stories online. Example: Phobe Russell, cute kid, raised $20,000 for San Francisco Food Bank. Done to food bank that nominates Hunger All Star.

2:18 — Ed: Social media informs and validates traditional media.

2:19 — Ed: Live blog a lot of events. Use flip camera and YouTube showing employees raising money.

2:20 — Ed: Collecting Twitter handles for all in hunger community. Brought in non-profit social media expert to do workshop.

2:21 — Ed: Digital food drive on WeCanEndThis. Heavy hitters in social media involved. Guest bloggers to talk about and create awareness about issue.

2:22 — Ed: Post most images on Flickr, use YouTube, started @TysonFoods Twitter account to point to other things online.

2:23 — Ed: Started using Google Maps to plot truckload donations.

2:24 — Ed: Wasn’t high on Facebook until 83-year-old mother signed up. Started six weeks ago.

2:25 — Ed: Trying to figure out how to engage people. Lot not aware of hunger in their own communities. Worked with Austin Food Bank to share statistics. Offered 100-pound donation for every blog comment. Took four hours to get 350 comments. Overwhelmingly positive. 2,000 comments in Bay area.

2:26 — Ed: Lot of this activity does a good job of driving other PR activities.

2:27 — Ed: Measure site traffic, monitor blog posts and Twitter and Facebook activity. Provides an archive and credibility. Helps with reputation and relationships, especially with online influencers.

2:29 — Ed: Relationships and reputations will transcend and survive technology changes. Basis: Building community that will last.

Questions and answers

Q: Daniel Lally asks what challenges faced getting senior management to focus on as core issue for social media.

A: Not hard at all. Looked a lot of issues and causes. Natural because is a food company.

Q: Policy on engaging with those who do not like your product

A: Broad spectrum. All the way to those who think what we do is morally wrong. Won’t engage with them much. Look at if have an opportunity to persuade by telling your story – if you can effect the way believe.

Q: Surprises

A: Get positive comments from vegetarians.

Q: Resources dedicated

A: Do a lot of this in my spare time. iPhone, laptop…. Work with an agency. Had been cynical about agencies. Agency helps with content and integrating with traditional media.

Q: How have you worked with bloggers?

A: Not a lot of active outreach. Had a lot of bloggers come to us. Always eager to work with them. Not have a blog pitching strategy.

Q: Is this the primary social media strategy at Tyson?

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Comments

  1. Scott Henderson

    Thanks for helping showcase the good work Tyson Foods is doing for the cause of ending hunger in America. We’re proud of partnership with them and thankful for Ed’s leadership with http://www.WeCanEndThis.com.

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