To be or not to be a panel organiser, that’s a big question!

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This is a story of how I, a social media novice, ended up being a panel organiser.

About a year ago I realised I need to improve my social media knowledge as I had got new, social media related responsibilities at work. I decided I’ll give myself a year to learn everything I can about this area, so I started studying social media and joined the CMAD Finland group at the same time.

So little I knew when I said I might be interested in the international CMAD panel. It sounded like a fun thing to do, and before I knew, I was signed to be a panel host. I was a bit uncertain whether I could manage it, but then I thought I’ll find someone who knows social media better than me to co-host with me. The problem solved.

Then the truth hit me. I didn’t get a co-host. I didn’t know the chosen topic well and didn’t have much of experience in Google+ either. Like this wasn’t enough, all the other panel organisers seemed to be some social media rocket scientists and most of them also, unlike me, native English speakers.

I tried to get myself out of this mess. I wrote Johanna (the head organiser of the CMAD Finland) a message saying ’sorry, but I have to pass’ and gave her all my reasons. For an unknown reason she talked me back into this one (apparently I’m the only person in Finland who agrees to do this).

There I was, back to the CMAD. I needed to get a firm grip on this task, so I decided stop worrying about my lack of knowledge, technology, nor Americans. There are so many things in here that could go wrong that this could actually go right (Murphy’s revised law). Right?

I grasped the only way I can soundly manage this is to find a group of panelists who knows social media inside out and from top to toe. Now, after the long line of emails, a few phone calls, and some detective work I can finally say ’mission accomplished’ and proudly present this excellent group: Employee Advocacy: Pros and Cons of Employee Empowerment! On my behalf, I can modestly say I have learnt a few things on the way, too.

So here we are.  In a strange way this has started to feel like a good idea and I’m looking forward to the zero hour. If you want to know how this all came together, watch our panel on employee advocacy (details on the link above). See you there!

Virpi Pietiläinen

Communications Officer at Finnish Education Evaluation Centre
Virpi works as a Communications Officer at the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre. Having had education in organisational communication, she has held several positions in communications, mainly in public sector. At her present position one of her responsibilities is to develop social media channels for this new office. She is interested in the ways social media can be used to support organisation’s strategy and goals and is enthusiastic to learn more about how a public organisation can use social media to serve the public better.
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