Congratulations Sarah and Becki…

Social: IRL recently offered the opportunity for two individuals to receive complimentary registrations to Explore and Engage with Jason Falls and Brian Solis, taking place in Wichita KS on January 19.

Applications were carefully considered and we are pleased to announce Sarah K. Scoular and Becki Carl Stutz as recipients of these special registrations.

Their respective submissions are included below.

Congratulations Sarah and Becki, we’re glad you’ll be joining us at Explore and Engage and are excited to see how you apply what you learn.

 

Sarah K. Scoular

As I was recently informed my job position will be eliminated in the upcoming months, I’ve found myself at an unexpected crossroads. Working for Sunflower Broadband for the past 8 years has allowed me to not only grow as a person and a leader but it also opened my eyes to the power of Social Media.

In early 2009 I was given the opportunity to represent our brand online. With the help of my team and the guidance of the World Company Social Media team we created a powerful portal to support our customers. Over the past 2 years, that portal has become the most influential link to our brand. Our engagement in social media has made our most vocal detractors our most vocal advocates. Having personally answered and resolved our customer’s issues at all hours of the day, all days of the week, I’ve become inextricably linked and emotionally attached to our followers. I thrive on the rush I get from shaping people’s opinions about our brand. I’ve been employed in some form of customer service for the past 15 years but through Social Media I have found my true passion.

When I envision the perfect job for myself it is managing a Digital Care Team who assists customers through digital interactions such as email, chat and all forms of social media. By combining the skills I’ve acquired through practice, self-education, attending events like Free State Social and Social Marketing Bootcamp with the information I will take from Explore and Engage, I believe I will be an invaluable asset to any team I join.  From Explore and Engage I hope to gain skills necessary to translate my practical knowledge of social media into a tangible strategy I can present to potential employers. Also, adding Brian Solis and Jason Falls to the already stellar list of experts I’ve connected with (Ben Smith, Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang, Sarah Evans, etc) can only improve my chances of finding a job in this field

 

Becki Carl Stutz

Health care may be one of the country’s leading industries in terms of size and scope, but it has been one of the slowest industries to embrace advances in technology, including establishing a presence in the arena of social media. According to Ed Bennett’s blog, Found in Cache, of the nearly 5,000 hospitals in the United States, there are currently only 890 hospitals that are using some form of social media.

There has been a significant shift in how consumers are obtaining their health information and social media is becoming a primary tool for people to consume content and research information.  With this growth in social media, health care organizations need to capitalize on these outlets.  Social networking can be a powerful way to get a hospital’s message out to the public.  It allows for a hospital to connect with customers, communicate with their employees, manage and protect a brand, and promote your organization to new employees or patients. Social Media is a technology; it is a tool. Its uses are only limited by our creativity and imagination.

I would like to be selected to attend the Explore & Engage event because as someone who is finishing my Masters Degree in Health Services Administration, I see how social media will influence and change the practice of medicine and I want to be prepared to meet those changes.  Health care is largely about relationships, and those of us involved in this industry need to be aware of how emerging technologies like social and digital media are giving patients, doctors and nurses new ways of communicating and collaborating.

Additionally, through my personal uses of social networking, I see how implementing those practices in my current role as a Volunteer Coordinator in a hospital can be utilized to recruit and retain volunteers.  On a national level, very few hospitals are using social media to engage potential volunteers.  I want to develop a strategic plan that will harness the potential of social networking in not only reaching new volunteers but to keep our current volunteers more connected to our organization.

I am relatively new to the world of social media.  While I have been a member of Facebook for several years, I have only just started expanding my horizons this past year by joining Twitter and Foursquare.  I have found my involvement in these platforms to be of great benefit not only personally, but professionally as well.  I feel the information that I would learn from the Explore & Engage event will build on the limited knowledge I have and will help me to develop new ways that I can support vision of the organization for which I work.

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