Connecting colleagues and amplifying our work – experiment analysis



For the past 18 months, I have been working with Drake Music on its use of social media tools to help market what the organisation does and also to help colleagues stay connected.

Drake Music, like every organisation, has a unique context. It is a small organisation with a dispersed workforce, many of whom work on a per-project basis – it has minimal central support staff.

When I first met CEO Carien Meijer I presented my thinking in terms of using social tools to help sow seeds, nurture relationships and build connections.

At the heart of this growth will be an increased focus and activity on nurturing existing relationships, building a network and raising awareness of DM’s work and achievements.

I outlined my role in the following way:

•    Building relationships internally and externally to extend our reach and grow our funding. Social technology and tools will be a conduit.
•    Helping colleagues create and share stories and supporting this through documenting and amplifying success stories from within that will be of value externally
•    Upskilling colleagues in tools and methods of sharing and collaborating where necessary.
•    Acting as advocate for our social media activity as well as providing the ‘oil in the wheels’ of communication – providing encouragement, pointing people to other people, and so on.
•    Identifying and coaching advocates – helping others to feel confident in their ability to use social tools to collaborate and share.

Since that initial conversation, I have been working with Drake Music to turn this in to a reality. Over the last 18 months, we have:

Taken an ‘experiments’ approach to test out our hypotheses about using social tools. We ran experiments with Gawain and Ben.

I have been coaching members of the team in using social tools, finding their social media ‘voice’ and being more confident using the tools.

I have been sharing what I have been doing so that I am role modelling the types of behaviours I am asking in others – I have done this on and offline.

Most importantly, all of this activity has been shared both on the blog and on the internal Yammer network.

In December last year we had a team day and in preparation I started a conversation on Yammer about our experiences using social media. This led to a fantastically rich and deep conversation which we then extended to the actual face to face event.

Following on from those conversations we decided to try out a company-wide experiment to see if everyone could share something each month both internally and externally. At the end of that experiment I surveyed everyone in the organisation (around 35 people) to see if they had participated, how, and what, if any, help they needed to carry on sharing and connecting internally and externally.

The results were interesting.

Only half the team had participated in the experiment and those people answered the survey. Many shared their feedback on the help they needed to continue using social tools.

This has led to me creating some tips and how to videos as well as offers to support and coach individuals.

But what of the others who did not respond to the survey? Carien and I agreed it would be a good idea to talk to those people individually to understand why they did not participate in the survey.

Doing this has had surprising consequences. First, Carien says she really enjoyed catching up with people and hearing about what they have been up to. Second, people had very particular challenges around what to share.

By using the survey as a conduit for having these conversations, Carien now has a greater understanding of what Drake Music needs to do to help more associates share their work.

One idea to come out of these conversations is for colleagues to buddy up and have conversations about the work they have been doing. If they can record those conversations then we can, for example, transcribe them and then share them.

Another idea is to look at how we can build in sharing project work into the evaluation process of a project. The aim is to have a half day session on how we could do that.

There has been some fantastic sharing internally and externally and some real success too. For example, DM recruited one of its new trustees through a recruitment campaign on Twitter and the first music hack day attracted several hackers who heard about the event on Twitter.

It is important to note that Drake Music has a very open ’policy’ on social media use which is underpinned by trusting each other. Here it is:

Drake Music – social media guidance

There are two fundamental principles that underpin this experiment:

1. You are trusted to share useful and relevant information about your work

2. You can choose how you share useful info

What you share has to be relevant to DM’s key messages, which are set out below.

If you are unsure about what to share or how to share it then please ask. Also, take a look at the ‘files’ area in this group where you will find a ‘tips’ document.

Feel free to use the Drake Music Social accounts or your own.

Key messages

• We are the leading organisation in England using technology to remove disabling barriers to music.

• We believe that everyone has the right to make music.

• We support disabled musicians at every level.

• We provide accessible instruments and opportunities to empower people to make music & achieve their potential.

• ‘Impossible is an opinion’ – innovation runs through everything we do.

• We experiment and never stop learning.

• Difference inspires: our work is artistically driven and of high quality.

• We use music & technology as a way of connecting people and making their voices heard.

• We advocate for equal access to music and musical progression.

• We aim to be an open, transparent and creative organisation.

• We are a flexible, ‘virtual’ organisation with regional bases and an international reach.

This work has been, and is still very much, a work in progress. The aim has been to be open and transparent and approach it as a learning experience – hence the ‘experiments’ approach.

As well as building on the successes so far, we now aim to use what we share as the foundations for our marketing. We have created great stories about what we do which can be used to broaden interest in Drake Music’s work. A first use of this is a recently created Flipboard magazine showing the work we do.

Finally, here is a list of blog posts which showthe background to the experiment and how our social media work has developed.

CEO blog posts (as a part of the experiment Carien has started blogging)

Carien’s musings
Reflections on Drake Music

Blog posts (these are my articles that show the progress of our social media work)

What Drake Music shared in June 2014
What Drake Music shared in April and May
What Drake Music shared in February 2014
What we shared in January 2014
Drake Music’s sharing and amplifying ‘experiment’
Ideas on how we want to share our work using social media
We tweeted a team meeting
Bridging communities and building new technology with the help of Twitter
Developing relationships with advocates and funders – social media experiment update
Interview: Drake Music’s CEO Carien Meijer on running the organisation’s Twitter profile
Social media experiment #3 – Developing relationships with advocates and funders
Where have we got to with our social media experiments?
Social media strategy update: Ben Glass in Brazil
Social strategy update: Drake Music R&D
Ben Glass: Getting going on Twitter and Youtube
DM social strategy experiment #2 – R&D at Drake Music
DM social strategy experiment #1 – Ben Glass in Brazil
Social media strategy at Drake Music

Plus . . .
The Drake Music R&D blog (set up by Gawain Hewitt as a part of his use of social media tools)
Drake Music on Storify (where the team curated tweets from events/what has been shared across the organisation)


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