Be the Agent of Change

I’ve worked within a lot of big companies – corporations even.  From post secondary institutions to Canada’s largest private broadcaster, I’ve been a spoke in the wheel for a many years.  I’ve worked for myself too (which is fantastic and not so fantastic depending on the day), but being part of a machine is a whole different beast.

While working within these larger companies, I am often part of a team of misfits going against the grain.  Trying to move the company in a new direction.  Going where no one has gone before (ok, that’s a stretch, but you get the idea).

Onward by Howard Schultz is a fantastic read about troubles at Starbucks and the CEO returning to the helm of the company in 2008, right before the global recession. Schultz is candid about the state of the company and mistakes that were made as he shares the strategy he used to turn the company around. I’ve shared this book with many colleagues, and highly recommend it.

Adding digital to the mix

When I joined the team at Thrifty Foods in 2010, there were a few fellow web lovers on the marketing team, and we set about moving the ship in a new direction.  We had a lonely YouTube channel and a Twitter account started by an interested member of the team – but it wasn’t part of her regular job.  It wasn’t even part of my job, but more on that in another post.

How do you make a plan to add digital to the mix? 

Get educated.  Be the cheerleader.  Be the Agent of Change.

You have to know your stuff.  Read up every morning, watch brands you respect, and most importantly share the stories with your co-workers, your boss and everyone else who will listen.  Get your team together, start hatching a plan.

If you’re already in motion or just getting started, curate a morning reading list (so that you have great info to share).  Here are a few places I check out for inspiration.  I’m always looking for creative ways to spark interest within our audience.

  • Fast Company talks web and business with a fresh and innovative approach and tells stories about brands that are standing out.  Great for inspiration.
  • Harvard Business Review Blog is written by the some of brightest business minds out there and they talk web and much more.  A recent post was titled “Battling your Online Addiction” – at least I know it’s not just me!
  • Mashable – if social media had a water cooler, this would be it.  Rumours and plenty of real info are posted endlessly, and there’s lots of great info here for beginners too.  It’s the site I tell anyone new to social to start with.

What do you read about social – I would love to know!

Anything about Thrifty Foods’ online presence you’d like to know? Fire away!

Until next time, Sarah.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Marlayne Roberts is a public relations and digital media strategist based in Victoria, BC. She has extensive marketing, social media, public relations, and special events experience from her work in television (CTV Television, Canadian Idol, Juno Awards, The Bachelor Canada) and with some of Canada’s most vibrant brands including The Edmonton Oilers, the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company and now, Thrifty Foods. Her focus at Thrifty Foods is on the company’s digital presence including the web and social channels, working to reflect the in-store experience online. In her spare (?!) time, Sarah also blogs about pop culture and other stuff you shouldn’t live without at STUFF by Sarah and works with small business clients on maximizing their online presence.

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  • I always look at this book in line at Starbucks and consider buying it but for whatever reason I never have. It is worth a read…