Hello – it’s “Five Minutes With” Friday. Today, we spend that time with ALISON WOO, now Director, External Social Media Strategy, Bristol-Myers Squibb. She’s a former TV Newsie, having produced for CNN as well as stations in Orlando and Charlotte. She made the leap from TV (which so many of you have shared they would like to do themselves) to the corporate world and has some insights on that. With a Masters degree from Columbia in Journalism, she’s got a high energy approach to life. Take it away Ms. Alison…
You made the leap from TV to corporate…how did you do that?
While at a 24-hour news station, I realized television news ratings were waning, and I needed to make a change. I started getting more of my news online and wanted to be part of that medium. My official transition out of news started rather innocently, helping my friends who were entrepreneurs get media coverage. I met a marketing specialist who suggested I teach that to Fortune 500 companies. We decided to partner on marketing and media seminars for communications and marketing and we started asking questions about how to use the internet and social media get their messages to stakeholders.
Our seminars were popular and we wanted to codify the knowledge in a book. In 2008, Penguin Putnam published our How To Say It: Marketing and the New Media. That led to launching a small boutique healthcare agency. In 2011, BMS hired me with the mandate to help them think about a global approach to social media.
Best new social tech innovation (especially for marketing people)
Social Media Listening. You can go to search.twitter.com or any social listening platform (Radian 6, Crimson Hexagon) to hear what your customers or viewers are thinking and talking about at any given moment on any given topic at any given time of day! We used to pay thousands of dollar for market research. Now it’s free and at our fingertips.
If you had to give a TV marketer a heads up ‘into the future’ crystal ball prediction, what would it be?
Ads will become contextual. Social media platforms have become incredible opportunities to target specific types of people based on the way they consume content. This will only get more refined in the future and I believe will now be embedded into content more seamlessly.
You’ve said you think TV people make the best corporate employees and bosses…why?
Because they can think fast on their feet and they aren’t afraid of anyone.
Favorite way to jumpstart a stalled creative streak.
Write down the very worst ideas you have. Stive to purposefully put bad ideas on paper. If you keep going, you’ll be amazed at how that will unblock you.
Best quick office-type energy boost is…
Lara Bars! They’re nutty deliciousness! That, and a fun video on YouTube.
My cell phone is (what is means to you and how you use it…)
Always at my fingertips! It’s my wallet, my camera, my link to my nearest and dearest, my traffic advisor and with over 9,000 photos, my visual reminder of where I’ve been almost every day of the year.
Favorite TV show of all time
The Odd Couple (original one!), Mad Men, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica
You have 10 minutes to kill online. What sites do you visit?
I love the #ham4ham content from Broadway smash Hamilton musical! I’m always looking for new content there. Plus an oldie but a goodie is Dear Kitten video series. My favorite one is “Regarding the Dog” https://youtu.be/3yNSF7ljOoU
Who would you like to spend “Five Minutes With”?
Lin Manuel Miranda (creator of the Hamilton musical) or HBO host John Oliver.
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