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In her BlogWell New York presentation, Dow Chemical's Director of Digital and Social Media, Abby Klanecky, shared the importance of attracting new recruits to their science programs and how getting their scientists' amazing reputations online could help.

Abby specifically talks about how she convinced scientists of this need and what methods they used for social media training.

Below is live coverage of this session by Theresa Braun of Likeable Media.

—’s Erin McDaniel introduces The Dow Chemical Company‘s Director of Digital & Social Media, Abby Klanecky.

–- Abby is discussing “Empowering Scientists as Storytellers,” sharing how to empower your expert voices!

– 8-10% unemployment rate in the U.S. At the same time, 1-2 million jobs in science. Only 26% able to do these jobs.

— What is the core of the Dow Chemical Company? Science and scientists. It’s a science-based company focused on innovation.

— The goal: to reframe the brand and attract next-gen scientists.

-– The strategy: empower scientists as storytellers.

— Took their passion, authenticity, and expertise and combined with the social team.

— But wait: how do scientists feel about marketing, advertising, and PR?

— Pretty skeptical. Scientists had to feel that this would fuel growth.

— Next logical question: can scientists really be storytellers?

— Yes. They’re innately curious and incredibly passionate about what they do (critical for great storytelling).

— Started by building their personal brands.

-– Scientists Googled themselves. Many had left this unattended for so long and weren’t getting online credit for their achievements.

— They were eager to start on social media! But before you can create content, you need to acquire a following.

— So where to begin?

— Began to share information and interact in 3 locations: blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

— Scientists were already doing great work and producing content daily –the next step was to share it.

-– Community managers aligned with topic areas to work across the organization. One example: sustainability. Worked with a team of experts, regardless of business unity, to make sure to focus content and fuel the conversation.

— “We don’t heavily police this. We trust them with chemicals, we can trust what they say online.”

-– Made sure the scientists understood this wasn’t black and white. Educated them on how communities operate online using scenario training.

-– Uncovering the true barriers: legal isn’t really the barrier. It’s actually riskier not to train our employees than to start training them. Legal was a huge advocate.

-– The real barriers were culture and structure.

-– Created maps of potential social influence just with the people they already knew. Started there. The response: “Wow, look at the kind of reach I can have!”

-– VP of Sustainability Neil Hawkins was very open to trying a new way to reach people.

-– Not about sales. About the long-term growth and influence of the company.

-– Conversion goal: hire top scientists.

-– Some stats: Started in April. 100 trained. 35 active. 20 very active.

-– Kept it small to keep it from being derailed.

-– Kept the tools simple. Made great progress by being patient.

— Time for some Q&A!

Q: Any tips or tricks for how to get executive buy-in?

A: Had to keep getting in front of them. Had to tell them pieces of the story, rather than the entire vision. Talk to particular pain-points. Never made a meeting about social media, they were laser-focused.

Q: Did management have concerned about raising the profile of the scientists and be concerned about other companies poaching them?

A:This is focused on the next generation of scientists, but poaching is a concern. It’s a concern that HR had to accept.

Q: What type of resources did you have in place?

A: Primarily Abby with the support of five people. Had junior people train, but they didn’t have gravity. Needed someone senior talk to scientists about why this would help grow the business. Needed Abby to deliver this message.

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