Twitter, CBC and Eclipse Awards
by Toby Barazzuol on Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

At first you might wonder about the connection here...Twitter is a 2 year old disruptive company that’s shaking up the online world; Eclipse Awards is a 10 year old awards company hitting its stride near the top of its game, and the CBC, at close to 80 years old, is a venerable institute of Canadian news and broadcasting. This past week, all 3 came together in a way that was both unexpected and exciting. Last Thursday, after 30 years as a CBC listener and viewer and 2 months as a Twitter user, I suddenly found myself on both CBC Radio One and CBC News on the same day with chances to talk about Eclipse Awards, our commitments to sustainability, and the idea of developing Strathcona as a green business community.

TV spot from CBC News.
Listen to the interview from CBC Radio

I got started on Twitter about 8 weeks ago at the urging of marketing wizard Kaya Rosenbloom.  I’d looked at Twitter before but had discounted it since I didn’t see how it was different from the status update portion of Facebook.  After using it for a few weeks though, I realized it’s power in terms of branding, sharing information, and creating relationships and community online.  Twitter’s value doesn’t really lie in letting people know what you ate for lunch, it lies in sharing the ideas and information that are influencing your thoughts.  Limiting posts to 140 characters means you have to communicate clearly, and relatively often (though I think 3-5 short posts per day is more than enough).  The strength of social media lies in 2-way conversations and the rapid dissemination of information - these factors are really changing the face and pace of business today.

Through Twitter I connected with Lisa Johnson, a cool environmental reporter at CBC.  Over time and through our posts, I imagine she became interested in what we were doing at Eclipse Awards…our green roofs, our new green awards, and our commitment to sustainability and greening the Strathcona community.   Then last week we got in touch by email on Tuesday, had a conversation the next day, and by Thursday morning I was preparing for the CBC camera crew and then radio interview.  And so with that, the power of Twitter became crystal clear.  If you’re interested in what Lisa is up to, you can follow her Twitter updates here.  You can follow me on Twitter here.

Twitter and social media will continue to grow in 2009 and I think that’s a good thing.  As business evolves, we'll focus less on creating imaginary brands, and focus more on doing real things with integrity.  In this coming year, you’ll find out more about the people that make up Eclipse Awards and you’ll hear about the things that we’re committed to.  We’re refocusing our marketing budget towards sustainability and community building projects, and then using social media to tell those stories as our marketing campaign.  Will this work?  I don't know, but I like how it feels and time will tell.  I've come to believe in the reality of a shared consciousness and the idea that the same idea can emerge in many places at the same time, indepenently of one another.  With the inauguration of Barack Obama, there is an undeniable urgency and an energy in the air these days that tells us anything is possible, and now is the time to evolve and improve.  We’re looking forward to doing this with you because,if wasn't clear enough before, we really are all in this together.



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