We sat down with Maureen Fitzgerald, Senior Manager of Social Media at United Technologies Corporation, to talk about brand storytelling and social media. She is an Emmy nominated producer, member of the Writers Guild of America, and joined SocialMedia.org earlier this year as a Blue Council member.
With over a decade of experience in TV and producing news, Maureen’s perspective helps her tell compelling stories about United Technologies in social.
“My career in TV came at about the same time as social media did.”
Maureen Fitzgerald, United Technologies Corporation Senior Manager of Social Media says, “As a news producer, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube changed the game forever — for the better. So naturally, social media became a part of my job. I rely on my news and PR background every day — without a doubt.”
“It’s helped me think in terms of what makes a story compelling, who we’re talking to, how we talk about cool new products, our investment in engineering, or how we’re encouraging kids to get excited about engineering,” she says.
Their most recent win: giving employees the power to tell those stories too.
Maureen’s team has recently launched a new corporate social policy and training program that’s allowed employees access to social sites from work for the first time.
“That’s a culture shift — and by opening up social media it offers a new, more modern way to communicate,” she explains. “Now that we have employees engaged in social, we’re looking at how we can highlight some of the great work they’re doing.”
For example, United Technologies is big on community volunteerism as a company. Maureen says that with these new guidelines, employees can feel more comfortable sharing those unique stories in social.
How did they do it? By doing their homework, taking their time, and with a lot of internal collaboration.
From a policy perspective, they worked with IT, Legal and Compliance, and Human Resources departments to get buy-in and roll out the internal social guidelines. But more importantly, Maureen says they also hold a continued focus on training — seeing what works and adjusting to what their employees need.
Maureen explains, “Having a partnership between those functions is really how we were able to develop the policy and training program and roll it out in a successful way. It’s only been a month, but we’ve had some great feedback so far.”
“Social is just the way people communicate now,” says Maureen.
“There are so many different channels and different ways of getting news now. It’s important to figure out where your audiences are, how best to reach them, and to communicate to them the way they want to receive information.”
And that can be difficult for a global company with over 50 social media channels, using multiple languages, and a range of products that covers anything from elevators to jet engines.
Maureen says it all comes back to storytelling and the ability to write crisp, clear copy.
“When you’re producing a live newscast every day on air, that takes a team of people. Developing content at a huge, global company isn’t all that different. People get news in social from many different places. Since the audiences are so fragmented, the work that goes with creating social content is just as important.”
Follow Maureen on Twitter and ask her about her favorite Orioles player.