Johnson Controls: How we empower our executives to tell the brand’s story — Live from Member Meeting 35

Coverage of this session by Courtney Graham of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

2:10 —'s Erin McDaniel introduces Johnson Controls' Director of Global Social Media & Web Content, Sam Sova.

2:11 — Sam:  Tells the Johnson Controls story and why this is important to get executives empowered. A new CEO came on board and his focus was how do we bring all our businesses together into one. So it was important for us to have a consistent story.

2:13 — Sam: We touch a lot of people with our products so we wanted to build a manifesto to tell our story.

2:14 — Sam: We also wanted to tell our story with our employees, and then through the website as well.

2:15 — Sam: We thought it was the right time to get executives out there — One of the most powerful ways we tell our story is through our executives.

2:16 — CEO brought together all the Johnson Controls leadership and partnered them with a communications partner. Started with a LinkedIn profile and it helped them figure out how they could scale the program.

2:17 — Training really started with LinkedIn and Twitter. We don't ghost write for our executives, we train them to be authentic.

2:18 — Sam: Example of leadership training — 4 elements of Twitter training: Leadership landscape, content strategy, increasing impact, and mitigating risk.

2:19 — Sam: There are four voices that the executive can have on Twitter. We match it to what's going on in their business. This lets them be authentic and provides content ideas for them.

  1. The motivator, connector, and celebrator
  2. The quotable thinker
  3. Industry trends observer
  4. The 1:1 engager

2:20 — Sam: “Good to Great” training to increase impact — look at their content and focus on how to make it better

2:21 — Sam: Mitigating risk tips: Can it be retweeted by a journalist? Always proofread. Is the message clear?

2:23 — Sam: CEO, Alex Molinaroli is very active on social mostly to talk with employees. Wants to communicate everything that's happening in Johnson Controls.

2:24 — Sam: Example of authentic content — Tweet of CEO and an employee that had been with the company for 35 years.

2:25 — Sam: Example of authentic content — customer messaged the CEO and he was able to respond and call in the appropriate people to resolve the problem. He's also getting really great at live tweeting at internal and external events, as well as sharing the content of other employees at Johnson Controls.

2:27 — Sam: We know that our audience is watching the CEO's social presence and reaching out to us about it.

2:28 — Sam: We measure the CEO's activity and how it's impacting overall engagement.

2:29 — Sam: They have the command wall with two screens — one to show all of Johnson Controls' social activity and one to show our listening metrics and data. We also show the content of other industry partners.

2:30 — Sam: We're really on a journey to tell our story and proactive training executives to leverage that.


Q & A:

Q: Have you ever had an unfortunate post from leadership and how did you handle?

A: It's really ongoing training with leadership. Sometimes they don't realize how the audience might perceive something.

Q: Have you had to have sessions with executives on any of the negative chatter on social?

A: In training, we have a section for internet trolls and how to handle. That also has a response matrix so the executive knows exactly how to route the issue.

Q: Where does this sit within the organization?

A: Sits in external communications and the team reports up to the CMO. In trainings, the communications partners sit in with them.

Q: Is it ever an issue for the executives with the level of engagement?

A: We really don't see that. We make it part of the training to have the team help with getting things answered quickly.

Q: How often are your executives active? What are your time and resources?

A: It varies and executives really get into the habit of checking their feeds. We sometimes feed them content to prompt them to post. But it's really only about 15% of our time to get them active.