Ahead of our 50th Member Meeting, we're spotlighting our top 10 Member Meeting All Stars — members who've attended the most Member Meetings during their time in the community. To continue this series, we chatted with Intuitive Surgical Senior Manager of Corporate Social Media Mary-Jayne Trainor, who has attended nine Member Meetings across her six years in the community (at two different companies!).
She shared some specific learnings from past Member Meetings and why she continues to value not just the meetings themselves, but the relationships she's built throughout her years in the community as well.
How would you describe your first SocialMedia.org Member Meeting?
Overwhelmingly therapeutic. Members often joke about SocialMedia.org being like family or group therapy (don't recommend mixing the two), and I think that's spot on.
After the first 15 minutes of posturing that I'd normally keep going for a whole conference, the guard comes down. You quickly realize that you are among people who are doing exactly what you do, some further along, some a bit earlier in the journey, some (like me now) who are starting again with a new team or organization. These are your people.
What are some of the biggest insights or “aha” moments you've taken away from Member Meetings and applied to your program?
There are a few member-led presentations and discussions that have stuck with me over the years:
- What “social media account sprawl” looks like and how to get it back under control and how to avoid it in the first place — hugely impactful as we scaled at Philips and now as I'm driving the development of enterprise-wide social media capabilities at Intuitive.
- How to stop forcing your org chart on your audience — I use that line over and over, it's the Low Sodium Mrs. Dash of single-line slide statements. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
- That your most valuable peer relationship from SocialMedia.org are folks who may be outside your industry, but subject to the same challenges due to regulations/ongoing issues. Some of the best insights have come from conversations with members outside healthcare/medtech/pharma, so attend the sessions from and have conversations with the members who you assume aren't relevant and prove yourself wrong.
- Mickey-shaped food is calorie-free.
What are some of your favorite activities or memories from past Member Meetings?
Member Meeting “after-hours” activities hold a special place in my heart. That's where you make friends. Some magic can happen after you've shared what you thought was a huge, unresolvable problem, hear that someone has solved said problem, they tell you what worked for them, and then you ride Frozen Ever After together four times in a row. Magic.
Why do you make attending Member Meetings a priority?
It's challenging finding the time to focus on education when so many of us are working across multiple verticals, geographies, and building programs. SocialMedia.org Member Meetings are set up in a way that lets you focus on what you need to know now to move forward or revise your strategies. Nobody is going to shame you for taking that conference call in the lobby at a meeting, but you're absolutely going to get the “ohhhhh, that's rough” look of support.
What advice would you give to someone going to their first Member Meeting?
Speak up. I'm laughing a bit to myself because I can imagine Chad Parizman saying, “That's never been an issue for you.” #gamerecognizegame friend. But in all seriousness, don't hesitate to share your question or suggestion. We've all got a lot to offer, and something you share could be an “aha” moment that sticks with another member for years.
Meet members like Mary-Jayne at Member Meeting 50 in Chicago, October 8-9!
SocialMedia.org's Member Meeting 50 is coming up October 8-9 in Chicago, and it's going to be one of our best meetings yet — in large part to social media leaders like Mary-Jayne who bring a wide range of professional experience and lots of humor to every meeting they attend.
We're so grateful for our All Stars and all our members who continue to make every meeting so special and unbelievably valuable. They're the reason this community has been thriving for over a decade, and we can't wait for what's next!
Learn more about Member Meeting 50 here: https://socialmedia.org/community/meetings/mm50/
Mary-Jayne Trainor has been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2013. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.