Rhiannan talking about her community management journey on Yammer

Episode 2: Rhiannan Howell from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

This week I had the pleasure to have an informal #responsivecoffee with Rhiannan Howell (@rhi_jai) at Spring, a great cafe in Brisbane City.  After finding one of the noisiest tables in Brisbane and sipping away on our long blacks we got the ZoomH4n and microphones out of the bag and pressed record…

(as a side note, by turning the recording level down on the device you can’t hear how noisy the cafe and the road we were sitting beside was – so please forgive us half way through when we start talking about a B-Double Truck rumbling past!  Honestly we couldn’t hear each other across the table, although you can’t really notice it on the podcast!  Having a good quality podcast voice recorder saved the day!)

Rhi is from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.  As one of many agencies that are part of the Queensland Government, TMR are going through a cultural renewal program which involves all 6500 employees.  One of the ideas that Rhi turned into action was driving the adoption, launch and engagement of a Yammer network across the organisation.

In this episode of The Yaminade, Rhi talks about the broader transition the organisation is going through, how she turned her idea to adopt Yammer into action, and some of the successes (and challenges) she and her Yammer Champions have seen over the past 6-12 months.

Links we discussed during The Yaminade this week…

Remember… the Yaminade is in it’s infancy – I haven’t got to the funky podcast opening and closing music yet so please enjoy The Yaminade in it’s rawest form!

Finally, if you like the podcast please support it’s development… there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Subscribe, and if you really like what my guests and I are producing, please leave a review on iTunes!
  2. We would love your feedback – leave a comment below!
  3. Sign up to The Yaminade’s newsletter to get semi-regular updates and notifications when new content is published
  4. If you would like to be a guest on The Yaminade, please get in touch!
Sarah Moran on The Yaminade

Episode 1: Sarah Moran from GO1

This week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with Sarah Moran (@sarahmoran).  As you will hear during this episode Sarah has a lot of experience building “physical communities” (… that sounds bad!  I mean non-digital communities!) and translating that experience to build community around brands like Virgin Australia, Tourism Queensland and more.  She is currently the Brand and Marketing Manager at a small but growing application development house called GO1.

In this episode Sarah shares with us some of the exciting, and challenging aspects of community management within a small but high growth and geographically dispersed organisaton – with the added complexity of language barriers in her Yammer network.

Links we discussed during The Yaminade this week…

Remember… it is episode one – I haven’t got to the funky podcast opening and closing music yet so please enjoy The Yaminade in it’s rawest form!

Finally, if you like the podcast please support it’s development… there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Subscribe, and if you really like what my guests and I are producing, please leave a review on iTunes!
  2. We would love your feedback – leave a comment below!
  3. Sign up to The Yaminade’s newsletter to get semi-regular updates and notifications when new content is published
  4. If you would like to be a guest on The Yaminade, please get in touch!
yammeroutofoffice

Set your Out of Office message in Yammer

So you are about to go on that big family holiday?  Or you might be traveling interstate or overseas for work?  Either way chances are you already set an out of office reply for your email.  Usually we turn on our OOF message to set an expectation that you will not be as quick (or will not) respond to communication whilst we are away.  So how do we do that in our enterprise social network – especially where we may participate in our home community, as well as other external networks?

There is no “built in” out of office functionality in Yammer – and to be honest an auto-reply style out of office message like your email one wouldn’t work all that well in a community.  But remember this isn’t about sending emails to people after they try to get in touch with you – it is about setting an expectation that you will be a bit slow in participating in the conversation.

The most effective method I have come across I learned from watching the Yammer Customer Success Managers within the YCN.  Whenever they are travelling, or away on leave you will see their name appear like this…

First Name Last Name (OOF->23 Sep)… or
First Name Last Name ( ✈ Seattle )

What I like about this is that wherever you see that individual’s name within your Yammer network, or the network you are participating in, you know straight away that you will not get a reply straight away – and alternatively if you are in the city they are, you know you have a great chance to catch up in person.

So how do you set up your “Yammer Out of Office”?  All we are doing is just changing our surname in our profile.

  1. Log into Yammer
  2. Click on the “. . .” (More) button in the top right hand side of your Yammer screen
  3. Click “Edit Profile”
  4. Simply add your message to the end of your surname, for example…

     

     

  5. Click Save

Now everywhere in Yammer where I have posted, where I am mentioned, or even my search results all include my little out of office message. Just like this..

It is as simple as that. To turn your “out of office” off again, just repeat the process, but just leave your surname in the “Last Name” field.

Recording episode 0 of The Yaminade

Episode 0: Welcome to The Yaminade

In this short introductory podcast episode I share with you my thinking behind starting a podcast focused on Yammer and in particular community management on an enterprise social networking tool like Yammer.

As you will hear, there are plenty of resources available online to help individuals, teams and organisation to make the most out of Yammer – whether it is to figure out the business case for enterprise social, launch the network, or integrate it into other line of business applications… but they really just scratch the surface.  The goal of The Yaminade is to go deep and explore the real life stories of people and organisations who are successfully (and maybe not so successfully) using Yammer to drive business outcomes.

Resources mentioned in the show:

I Heart Yammer

Introducing The Yaminade

Yaminade noun.

  1. The stuff you need to know if you are launching, managing or participating in a Yammer Network
  2. Content that goes deeper to give you context and understanding, not just tactics
  3. An online resource that combines articles published online
  4. A podcast where you can hear from people just like you – and learn from the success (and mistakes) of other Yammer Community Managers
  5. A combination of the words Yammer, and Kool-aid or Lemonade.  A tasty drink enjoyed by many online

—–

Hi there.  My name is Paul Woods.  First of all, thank you for taking the time to visit The Yaminade.  The goal of The Yaminade is to build an online resource which helps the many people out there tasked with understanding, launching, managing, curating, controlling, or simply participating in their organisations Yammer network.

Maybe you have been using Yammer for years.  Maybe you don’t even know what it is – and are confused by an Enterprise would want to participate in Enterprise Social Networking?  Wherever you are on the spectrum, the idea of The Yaminade is:

  • to share the success of people just like you around the world
  • enable us to learn from the mistakes / successes of others
  • understand what works well in some industries and in some roles, that doesn’t work in others
  • to provide you and your team guidance to increase the success of your Yammer network through more and deeper engagement with your workforce.

So.  I can hear you asking… “Paul… Why should I listen to you?”

Well, I am not claiming to be the world’s leading Yammer or Enterprise Social expert.  But I do work with many organisations to help them navigate the challenges, pitfalls, and opportunities their Yammer network provides.  My background is in marketing communications – I have been responsible for supporting internal communication in listed companies – a similar role that many of you will hold today.

Beyond having a great interest in the field, I have been trained directly by Yammer’s Customer Success team… and hold the Yammer Power User, Yammer Administrator, and Yammer Community Manager certifications.

But enough about me.  This is really about us.  If any of you have tried to find information to start your Yammer journey chances are you were left scratching your head.  Beyond the (REALLY GOOD) resources available at success.yammer.com, or some water cooler conversations in the Yammer Customer Network… there are not very many places you can go to get context and understanding as to how best launch or manage your network.  There are plenty of step by step instructions, but they are generic and to be honest your mileage will vary depending on the organisation you apply them to.

The goal here to to go deeper.  Beyond the step by step instructions, and provide the real stories, where real people just like you have done exactly what you are trying to achieve.  Hopefully by bringing their stories together you can improve the performance of your business, government agency, not-for-profit, or organisation… and help empower people to work like a network.

So there you have it…. my simple manifesto for “The Yaminade”.  Deeper, more valuable content to help you get to grips with your Yammer network.  Thanks again for visiting…  I can’t wait to work with you and hear about your success in the future!

 

Cheers,

Paul Woods
Brisbane, Australia