CEO Social Networking

CEO Social Networking

Your CEO Social Networking. Do you cringe? Do you embrace the thought? Do you hope the CEO won't read this headline? Or are you a CEO who is sitting there thinking "it is time and I need to get on with this"?

Do you cringe? Do you embrace the thought? Do you hope the CEO won't read this headline? Or are you perhaps a CEO who is sitting there thinking "it is time and I need to get on with this"? All worthy provocations.

I just read a Marketing Magazine article posted by Cision the following:

"this year’s Signal Social CEO Index revealed that only 53 per cent of Canada’s top CEOs are on even one social media platform, and only 16 percent use two or more networks. With 78 percent of Canadian journalists using social media for work purposes, an executive’s absence spells missed opportunities for brands."

Further information related to the Signal Leadership communications article can be seen in full here.

As a Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Molson Coors Canada, I had the early support of our CEO early in 2007; and the Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer. They gave me permission to explore and engage in social networking for the business. I was leading corporate communications and the concept of social networking was starting to explode. In fact, we created a blog with initial counsel from Dr. Mary Donohue, given that traditional media wasn't necessarily carrying our message about all the good that was being done for multiple decades via the Molson Coors Donations Fund. I digress.

Two Factors for Success of C-Suite Social

For me, there are two critical factors at the C-Suite level when it comes to social media. First, the support by the C-Suite for the communications team to fully engage, explore and ignite social networking in a buisness. Second, for the CEO to actually take a role and play a part in that social networking activity. I think that the Signal PR report points out the gap that is most apparent in the second factor.

It is great to have C-suite support for your communications initiatives. It is even more powerful when that team of C-Suite executives actually take a role in the communications effort.

I would also want to dig deeper into the "53% of CEO's engaged in social" to truly find out who is managing their content. I applaud the CEO who decides to step into social. It takes courage and it is not a natural role to assume. I celebrate the CEO who steps into the space with their voice, their thoughts, positions and their actual participation and engagement in the network.

A strong and successful social networking strategy will be set up for success when the CEO and communications team work together, rather than independently, on the CEO social strategy and action plan.

Managed by Communications Folks

Don't worry communications teams, I am not suggesting that your CEO or C-Suite folks take on social networking in isolation from you and your team. In fact, the CEO should be as strategically relevant and "on message" as anyone else in the organization. Let's face it, they set the tone from the top for all the other aspects of communication and business strategies. Why would we change that here?  Better yet, why would they think any differently?  This should be a collaborative strategic extension of marketing communications if the CEO is actually speaking out from their position in the business.

CEO's directing their Communications

Building on working with the communications team, the CEO can powerfully add their voice and their humanness to the social networking for the business. Simply posting what marketing feeds them, or what PR approves is not truly authentic. A CEO that talks a bit about their education, interests, hobbies, family, weekend adventures, travel interests, passions for food, use of their business products; will help build engagement with the CEO social networking and a human side of the business that they are leading. The CEO as a champion and ambassador for their brand can be a valid, believable place on the team.

Respect for the Medium

A caution for all who consider taking a role in social networking for their business. From the CEO through to the delivery person, remember to have respect for the medium. Please understand that what you post is public. I liken social media to traditional media. How would you respond to a call from a reporter at the Globe and Mail? It is likely that the CEO would confer with their communications or PR counsel internally. If there is not internal support, it is likely that they would call their agency supporting them in PR and communications. Naturally, there would be an assessment of how that response to media and story told would show up in the press. Social media is no different. Social media is actually posting to a social media network. When it is posted and out there - it is in the world of media. Recall also that from the Signal PR report that 78 percent of journalists using social media for work purposes. You can follow relevant journalists and they can easily follow you. If they are interested in your business, they are likely already following or observing.

Plan the Journey

As with marketing, media relations, sales, business development, strategy, logistics - the social networking strategy takes planning. Let's face it, your CEO social networking is a pretty sensitive concept - right ? Setting up the profile and entering the network takes minutes. Actually doing it strategically takes some planning. What to post? When to post? Why to post? Who to follow? How to respond? How to monitor? How quickly to respond? All of these are good questions. The answers are not necessarily standard. Much of it may depend on the personality of the CEO. Some of it may depend on the business and some of the regulatory peculiarities of that business. Best practices? It is up to you to create what is the best practice for your business and the personality of your CEO. An integration into the overall communications for the company will need to be reviewed. This is so that the CEO is not just some isolated, independent extension of all else going on with the business. There does need to be a plan.

CEO's in social networking can be a powerful asset for the business. Your CEO social networking can truly position your business for leadership in your sector or category. Your CEO social networking can also be a disaster if there is not a well thought out plan in place. At the Devins Network, I'd be pleased to engage further with any CEO who might be interested, or with any communications team that might be entertaining the thought. I have passion and commitment for your success. Let's start that conversation.

Thanks to Marketing Magazine, Cision and Signal PR for raising the matter. A gap worth closing in the corporate communications mix. @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork


Integrated Communications Plan

I am often asked about how businesses, brands and not for profit or community organizations work towards and an integrated communications plan when there are so many channels to consider.

Are you still struggling internally with integrating your communications planning ? Are you still witnessing a battle between marketing, sales, PR, media, corporate, call centre ? It is time to start moving towards an integrated communications plan.

In a world of communications that is just a click away from someone judging your work as "good, bad or indifferent"; it is time for companies, individuals, charities, community organizations or political candidates and entitities to get on with their integrated communications plan.

PR folks commonly say that "everything communicates". Back in the day, when you could plan your message, test it, run it up the ladder, receive sign off and then work it into a press release to issue it, respond to it and manage it...things were pretty controlled.

Today your control is determined by:

  • how effectively you are on monitoring conversations in social and traditional media about your brand
  • how quickly and authentically you respond to converse in those networks, by monitoring that pulse
  • how authentic your voice and personality is in those networks, vs a message pushed out because it's what got "approved", or what message you want to convey
  • how effective you are at generating your own storytelling in the channels
  • how well you stay connected with traditional journalists and media who have more demand on their time today than ever before
  • how you keep your communications sweating by delivering an integrated communications plan

The first five bullets above might seem quite "tactical". The sixth is the over riding strategic point. Integrate.

What does integrated look like ? I have a perspective. I am not suggesting it is the only approach, just an approach.

Whoever owns the "message" needs to own bringing all aspects of the communciations together

Aspects of communication include:

Ensuring that the owner of the "message" is playing off a check list that is integrated. The integration should be across messaging, but it should also be across channels. If you are pushing a new reveal on your website, make sure that this is what you are talking about in your social networks, rather than another string of conversation. At any given time your conversation should be integrated across all communication networks.

If you are truly designing an integrated communications plan, that plan will involve marketing, sales, web, social networking and public relations within the same plan. Learn to plan inclusively rather than in isolation.

Whatever sales model you deploy - whether a large organization with feet on the street, or a small business with on line selling tools, be sure that your "sales team" is equipped with messaging and response (they are on the front line and most likely to be in the conversation at street level) that is consistent with your communication channels.

Further to the front line sales, your social media community managers or communication leads need to be equipped and knowledgeable and to be free to respond "on message" or have the access and ability to get a quick response when and if required. Plan these messages and responses well in advance so that they are free to respond in the moment, vs. getting caught in a web of approvals and missing the right moment to respond. Critical to social media is being in the conversation when it happens and as it is unfolding, rather than catching up with your key message days later. "They" will have moved on.

Towards a better I.N.T.E.G.R.A.T.E.D plan:

  • Inclusive...have all parties involved in communications at the table - marketing, sales, social media, media relations, corporate affairs, digital, planning.
  • Team approach...take advice from the team, have the conversation and seek everyone's input.
  • Effective communications based on a purpose, an intent, what goal is in mind, will this communication deliver it ?
  • Grounded in fact, don't lapse into trying to spin - stand by the facts and speak the truth.
  • Responsive through listening to how the community reacts.
  • Always open to listening and monitoring to ensure that you are in the moment to respond.
  • Tell your story, make it authentic, personal, in the language of the audience.
  • Engage with your audience, don't broadcast "at them", make it a conversation, that's what the new mix of media can and will deliver for you.
  • Discuss on an ongoing basis with your team how you are doing against your objectives and where you need to stay the course or make adjustments to achieve your goals

Try new approaches, get an integrated communications plan by having the team working together and discovering new channels of opportunity and influence to meet your objectives. And don't forget to have some fun - it can be ! Cheers @FergDevins  @DevinsNetwork

 

 

 

 

 


Reporting Structure

In the wonderful evolving world of communications, I continue to bump into the question of "Where do PR and Social Media report to?".

Is there an ideal reporting structure ? Hmmm...

It is obvious to me that there are many sides to this question or debate. Marketers will tend to think that PR should be reporting into Marketing, given that it so tightly connected to all that is marketing. Communications folks tend to believe that PR is worthy of its own department and oversight. Corporate Affairs or Public Affairs folk tend to believe that communications is something that is best housed in their groups.  CEO's tend to take guidance from those of influence within their organizations at the management team table. In that regard the communicators may even been affected by a strong Human Resources lead that sees communications as a critical plank in communicating with employees internally.

Marketing ?

If the company is one that is heavily brand oriented with little or no corporate work, I might be convinced of having PR and communications report into Marketing. However - beware of the often overlooked crisis or corporate communications situation that must be managed from a corporate voice and perspective rather than a marketer's thinking. I have also seen companies who have chosen to put PR and Social Media into the marketing structure - while maintaining a separate group or individual to look after the strictly corporate mandate of corporate reputation, annual general meetings, support for investor relations on quarterly reporting, support for employee communications. What's nice about PR and Social being "marketing public relations" is that it sits next to the decision makers in brand and has access to the marketing budgets. When sitting over in Corporate Affairs, there is a constant pitch scenario to be included in the brand's brainstorming and plan development. Sitting inside marketing creates stronger brand alignment.

Public Affairs ?

I do strong believe in public affairs or corporate affairs as a department or function within a consumer or packaged goods company. There will always be corporate reputation to be handled and managed. There will be "situations" (not to call them crisis...but stuff will happen) that needs to be managed from a trained corporate perspective. There will even be those situations that arise over in marketing that actually will require the "corporate perspective" on how to deal with communications. It will be over and above what the marketing PR lead might have built for the purer marketing story.

Management Table ?

Another persisting challenge for the communications and PR folks in an organization is to have access to the most senior influencers in the organization. This can be complicated by reporting structure. How many times have you heard about PR being called at the eleventh hour?  How many times have PR folks complained that "if I 0nly had been brought in at concept...I would have been able to have done a much more thorough job". I was fortunate in my career at Molson Coors to have sat at the management table. I was also fortunate over the years to have had terrific CEO's that "got" PR and would ensure that I had been engaged on issues and opportunities that were arising. My point here is, the actually "seat" at the table is less important. The real need is access to the most senior folks. This access allows you to be briefed, be respected and to provide the support to the organization that communicators are trained to provide. Don't sweat the politics of having the seat or not...make sure that you have the access and respect to be called upon and engaged when you as a communicator know you need to be involved.

Securing Budget ?

Every business is constrained today. What was traditional business continues to be challenged by on line platforms and competition and the "buy local" movement continues to grow. Social media and word of mouth marketing help get brands closer to consumers. Resources for communicators need to be allocated and protected to ensure that this high touch with consumers and stakeholders can be maintained. Set aside budget for managing and building corporate reputation. It is important for your business to be conducting media relations, social media monitoring, and stakeholder outreach. PR for brand initiatives needs to be budgeted accordingly...do not scrimp ! Flag a contingency for situations that may arise and be willing to fund your social and PR teams appropriately in the moment to mitigate reputational damage.

In summary...

So...where do PR and Social Media report to ? Reporting structure will depend on needs of the organization. Have communicators report where they will have the most benefit "in the moment" for the organization. Support your communicators with appropriate budget. Give them access to the senior most decision makers so that they are aware of issues and opportunities that are the horizon so that they can support the organization and brand in it's critical time of need.

A communications team that knows it is respected, valued, supported and resourced in an organization will truly make a difference. Reporting structure won't get in the way of making things happen. @FergDevins  @DevinsNetwork


New look Devins Network

The Devins Network will be showing up with a new look from today forward, but we are still in pursuit of the same conversations. After conferring with a couple of friends, I felt that it was time to do a bit of a refresh on design and utility of thedevinsnetwork.ca. I do want to thank Stacey Hood who was there with me from day one, in December 2013, on creating my first site. I'm now working with the terrific creative team and friends at JIB who have been great counsel on this new site. Nothing like a great "back of the house" support team.

Getting in the groove...

The basis of this site is really to be in communication, conversations and dialogue on a number of areas that are of interest to me and my clients and prospective clients. Thus the "blog like" feel of the front page.

After 30 years in the beer business in roles of PR, Marketing, Sales, Employee Communications, Crisis Communications, Government Relations, Social Media, Community Relations, Industry Affairs I have found it challenging to "choose one area of focus" and trod forward. I have been delighted with the inquiries and the work that my associates and I have worked on over the past sixteen months. It has been a truly varied bucket of opportunity, challenges, learning and experience.

Strategically Tactical Conversations...

I've met with CEO's and CMO's on social strategy, small businesses on the importance of a social media presence, Kenora Rotary on "social networking", prospective clients in "strategically tactical conversations" related to their issues, brand teams on PR / social integration, transformational work related to a national supply chain, fresh out of school graduates on their future pursuits, individual entrepreneurs on how to build their own brand presence, elected officials on managing the diverse mix of comms in their world, major brands on possible tools in their communications tool kit, on line educators, start ups seeking opportunities with business, Re-Shift media and their unique "Social Brand Amplifier" model for Facebook, Trespass Apparel and their adventures in Canada, industry associations in navigating government affairs, the @ConeyMusicFest now in its seventh "maybe annual year", Bladder Cancer Canada, Integram Marketing, Filmmaker Billie Mintz @Imagin8r, and even Hockey Canada and the team at "InMarket" and their spectacular #CenturyTour #TourneeDuCentenaire caravan that has criss crossed the country the past eleven months.

Community...

I have also maintained involvement in a few "charities and not for profit" organizations where I strive to provide strategic counsel and support and learn lots through my participation with them and the wonderful array of community leaders who have chosen to make a difference. Proud to support our associate Helena Devins and the work that she has done with Making Waves Ottawa.

With thanks to...

A shout out and thanks to the folks at NATIONAL Public Relations and Capital Hill Group for their kind offer of "office space and facilities" as I have settled into the virtual office world. I have also had the pleasure of enrolling in a number of the programs, webinars, workshops and discussion forums hosted and led by @ChrisBrogan and @RobHatch. These guys just sing from a similar song sheet and have been an inspiration and provided many provoking thoughts on my journey as an entrepreneur.

Special thanks to the team of associates that have delivered such a great first year for the Devins Network. You are awesome Charlotte, JP, Helena, Clark, Bradley, Dea, James and Beth.

Let's start a conversation...

The Devins Network Inc. continues to take on communications challenges that you might be facing for your business, brand, organization, community or not for profit. Our client range is wide, from complex multi national marketers to the entrepreneur or a student looking to pursue a first rung of a career ladder. The Devins Network looks forward to engaging with you in a strategically tactical conversation that is focused on reaching your goals and aspirations. Cheers ! I look forward to our conversation. @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork


When to call PR to the table

Ah the public relations folks. They are the ones who get the name in the paper, the story balanced with the press, a brand launched with great fanfare and "ultimately", the messaging out to the public. Sounds pretty easy peasy pickings doesn't it !? Work out some messaging, pick a spokesperson - hello world.

From where I sit, and admittedly after many years in the corporate communications world, I see it as a little more complex than these few idle observations and statements.

I actually see "PR" as a valuable pillar in the overall marketing strategy, toward managing, building and maintaining corporate, brand or personal reputation. This "public relations" is all about how you or the brand or the company relates to the various publics. How are you seen by the various audiences ? How are you interpreted ? What is being said and felt by what you are putting out there representing your brand, business or self ? What is the "reality" that they are seeing about you. Remember the age old rule - perception is reality, don't fool yourself into thinking that what you are putting out there is necessarily being interpreted in the context you desire.

If you are a CEO of a major company, a medium sized company or a small business I think that the situation is similar for when to call PR to the table.

In each and every situation, when to call PR to the table is answered in one word - EARLY.

Ok, you might think that when to call PR to the table is when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan. You are right. And the earlier you call them to the table in that instance, the better for you then too.

In a broader context, I am referring to situations where you are designing or strategizing about something that will ultimately be seen by the public or press. The earlier you have your PR lead or team at the table, the more rewarding the outcome will be for you and your business. By having your PR team informed, engaged, thinking about the business plan - the more value that they will bring to your business. They are usually pretty good in a crisis, but they can be really powerful with advance planning.

In these times of instant news and citizen journalists having the power to "push a story", it is even more critical for your communications team (Public Relations, Government Relations, Social Media, Employee Communications, Investor Relations, Industry Relations, Consumer Relations) to be plugged in to "what's coming" from the company. The PR team is, in fact, your first contact when something goes viral or public. Your communications team effectively monitoring traditional networks and social channels will have a pulse for you, in the moment. They need to be prepared, planned and on the ready to respond professionally in the moment, or that proverbial brown stuff will hit the fan.

So, from this, I hope you you find two answers to the question of when to have PR at the table. In the first instance I answered it for you - EARLY. On a regular basis I would supplement that response with - ONGOING. You can ensure that those charged with the responsibility of managing your reputation and face and voice with the outside world are properly prepared to do their job.

By keeping them informed, engaged, briefed and allowing them to also challenge your strategic planning the simple approach is EARLY/ONGOING. Ongoing will ensure that the communications team is aware of potential risks and opportunities through a filter of communications. They are trained for it. Unleash their power - they will bring great return on your investment in them.

When to call PR to the table ? EARLY & ONGOING.

If I've sparked something for you here, feel free to call and we can chart further about where you are at and where you might be in your communications planning.

Cheers !  @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork


working with media

Does the title of this blog sound strange to you as a PR lead or journalist in media ? Working with media typically has two sides to it. When pitching a story, the PR lead feels compelled or challenged or asked to deliver a story for their client, brand, business, person or organization. When pursing a story, the journalist feels compelled to deliver news, gain interest, get readers or viewers, expose something, create interest in the same.

I suppose that some might think that this is how this interaction should evolve. I propose that this is easier said than done.

Where working with media creates tension is that both parties, the PR lead and the journalist, each have their own goals - often times in conflict with each other. The PR lead is driving their message, their story, trying to get results based on their client or internal business needs. The journalist is either looking for a story that they are developing and have called the PR person OR the journalist is responding the request of the PR person to consider the story.

When conflict arises, the PR lead will often be faced with responding to media with a "no comment" or a bland "holding statement". The journalist on the other hand may get dug in on "their story line", unwavering in their questioning and determined to deliver the "story" that they intended to deliver. Hmm, the concept of working with media might seem a little strained. Any notion of trust evaporates. What results is a story that lacks content from the perspective of the PR lead and the research and story built by the journalist lacks the real insight into the real background from the PR lead. A story may get written, but not as well rounded if both parties had engaged in more dialogue.

I have always believed that in working with media there is one fundamental premise. There needs to be "news" ! The PR person bring forth a story that is truly newsworthy.

For the PR lead, (and their client) understand that the media is not there to just tell your story. They are looking for news, uniqueness, something "worthy" of taking up space in their paper or for their viewers, listeners and readers. Is the news you have to provide really something that is "news", or is it just more self promotion that you should really be spending a few dollars on in paid media ? Where is the special interest in the story ? Why will people be interested ? What will get them talking ?

Conversely, for the journalist pursuing the story, the PR lead has a story that they need to deliver for their business or client. There will be messaging, positioning and story lines that the business has approved for the PR person to talk to the journalist about. They will at least want to seek a balanced story on their business. The journalist may have to bend a bit on their story line to get the PR person to fully engage and open up.

By engaging in dialogue and working on a little "give and take",  working with the media becomes a fascinating process to discover. A strong narrow stance by either party will likely not result in a good place for either side.

What's not newsworthy ? A few examples of what is not newsworthy would include the following:

  • the same promotion you have been running for multiple years
  • that new "packaging" update that YOU are all excited about but will go un-noticed with the general public
  • you've just followed someone else's innovation (smiles...might be newsworthy for the person you followed)
  • your brand team thinks it is big news (truly check this...again caution on the self promotion trap)
  • you need to correct misinformation (tough to undue what's been spoken in traditional media...drive it hard through social)
  • someone got promoted (might do for trade publications but generally low interest in the media

What is newsworthy ? A few examples of things that might be of interest and newsworthy:

  • Leading edge innovation...never been done before
  • Total repositioning of a business or brand...a striking shift from the past
  • Change in leadership...particularly if it will impact culture and way of doing business, or they have local relevance
  • "Stunts on promotions"...because they have shock value and create buzz
  • Local impact initiatives...if it is actually something that people will be paying attention to locally
  • High profile spokesperson whether celebrity or public figure...because people are interested in them

All this said, working with media can also be stronger when there is a working relationship between the PR lead and the journalist. Media relations has been eroded over the past number of years because there are less journalists and less general "relationship building" occasions for media and PR folks. Another consequence of "rules" is that some of the social occasions once deployed are no longer "acceptable" to the media managers and editorial departments. Being entertained or provided some hospitality is seen as perhaps having an influence on the objectivity of the reporter. I suggest "bunk" to that positioning. I think when reporters/journalists and PR folks have a working relationship they can move beyond positioning and messaging and get to working together to create news. They can actually have the "for background off the record" conversation in a trusting context. Strong relationships are far beyond "shmooze". Relationships are grounded in respect between two individuals for the job that each has to attempt to achieve. By knowing each other on a personal level, richer more authentic communication can surface.

How are you working with media ?  @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork

 

 

 


toward a new year

December 28th and, amidst attending a few World Hockey Junior games here in Toronto I thought, "I can't pass up writing a blog before the end of the new year".

"Toward a new year" is an interesting theme. As much as my thoughts turn to things like re-start re-fresh, re-energize, prioritize, plan, systematize, organize, reach out, connect and network; I also look back at the past twelve months and give thanks for an awesome year. Toward a new year, is in many respects, a beginning; but it is also is a continuation of what has been accomplished, "or not", in the previous year. I suggest one celebrates the highs, acknowledges the lows, learns from it and puts a plan in place toward a new year.

2014 was, in many respects, a new beginning for me. In "semi retirement" I was delighted to continue to have an opportunity to work with my client Molson Coors through The Devins Network, on projects related to their business. It was also a great year to "pass the torch" to the new corporate affairs leadership and team at Molson Coors and to provide coaching where necessary and, given that I am out of the business, just simply "stay clear" when I should stay clear. After 30 years in the beer business it was really refreshing (sorry for the pun) to strike up new relationships with several new clients and their pursuits and goals. I also had terrific networking moments with folks from such a wide spectrum of interests and dreams. It was also very kind of the folks at National Public Relations and Capital Hill to offer up "real estate" if and when required. In "year one" I never expected to have an employee at the Devins Network, however...our client at Hockey Canada put together an awesome #CenturyTour caravan to criss cross the country and I needed a "Communications Lead" on the road. Charlotte Coulson joined the team and has networked her way from coast to coast and back again with the InMarket team and #CenturyTour for Hockey Canada. I also give thanks to several "associates" that helped with the achievements of the Devins Network in year one. Your attention to detail and delivering excellence is much appreciated James, JP, Beth, Bradley, Helena, Clark and Dea. Via a long time friend, I truly enjoyed seeing and experiencing the life and times of "the entrepreneur" through a few projects with Michael Smith at Integram Marketing. What a passion for client service and accomplishment ! I have had the honour and pleasure of assisting with the Vimy Foundation dinner(s) - a great cause recognizing a milestone in history that we should ensure that current and future generations of Canadians never forget. The Coney Island "Maybe Annual" Music festival drew more of my attention, and in spite of the high water on Lake of the Woods, we had an awesome Sixth "Maybe Annual" festival. The success is due in large part to my fellow founders, the Lake of the Woods Arts Community, our partners, patrons, talent, fans and families supporting the festival. In meeting my personal challenge of Bladder Cancer, I took on creating a walk in Kenora Ontario. Thanks to family, friends, volunteers, supporters and a great little community with a big heart; we were able to raise over $50,000 in support of Bladder Cancer Canada. It was also a year of transition personally with both kids now off to school and Kathy and I becoming empty nesters, a fun stage of life to be sure !

Toward a new year, I look forward to continuing to serve my clients through the Devins Network. I look forward to possibilities of new opportunities to modestly expand my work in communications and community through the Devins Network. I continue to have a strong passion and bias for actions that ensure clients have a strong voice for their cause, campaign or business. If you think the Devins Network might answer your call to action - give us a call. Toward a new year we will stage the Seventh "Maybe Annual" Coney Island Music Festival and continue to grow this great little festival at the north end of Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ontario. Toward a new year I will take on a more active role in the challenge of raising awareness for Bladder Cancer Canada and assist the organization with communications and outreach. Toward a new year I will continue to provide support and counsel where required for those who, similar to me, believe in networking and fostering good will and relationships so that we can work at improving our communities by working together, like the Vimy Foundation. Toward a new year, I will have work / life "alignment"...because, as my friends Chris Brogan and Rob Hatch would suggest, the balance thing is less important than alignment (my paraphrasing).

So bring on 2015. I wish you and yours the very best for a happy, healthy and exciting year for your family, business, cause or campaign.

Toward a new year...cheers !

@FergDevins @DevinsNetwork


Day One Happy New Year

Day one in the new frontier that lays ahead for TheDevinsNetwork. Am I excited ? You bet I am. After three decades of rich experiences and learning with the iconic beer brand Molson Coors, I'm looking forward to reaching out to those with opportunities for me to assist them with resolving their needs and discovering possibilities in their business, charity or community. On this first day of the New Year 2014, I want to wish friends, family, neighbours, acquaintances and those who will become new friends and business partners over the course of the year the very best to you and your families. I look forward to tackling "strategically tactical conversations" with many of you to determine how the Devins Network can be of service to you. Cheers to 2014. Let's connect. @FergDevins