Try All You Want

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Soon, the glossy brochure with the great HR stock photos will arrive from SHRM HQ on Duke Street promoting the SHRM Leadership Conference to take place in Arlington, VA, November 17-19.   Often cited by the SHRM C-Suite as "their favorite" SHRM Conference, the Leadership Conference is designed for SHRM volunteer leaders to gain professional development as well as share best practices across chapters and state councils.

To SHRM's credit, they provide free registration as well as two-plus nights of housing for many volunteer roles, including Chapter Presidents, Chapter Management Professionals, State Council Directors, State Council District Directors and State Council Core Leadership Area Membership Directors.

However, left to fend for themselves are State Council Social Media Directors.   So, here are a few reasons SHRM should include Social Media Directors to the above group:

1.   Social Media Directors volunteer work is significant.
I've served as a SHRM volunteer leader for over 12 years in a wide range of roles (Area/Regional College Relations Director, State College Relations Director, State Foundation Director, Chapter President, State Conference Co-Chair), and I can say without hesitation that the volunteer work performed is on par, if not exceeds, many of those roles.  Such work includes, but is not limited to:
*Setting up and blogging on a regular basis
*Posting on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn on a regular basis
*Visiting and speaking to chapters about how they can utilize social media for their chapters as well as their own personal development
*Speaking about social media at the state leadership as well as the state SHRM conference
*Helping and mentoring volunteer leaders and chapters set up LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts

Given the immediacy of social media, the Director role necessitates vigilance on a daily basis.

2.  It would legitimize the role
Kudos must go out to the concerted efforts of SHRM's own Curtis Midkiff in his capacity as the social media guru for the organization.  From the Bloggers' lounge at the SHRM Annual Conference to the Tweetups and blogtour at various state conferences, Curtis has demonstrated SHRM's dedication and support for the role social media can play for SHRM chapters.   Supporting State Council Social Media Directors would serve to continue the legitimization of this volunteer role.

3.  Social Media Directors are the voice of SHRM and the profession
Social Media Directors provide the PR for the chapters, the state council, and by extension, SHRM itself.   We are the ones trumpeting the latest efforts of the SHRM Foundation on Twitter.   We are the ones highlighting the latest piece of legislation impacting HR from Governmental Affairs on our blog.  We are the ones providing on-the-ground coverage of the state legislative conference or state HR conference.  We are the ones promoting the Pinnacle Award to members and non-members alike.   In the end, SHRM is shown in the most positive light.

So, SHRM, support you Social Media Directors at the SHRM Leadership Conference in November.


Thanks for the dedication. I am always honored to get to attend the Leadership Conference. It would be nice if the mother ship popped for all of us. There are what four SM Directors (FL,IL, MN and one other which escapes me now.) As I write this I am sitting in a corner by myself getting ready to tweet as much as I can during China Gorman's prezo at ILSHRM. - See you at leadership - maybe?

by Dave "theHRCzar" Ryan on August 23, 2011 at 8:56 AM. #

Thanks so much for posting this, Matt, and for the dedication. I certainly will not be at Leadership Council without financial support. Yet I have spent the past 2 days at a state SHRM conference listening to almost every speaker advocate the use of social media. The importance of SoMe to chapter and state development cannot be ignored. One can hope . . .

by Joan Ginsberg on August 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM. #

Coincidentally I had this very conversation with my incoming SHRM chapter president about this same thing. The "Communications Chair" is invited. Me, as Vice-Chair in charge of social media, there is some question as to whether I am going. And going on the SHRM dime. Though my chapter wants me to go. They may well pay the cost just to get me there to prove this very point. I hope I am attending!

by Lyn Hoyt on August 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM. #

Jealous, Lyn, that they are even considering sending you. I'm sure it hasn't crossed the mind of my state or local. :(

by Joan Ginsberg on August 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM. #

Amen Brother Matt. In addition, I would like to see SHRM add the State Conference Director. The more SHRM asks the state councils to do, the more revenue it takes to do and where does that revenue come from...most states have to get it through the conference.

by john jorgensen on August 23, 2011 at 10:56 PM. #

Maybe we should do our own SHRM SM Leader conference? Curt to lead? Or is that too silo?

by Lyn Hoyt on August 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM. #

@John - I would concur

@Lyn - As an eleven year vet of the SHRM Leadership Conference, Core Leadership Area tracks use to be a common item at the meetings. Foundation Directors, College Relations Directors, etc., from around the country would get together and share ideas, best practices, etc. SHRM has decided to move away from that model for the past couple of years, and, as a result, no core leadership area (except Membership) has their registration and 2 nights of hotel covered.

by Matthew Stollak on August 24, 2011 at 2:35 PM. #

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