Talk Is Cheap – A Stunning Success

Last night I attended the Talk Is Cheap social media unconference hosted by Gary Schlee and his students at Centennial College in Toronto (I presented too, but more on that in a later post).

In my view, the event was a rousing success. Over 200 people registered (about 25% more than the organizers expected) and most of the 15 sessions were packed. As Gary said to me at the end, the event "went viral" in the last week, and attracted a lot of people.

A couple of highlights for me:

Joseph Thornley Blogger Relations

Blogger relations is a hot topic right now, so this session was an easy choice for me to attend. As can be expected, Joseph gave a very engaging, well-informed presentation on the topic.

Of particular note – his six tips for blogger relations:

  • Live in multiple channels
  • It’s about relationships, not pitches
  • It’s what the other party wants that counts
  • Be part of the conversation
  • Respect the culture
  • Make it real

Donna Papacosta – Podcasting Inside The Organization

A great presentation from Donna on a use for podcasting that most people wouldn’t think of (she also handed out a cheat sheet which I’m shamelessly using for this write-up!). I have a thousand ideas bouncing around inside my head right now.

Donna suggests using podcasts within your organization, for any of the following:

  • Training and development
  • Leadership messages
  • Conference podcasts
  • Employee news
  • Replacing one-to-many conference calls


  • Cut through the communications clutter
  • Engage employees
  • Low cost
  • Measurable
  • Portable/time shift-able

At the same time, a few notes of caution:

  • Use natural language; no tight scripts
  • Plan
  • Make friends with your IT folks

She also recommended Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson‘s book How to Do Everything with Podcasting, which I can second – I just finished it and it’s a great read.

My Regrets

I only really have one regret, and that’s not being able to check out more of the great sessions that were put on yesterday. I would have particularly liked to take in:

  • Telling the story through social media: A WWF-Canada Case Study by Tara Wood, WWF-Canada
  • Why students and new practitioners should be wading into the social media pool by Chris Clarke, Sarah de Bruyn and Scott MacDonald
  • Social media with social causes: How corporate communications and PR can leverage trends in social media to build brand equality by Sachin Ghelani, Ogrant
  • Using social media to build an audience and drive demand for a novel before it’s even published by Terry FallisThe Best Laid Plans (seriously Terry, could you pick a longer title next time please?)
  • Social media monitoring – what are you missing? by Chris Ramsey, Radian6

So to Gary and his students, congratulations on a job well done… but could you perhaps get a few less fantastic presenters next time? Thanks very much 🙂

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.