Rahaf Harfoush came to Lift10 to deliver a remarkable speech on the « technological and social trends impacting politics in countries around the world« . She is the author of Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. Obama’s use of technology fundamentally changed the execution and management of political campaigns: from mobilizing a nation-wide community of volunteers to collecting millions of dollars of small amount donations, their innovative application and deep understanding of the digital space propelled an unknown senator to the White House.
Rahaf is currently the Associate Director, Digital Interaction, Media Team at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. As new media strategist, she specializes in helping organizations align their social media initiatives with their strategic vision to build authentic relationships. Really impressed by her speech and vision, I was very interested in sitting down with her for a short video interview. There are many International organizations in Switzerland, and only a handful can praise themselves of having implemented a robustly thought-out social media strategy such as the WEF’s (proof: video from Matthias Lüfkens Associate Director in charge of digital media at the World Economic Forum (in french)). There objectives are simple yet aligned with their strategic objectives: implement the best approach to connect and engage more with people, and share some of the great work that the organization does.
The interview starts with Rahaf talking about the above mentioned points. Since partners we advise at netinfluence on social media, are often raising this point, I asked her why she believes organizations and brands should not be afraid to engage in social media and « loose the control ». Rahaf gave me the straight forward answer we also give to our partners: people are already taking about them in countless forms of social media. Therefor it is fundamental to 1. monitor what is being say about your organization/brand 2. be present in the conversation to have some say. She rightly argues that not being in social media is already letting go of that control! Rahaf concludes that every organization should have some kind of web presence and be active in the online communities where its consumers are.
I invite you to take 5 minutes to view this worthy video interview with Rahaf Harfoush and I would be happy to get your comments.
This post will be shortly followed with a second one focusing this time on brands and online communities, with a video interview of Maria Sipka who held a workshop I attended on this topic during Lift10.