Adrian Monck: Q&A Session

Q&A Session: Adrian Monck

Adrian Monck Q&A Session is happening on November 4th 2020 at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)

Adrian is an award-winning journalist, currently member of the World Economic Forum’s Managing Board, leading the Public Engagement & Foundations. Previously, he headed the Department of Journalism at City University London, where he was also a professor. As a journalist, he spent his career with CBS News, ITN and Sky News. He is also a published author.
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Adrian Monck – Transcript

AMA with Adrian Monck @ World Economic Forum

November 4th, 2020

Hi all, Grüezi! I’m Adrian — pleasure to be here A few things that I spend a lot of time thinking/talking about:

  •   Virtual events in the time of COVID
  •   Working with journalists and the news media
  •   Growing global teams of content creators 
  •   Newsletters: email and LinkedIn
  •  Social media channels/platforms

Happy to talk about pretty much everything else to0 – bit of a Slack neophyte so bear with me!

Everyone is probably knackered – as I understand it was National Sandwich Day ydy in the US

Hi Adrian! How do you suspect that marketing will change in the time of virtual events/ trade shows?

Hey – interesting. Q  – I don’t think people are going to be attracted to revamped Second Life style spaces… but I do think people will look harder at games.

What do you mean by “games”? Are there any examples you can give?

Thinking more of fortnite

Hi Adrian! Thanks for doing this! I guess might as well kick off my questions with the elephant in the room. How are you managing social activity during this tumultuous period of political and social uncertainty/volatility? What advice do you have for brands on avoiding getting into a situation like Gap today?

Gap situation for reference, since they deleted their tweet:

Well we screw up also so I have to be careful . My main advice would be to have a diverse group of folks looking over the content. I try and test most of what I write socially with others to just sense check.

Hey Adrian! Thanks for doing this!! A few quick ones for you — I’m hosting my first virtual conference 100% free for high school students around the topic of LEADERSHIP with the theme of “Creating a Legacy”. (Q1) I would love your tips on how to get sponsors (I don’t mind putting everything out of pocket, but would love to help offset the costs if possible) and I’m hoping to make it a huge event — (Q2) how should I leverage the news to bring awareness to this event?

Hi Tony – sponsorsship is tough! But brands who want to talk to leaders of the future ought to be the ones you target. Just know the ask. How much do you need and what opportunity do they have to be represented? We’re lucky that the Forum is funded by membership which means we don’t have to operate on quid pro quos… but most brands will get what a school needs.

What goals do you track for social?

Our new favourite is attention minutes… but the reality is that social stats are often pretty disappointing… in terms of information … if you are in the esoteric ideas business that we are in. So share of conversation is important, SEO on key topics like oceans, climate change etc – and COVID-19 – that pulled in 20m uniques a month earlier this year.

Hey Adrian! Favorite social platform for personal? And favorite for business? 

I am over active on twitter – but learning to like LinkedIn! Have a newsletter there now which is fun to do

Hi Adrian! I’m curious whether you differentiate between your LinkedIn newsletter and email newsletter, or use the same content in both – or if one is personal and the other professional/on behalf of the org?

So v different products, Straight email is homage to Quartz and v tight and to the point (ie a fast read)… LI newsletter is just me, takes a bit of sweat on a Wed night (have to show I’m not entirely useless) and is more personal/fun – I hope!

Just mastering reply in thread here – good Q – I think you have to look at economies like China’s to see where digital currency is headed – over there cash is really on the way out.  Huge Q on macro impact which I am not really qualified to answer!

Also – any tips for starting & managing a global team for someone that normally doesn’t run/hasn’t run remote teams before?

Culture beats everything – investing in understanding issues for team in SF vs Beijing or Barcelona super important.

Do you see TikTok becoming a force in B2B on social or will B2B stick to LinkedIn, Twitter – the “professional” social?

All platforms age up with users and also shift over time. LinkedIn has had a bit of a renaissance. I think B2B needs to go where others are and for some things that could be TikTok…

How do you handle amplifying your team’s social content?

 We have a big repeat strategy – a third of traffic comes from successful old content

Also you learn a lot from mining your archive. you have to start producing at volume to learn from data, otherwise you get random hits and have no idea why…

Hey Adrian thanks for doing this, I’m curious, do you mind sharing a bit about your newsletter strategy?

So – ripped Quartz for the first one. Now has 375k+ subs – so they are good people to rip off! And on LinkedIn it was make it up from nothing.

My main strategy is – make it interesting and then make it about you.I don’t think anyone would just want to read Forum stuff, but blended into other things and tweaked for relevance – it works 

Also – just do it. I got really frustrated waiting for people to design stuff and come up with things so like boss I am (actually they were really busy) I knocked first one up on MailChimp

Hi Adrian! What are your best advice on growing global teams of content creators? and what are your favorite tools are you using to manage the team and keep them unified on a global scale?

WhatsApp doesn’t work in China so Teams it is for us. All channels have their own issues. Mu Europe team loves Slack – but I’m a Teams/WeChat/Whatsapper – main thing is just keeping channels open to people and hopefully making work fun… i honestly think its the most important part – also be available on time zones

And another quick question if you don’t mind – What platform do you think has the biggest organic reach?

I would have to fall back on FB for reach. Its ubiquity is just unbelievable… but you will be talking to people in places that may not be relevant to your messaging…

Hello! Are there any social networks on the raise we should be looking at?

Good Q – think the main thing I’d say on looking at channels is – can my content work across it without too much hard work and reach right people. I love Snapchat but making content for it? 

Hi! Adrian – It’s good to e-meet you and thank you for taking time for a QnA session. I want to know what are the biggest challenges you faced in social engagement and any advice for the budding brands?

Getting heard is always hardest!  I would say choose one channel and make it yours. Don’t spread yourself thin.

Could you give us a step-by-step rundown of your team’s process for content creation?

Daily editorial meetings crucial – why because ex-journos like them and they are good ideators. We have changing daily eds, competitions for ideation and buzz and voracious consumers across media!

Also where do you find the most inspiration for your content?

You have to go where people are but not where people have been – so it’s a mix of stuff, but as we have grown more popular, eg vids now get 200m views a month – people approach us with stuff

Do you have a specific schedule in the morning like checking in with the team, meditation, whatever it may be? How does the job not dominate your life completely? (edit: or does it? heh)

I sleep with my phone so my wife and kids take the mick out of me… I am rubbish at work life balance – I really like what I do and the people I work with so mostly it is fun, apart from my evening routine of occasionally kicking the cat!

Ha, completely understood – thank you for the information. 

*no real cats kicked in making of this reply!

What do you think about synergy of marketing automation platforms (like Marketo, Pardot) and social media engagement? meaning you can “score” certain behavior in social media and predict outcomes

I am not at all up to speed on what they can do… I am pretty skeptical about predictive tools applied to soc med platforms because the platforms themselves are changing the algos so frequently and so opaquely… 

I’m sensing a certain level of exhaustion across the pond!

If anyone wants a look – here’s tomorrow’s draft LI newsletter

Hey Adrian! What does social engagement mean at WEF? What are your key goals and how do you track them?

Social engagement actually refers to my job running our Global Shapers and Young Global Leaders programmes!

Success there means curating diverse groups of young leaders and helping them on their leadership journey. Some of them don’t need much help (like Jacinda Ardern!) – others like our hubs in refugee camps draw on the wider community for support

Thanks so much for all the questions @here – hope the rest of your day brings you what you’re hoping for!

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