My role at AGA is a little different from the rest of my career in that my main focus is strictly the digital world. When people see my title (director of Internet communications) and find out making blogs is a big part of my job, they pretty much figure that I prefer meeting people in the digital world as opposed to the real world.
Not really true. I’m a big fan of conferences and the opportunity to meet people face-to-face.
Having said that, it’s no wonder I enjoyed last week’s AGA communications and marketing group meeting. What a great group of people. I mean, if you can’t enjoy the company of a bunch of out-going marketing people, what chance do you have. Though, to be fair, Mike Murray says that his companions in the legal profession are a good time.
For me, the meeting was a great opportunity to see the faces of all the names that I see in email signatures or hear over the phone. But the value isn’t just in the networking. We had a full agenda at the meeting.
We started off breaking into groups for roundtables on different topics. I chose (well, I think everyone kind of pulled me in to) the social media group. We had a group of around a dozen and everyone had tips on monitoring the various channels. People had some great stories on how they were now starting to use different aspects of the social web (Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, etc.).
Caitlin Bubela, manager of employee and digital communications at Spectra Energy receives the 2009 Natural Gas Video award from Laura Sheehan, AGA Senior Vice President, Public Affairs.
One of my favorite parts of the meeting was seeing the first annual Natural Gas Video Award presented to Spectra Energy. They did a great job on the video and I was glad to see them get some well-deserved recognition. We’ve already gotten some submissions in for this year and it looks like it’s going to be a tough field again. If you have a video you want to enter, drop me an email or leave a comment.
We had our usual group of fabulous speakers. Bruce Haynes from National Media, a top D.C. advertising firm, gave us his thoughts on some current trends in advertising and media in the energy world (even touching on politics and health care). Christina Sames, AGA Vice President, Operations and Engineering, gave us an update on pipeline safety and Distribution Integrity Management. Paula Gant, AGA Senior Vice President, Policy & Planning, spoke to the group about efficiency efforts.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just list the other all-stars that came to speak to the group.
- Bill Cantrell, CRE Executive Director
- Russell A. Feingold, Vice President, Enterprise Management Solutions, Black & Veatch Corporation
- Bruce Kauffmann, AGA Director of Executive Communications
- Jen Miller, Vice-President, Customer Relations, SusQTech
- Bruce McDowell, AGA Director of Policy Analysis
- Lori Traweek, AGA Chief Operating Officer
- David Wescott, APCO Worldwide Vice President, Social Media
All in all it was a wonderful meeting. If you attended, please leave us a comment below. I’m going to post some photos we took here (you’ll have to excuse the dark room.) I’ll post the rest of the photos to our Facebook Fan page and to our Flickr Stream.