Social media propels Dell's CEO network

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), a PR-conceived global network of women CEOs who exchange ideas and share best practices, launched at the World Expo in Shanghai June 20 to 22.

Agency: AxiCom (San Francisco)

Client: Dell (Round Rock, TX)

Campaign: Launch of Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network

Budget: $500,000

Duration: March - ongoing

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) launched at the World Expo in Shanghai June 20 to 22. An extension of the “Take Your Own Path” (TYOP) initiative, which launched in 2008, DWEN is a PR-conceived global network of women CEOs who exchange ideas and share best practices. AOR AxiCom helped develop and execute the program.

“TYOP is global campaign about putting customers first and showing how they can grow their companies through technology,” explains Faith Brewitt, director of communications for Dell's consumer and small and medium business, who is based in Singapore. “We're using those advocates to demonstrate that we're the number one trusted adviser to growing businesses. DWEN is focused on going deeper with customers.”

Strategy:

Dell invited 75 women, representing a wide variety of industries, to Shanghai, and established a LinkedIn community to connect attendees before, during, and after the event.

Bloomberg Link, the event management side of Bloomberg, helped prepare the event, which was set up to maximize conversation and interaction. Dell used Facebook, Twitter, and global media and blogger outreach to drive awareness, and also ran print, online, and out-of-home advertisements.

Tactics:

Via LinkedIn, attendees helped build and shape the event agenda. Each attendee was given a Vostro notebook, courtesy of Dell and partner Intel, and a large screen displayed live LinkedIn comments and questions.

Media relations targeted business, consumer, women's, daily, and lifestyle outlets, and Dell invited global media to attend the event. AxiCom SVP Vanessa Yanez adds that the team also pitched verticals covering attendee industries.

During the campaign, attendees posted information on their own social media pages, while the team used Dell Facebook and Twitter pages.

Results:

The LinkedIn community has nearly 200 members currently, and 411 conversations about DWEN event topics occurred on the site between June 20 and 22. AxiCom used Radian 6 as a measurement tool, and monitored 500,000 conversations in the entire online space during DWEN. Brewitt puts Twitter reach at 750,000 conversations to date.

Thirty-five media outlets attended the event, and Axicom reports coverage in USA Today, Sydney Morning Herald, and China Daily, among others.

Brewitt says Paul-Henri Ferrand, CMO for Dell's consumer and small and medium business, said DWEN changed the way he looks Dell's marketing.

[DWEN is] becoming a culture,” Brewitt adds. “It's more than I could have ever imagined.”

Future:

Dell is planning additional global DWEN events, and the team continues to pitch attendee stories. Brewitt will speak about using social media to turn customers into brand advocates at the Pivot Conference in October in New York.

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