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Year One: The Lessons Of The Intel Insider Media Advisory Program


[Today marks the first anniversary of the Intel Insider program, which brought together leaders in new/social media. I am a founding member of Intel Insiders. Ken Kaplan, is one of the key proponents of the Intel Insider program. Intel is a former sponsor of SVW.]

By Ken Kaplan - Intel

Two steps forward and a half step back to see if we're going in the right direction and bringing forward things that can help us leap into tomorrow. That's how we're celebrating the June 24 anniversary of our Intel Insiders social media adviser program.

IntelInsiders1.jpg Last year, my Global Communications teammates agreed that we'd benefit from fresh advice from people who are doing great things in the quickly advancing area of social media. We wanted to get more involved with the inspiration, talent and know-how we saw driving people to communicate and share experiences and knowledge online.

So we pulled together some long time acquaintances, invited a few new friends we admired and created the Intel Insiders.

Our goals remained steadfast, but 12 months of relationship building, meetups and feedback gathering has changed the way we think, act and plan our communications and events. Across my Global Communications team, each public relations manager has moved more time, resources and ambition toward communicating online...in addition to their work with traditional print, TV and radio.

FrankGruberInsider.jpg Goals for our first year with the Insiders were to:

  • Occasionally feature their work or opinions as part of our What's Inside effort -- see videos by Frank Gruber and Brian Solis telling how technology helps them be all they can be.

  • Find best ways for encouraging Insider to learn and write about Intel's products, while keeping them keeping them involved with Intel's social media efforts, including Intel's Social Media Guidelines -- JD Lasica looked at the potential for the Intel-Yahoo! Widget Channel and Frank Gruber looks at Notebooks vs. Netbooks.

  • Seek feedback on our social media efforts, upcoming product plans, roadmaps -- Sarah Austin introduced us to Rocketboom as a way to learn online video production and distribution, and now we're sponsoring the weekly Rocketboom Tech segment with Ellie Rountree

CathyBrooksInsider.jpg This social media advisory board has:

  • Given advice on how Intel can better participate online as the company increases its focus on consumers -- Brian Solis advised us on how best to get started with the @intel Twitter account.

  • Participated at technology milestone events -- Frank Gruber was there when WiMAX was introduced in Baltimore, making it the first US city to publicly offer the new wireless broadband Internet service that uses Intel technology, and later Tom Foremski tested out WiMAX in Portland, the second US city to offer the service.

  • Involved in Intel industry and media activities -- Adriana Gascoige did TV interviews to show how tech could help people's career through a tough economy

Lessons Learned and New Approaches

During our first year, we learned that it's best to work with each Insider as an individual rather than as a group. It's common to see them together at a Web 2.0 or Tweetup, but it wasn't always easy getting them all together on the same day, same time.

And through our experiences, we learned more about what was most important and interesting to each Insider. With this understanding, we've course corrected our planning and communication with the Insiders so everything is tailored specifically for each individual whenever possible.

We also learned that after one year, it was a good idea to adjust Insider membership to reflect where Intel is putting new emphasis: towards communicating with parents and students (middle school through college). In this case, that means we'll be creating an Insider Alumni program, allowing us to invite a few new people and still keep the total number at a manageable 10. More details will be coming in September.


Our first Insider meeting at Intel headquarter last June centered around what Intel Chief Sales and Marketing EVP Sean Maloney called Intel's "move online."

Many Insiders were quick to share their take that first meeting, includingTom Foremski, Brian Solis, Frank Gruber, iJustine and JD Lasica.

Later, Sarah Austin shared her video about the Insider program.

By involving the Insiders in our social media efforts like What's Inside You and Inspired by Education we learned that unforeseen could happen. Irina Slutsky was a judge for our What's Inside You video competition. Cathy Brooks told what inspired her in education, and the video I shot and shared drew comments from across generations of Cathy's family and friends. Sarah Austin shared what inspired her and her work inspired a separate What Inspires You video competition inside YouTube to win a book "YouTube: An Insiders Guide to climbing the charts." Alan Lastufka, the author, blogged about it. Over 100 video responses on YouTube from video blogger influencers.

We invited San Francisco-based Insider to our Intel Developer Forum in August 2008 to meet Intel innovators and the developer community working with the company. Cathy Brooks and Tom Foremski got geeky with us but they also got to meet Germany-based Steve "Chippy" Paine, one of the most prolific and knowledgeable bloggers following Intel Atom and new mobile Internet devices.

We encouraged Cathy Brooks to join the founders of Ubergizmo on-stage to kick of the Intel-sponsored Uber10 Party, which celebrated the best holiday gift gadgets for under $400. This led to our first Insider guest blog post on the Inside Scoop, Brian Solis' favorite gadgets of '09, something we hope to do more of in year two of the Insider program.

Our second big gathering was at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, when we sponsored travel expense and an evening social media party. This allowed us to meet bloggers, tell them about the Insider program and invite them to experience the latest technologies inside the Intel booth. It also allowed us to give Insider special access to people like then-Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, technical product managers and new devices.

At South by Southwest in March 2009, we worked with Cathy Brooks, Irina Slutsky and Sarah Austin to plan several activities and meetups. We even got a sneak peek at Christian Perry's start-up Trogger.

In April, a handful of Insiders joined us for a tour of Intel's chip making and research facilities in Oregon. We held a tweetup in conjunction with the Portlad Social Media Club and spent two days getting to use WiMAX. Frank Gruber , Sarah Austin, Tom Foremski and Cathy Brooks shared their insider, hands-on experiences.

In May, Sarah Austin got to meet some of the world's top high school scientists at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

In June, because he was an Insider with an apatite for shiny new gadgets, Frank Gruber got to attend Computex, where he tested out some new mobile Internet devices and got front row seats at Intel briefings about future technologies that will bring the full internet and phone capability to pocketable devices.

What's Coming Up


In June, Justine will be a TV and radio spokesperson for a new Intel survey the looks at people's preference for mobile manners. How do you behave in public with your mobile phone and laptops?

Research@Intel Day -- Tom Foremski will join Intel researchers from around the world who are at the Computer History museum showing top research projects from Intel's multi-billion dollar investment in research and development.

Insider Summit -- To really kick off our second year with the Insider program, we're planning a get-together in mid September, just prior to the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. This is where we will meet a few new members and map out goals for the months ahead.

We're Big Fans

For us, the Insiders are innovative and belong to our rock star hall of fame. They have spunk, and their tech savvy, creative personalities are paving the way for a more engaged, more openly sharing generation of tomorrow.

A big thanks to all our Insiders. Click each name and you'll see their bio and a live widget that pulls in their latest Tweets, blog posts and uploaded videos:

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Please see:

Christine Ngo: Reflections on Year One of the Intel Insiders Program

A year ago this month, Intel (an Ogilvy PR client) launched the Intel Insiders, a social media advisory board of 10 highly engaged, influential thought leaders in technology and new media.

Intel Insider Program Debuts as the Chip Giant Pulls TV Spending - SiliconValleyWatcher

Technology@Intel · Intel Forming "The Insiders" Social Media Advisory Team