Taking the Grocery Store Conversation Online

Last Wednesday, I was invited to speak to a group of Women-in-Nuclear (WiN) members from the Eastern-Ontario chapter at AECL in Chalk River. We got together to “talk nuclear,” but more specifically, how to talk nuclear on social media.

With the WiN Eastern Chapter Executives. L to R: Bev Kidd, Laura Allardyce (me), Solly Karivelil, and Anne Giardini

There is a lot of interest in social media among members of the nuclear industry, among people who are enthusiastic about the work they do, the technology they support, and the communities in which they live and do this impassioned work. There is a lot of pride in Canada’s nuclear industry – pride in our home grown, low-carbon CANDU technology, in the development of nuclear medicine technologies for diagnostic and therapeutic cancer treatments, and in how safe our operations are every day and for the last 50+ years. We want to share our stories with the rest of Canada and the world.

Social media is people having conversations online. It’s the same as meeting your neighbor in the grocery store and chatting about your day. The only difference is, it’s a bigger grocery store and you’re bumping into more neighbors. The stories you tell online are the same ones you would tell your neighbors.

We shouldn’t be afraid to show our pride online, to share interesting information on Facebook, to tweet a link to a good news story on Twitter, or to tell our own story on a blog.

As the keeper of the community (I maintain the TalkNUclear channels on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, etc), I have a lot of discussions about using social media strategically. I think this can sometimes get us confused about what the purpose of social media is, which is this: at the end of the day, social media is about relationships, not transactions. We are not talking to Canadians to get them to buy more nuclear, we’re not selling a product. What we are doing is talking to Canadians about the mutually beneficial relationship we’re engaged in. Our industry produces low-carbon energy, medical technologies, food and materials safety advancements – all of these things that benefits Canadians every day. Our social media strategy is just to talk to Canadians about these incredible benefits, just like we all do when we run into our neighbors at the grocery store.

A good place to start is with us. There are so many ways to “Talk Nuclear”

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