The Social Director: A board member's experience with online messaging and reputation.

Author:Hall, April
Position:BEING A HIGH-TECH DIRECTOR
 
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Anna Catalano was an early believer in the power of social media and the role directors can play.

"I don't think any director can Ignore the Impact it has on business today," says Catalano, a director on the boards of Willis Towers Watson and Kraton Corporation.

In 2010, when she joined the board of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., a baby formula company, there was no digital strategy and no social media.

"How do we think young mothers are getting their information?" Catalano asked the company's board and executives. Soon after, Mead Johnson's management devised and launched a digital strategy that Included social media and as a result the company found it was selling more than half its products online.

In 2017, the company was sold to Reckitt Benckiser Group Pic for $16.6 billion. Catalano credits Mead Johnson's dive into social media for raising the company's profile and reputation.

"Social media impacts everything from what diapers to buy to how you feel about a company relative to its reputation," she stresses, and directors who resist even trying to understand It do their organizations a disservice. "How clueless can you be and what rarifled air you live In that you don't think you need to know about this?"

Catalano uses several social media platforms daily, with specific purposes for each of them.

The business-related LinkedIn which features members' resumes stays completely professional for Catalano. "I use it solely for sharing professional articles and my blog. I've had a lot of success on Linkedln with my blog, and helping my friends push their writings and blogs."

On Twitter, she promotes causes she is passionate about, like women In business and non-profits. She uses Facebook primarily for family and friends; and Instagram Is similar, but there she posts more visual aspects of her life,

Including her travel adventures. "I know I've got business colleagues who are on Facebook with me, so I retain a level of professionalism on every...

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