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[Image via Steve Garfield]

This post was written by Nancy Lazarus, contributor to PRNewser.

The influence and value as well as the trials and risks associated with Twitter were the topics of the day at the 140 Characters Conference in New York on Tuesday.

Digital communications executives across industries offered their perspectives and experience with Twitter.

From the panel ‘How the real-time web is changing the approach to business’:

Jay Altschuler, Global Communications Media Lead at Unilever, is based in London but was stranded in New York this week. He explained that the company’s size and corporate culture have hindered early adoption of social media such as twitter, and then outlined some of their solutions:

Unilever has had a radical transformation and the ship has taken a while to turn. We need to up-skill our employees since the majority of our brand managers are oblivious to social media. We’re giving them digital IQ tests and building digital media labs, because it’s hard to create these tools if you haven’t lived in the space.” He said Unilever is announcing its largest user generated content contest today at the Tribeca Film Festival.

From the panel ‘The real-time web and brands’:

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