Social Media: What every company needs to know

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Social Media: What every company needs to know

Jo Anna Emery, Group Intellectual Property Manager, Premier Foods plc, United Kingdom

Social media is a phenomenon which is not going away anytime soon. With 850 million monthly active users on Facebook and 80% of social media users preferring to connect with brands through Facebook it is also something that companies can no longer ignore, both for a means of engaging with consumers, but also in the way it deals with the use of social media by its employees. Although companies cannot ignore social media they also need to make sure they are prepared before venturing into the world of social media – it is not just a matter of setting up a page or a Twitter account. A company should have a clear social media policy which governs use of social media by employees and a clear strategy which outlines how social media will be used and what the company wants to get out of the use of social media. We will therefore look at how to set up a policy, what a good policy needs to cover and how to approach entering into the world of social media as a company.

JoAnna Emery has a Bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies/Prelaw. She is qualified as a US certified paralegal and specialist in intellectual property (“IP”). She has been in the IP profession since 1995 and has worked as a paralegal in the US and London in corporate and private practice firms, such as Raytheon and USFilter/Vivendi Water in the US and the London Stock Exchange and Foresters in the UK. She has responsibility for the overall management of Premier Foods IP. She advises on all IP matters and covers the following types of work: Management of the Group’s IP portfolio, Strategic review of the portfolio to ensure it is aligned with business strategy and objectives, new brand name/design clearance, patent clearance, review of all marketing material, renewals of existing registered trademarks, designs and patents, filing new trademark and design applications and prosecuting these to registration, liaising with patent agents regarding filing new patent applications and prosecuting these to grant, policing IP use, infringement matters, social media, IP agreements (especially licensing) and training.

Premier Foods is one of Britain's largest branded food producer and is committed to providing the 'Best in British Food’ - delivering the taste the British love, with food that's made in Britain by people who understand British consumers. They supply a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with some of Britain's best loved brands, including Ambrosia desserts, Batchelors convenient meals, Bisto gravy, Hovis bread, Loyd Grossman sauces, Mr. Kipling cakes, OXO stocks and Sharwood’s Asian foods. Chances are that you have one of Premier’s products in your home. Last year 99% of British households bought one of our brands spending an average of £70 on our products throughout the year. Our brands are the number 1 or 2 in each of the categories they operate in giving us tremendous scale. In 2011, Premier’s sales were £2 billion, delivering a Trading profit of £188 million. Branded products represent more than 70% of sales while the remainder comes from sales of a range of own-label products to the UK’s major retailers. You will find the over 9,000 employees of Premier right across the UK, operating in over 40 sites from Plymouth to Glasgow.

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