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KM to the rescue—Helping companies help their customers

The responses were similar to those of earlier annual surveys, says Corrina Mason, HRPA information specialist. Other associations attempt to provide those opportunities in part through networking, periodical meetings and other face-to-face opportunities, but the sheer size of the province (415,000 square miles) and the rural locations of many of the members often made face-to-face meetings impractical.

“So we saw social media applications as a big way to provide our members with those things they wanted the most,” Mason says, adding that HRPA also saw social media as a way to be more responsive to members.

“The information specialists receive 5,000 e-mail requests annually from our members, and there are only two of us,” Mason explains. Members typically ask the information specialists for career and educational information, much of which is available via the HRPA catalogue and materials in its online resource center. Yet, searching the resource center to find the most appropriate materials could be challenging, resulting in the large number of e-mail requests to the two specialists.

The resource center was providing materials to membership through the Inmagic (inmagic.com) DB/Text Library Suite, so the association went to the vendor again to seek a way to expand its offerings to members. “We were happy with the service that we had, but we wanted to be more proactive rather than reactive,” Mason says.

HRPA selected Inmagic’s Presto, which enables users to more easily locate desired materials, has blogging capabilities and other social media features, which Mason saw as a way to meet member needs more efficiently than through the older system of e-mail requests. “Once we saw the demo, we were sold,” Mason adds.

Using Presto, HRPA has been able to consolidate a vast array of resources—articles, reviews, white papers, webinars, seminars, books, website content, video, third-party media, public and subscription-based search, blogs, RSS feeds and other news—into one interface that invites member participation and collaboration.

Users can add their own tags to articles, improving search capabilities for subsequent users. Members can also contribute blogs, helping them further their own careers and reputations while enhancing the profession, according to Mason.

The next step in the evolution of the resource center’s offerings will be to feature premium services for additional fees, Mason says. 

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