FIR Interview: Cisco’s John Earnhardt on ‘The Network’ social newsroom

A piece of content that is shared with a friend, or friends, or followers, or the world is the ultimate measurement of its success, says John Earnhardt about Cisco’s new technology news site, The Network.

The Network is very much about sharing. Launched in mid June 2011, The Network is an evolution of Cisco’s well-regarded "News@Cisco" site. According to Earnhardt, The Network is Cisco’s effort to tell stories and share information on the topics that are the most important to Cisco: Video, Collaboration, Core Networks, Mobility, Security, Data Center, Cisco Culture and Social Media.

In this FIR Interview, co-hosts Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson talk with John Earnhardt, Cisco’s Director of Corporate Communications, about The Network, discussing its objectives, its structure and focus, content sharing and widgets such as you see here – a good example of the sharing concept at the heart of the new website that lets you take Cisco content to your website.

(This widget uses Flash which won’t display on devices that don’t support Flash.)

Our discussion includes considering The Network‘s role in making Cisco become a media company (the concept that is the topic of the next FIR Live podcast on July 30). Looking ahead, John shares some thinking on how The Network is planned to evolve to embrace Cisco worldwide.

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About our Conversation Partner

johnearnhardtJohn Earnhardt, Director Corporate Communications, manages the social media team responsible for the The Network, Cisco’s Technology News Site, and Cisco’s other corporate communications channels such as The Platform blog, Facebook page, Twitter @CiscoSystems (2010 B2B Twitterer of the Year), LinkedIn, Ustream and Flickr site. He also manages the PR team’s media strategy, corporate op-ed program, broadcast media strategy and executive media training. John was a finalist for PRWeek’s "PR Professional of the Year" Award for 2009.

Previously, he managed policy communications in Cisco’s Global Policy and Government Affairs department where he was responsible for using communications to advance Cisco’s state, federal and global public policy objectives. This is where he started the first blog for Cisco in 2005. He also handled media relations on public policy issues in addition to starting and managing Cisco’s political action committee. He joined Cisco in 1999 as Corporate Public Relations Manager in the Office of the President.

Prior to Cisco he was the Director of Media Relations for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, DC. Earnhardt previously worked for Senator Joseph R. Biden, the Senate Judiciary Committee and for the Presidential Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. In 1996, he worked for Vice President Al Gore doing press advance on the Clinton/Gore Presidential campaign.

Connect with John on Twitter: @urnhart.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.