Brave new world

posted by Scott McKenzie

I was talking to my old friend Terri earlier today.

We were discussing the way social media is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. And how as comms practitioners it has to be seen as an essential part of the mix.

We were talking about the distinction between some traditional channels and most aspects of social media. Essentially we agreed that social media levels the playing field. It negates (to some extent) the old power dyanamics that can still play a part in organisational comms.

It is peer-to-peer. It flattens the hierarchy.

Social media is perfect for driving collaboration. If that’s what the leaders within your organisation want of course.

And I think that hints at a broader truth. Leaders talk about being open and honest and transparent. But that means conceding control.

 I’m reminded of those old Yes Minister episodes. Where the Minister wants to do something radical (like being open, honest and transparent), before Sir Humphrey points out that this would be seen as “brave”. In other words suicidal.

I think many of our leaders feel the same about social media. They are worried about being too brave. We need to give them reassurance that embracing social media is not suicide.

P.S. – Just to give hom another plug my colleague Niall Cook really is the expert on this. You should come see him at the CIPR Annual Conference on 14th September.

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