Scott McKenzie's Collective Conversation Blog » technology http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie Fri, 01 Jun 2012 10:48:08 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 The perils of embracing technology http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/2011/08/02/the-perils-of-embracing-technology/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/2011/08/02/the-perils-of-embracing-technology/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2011 17:18:09 +0000 Scott McKenzie http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/?p=419

This is a guest post by John Tilbrook, consultant in Hill & Knowlton’s Change & Internal Communications practice

This is the first blog I’ve ever written and it’s taken some time for me to get my act together and write it. You see, I’m one of those ‘too old for my age’ young kids who sits on the suspicious side of the technology divide.

In fact my boss Scott, whose blog this is, constantly reminds me that I’m a Luddite and while I always remonstrate (at the same time feeling secretly proud that I know what a Luddite is), he probably is partly right… and he certainly has more followers on Twitter… whatever that means!

So you’ll probably expect me to agree with the 31% of companies that still block employees from using social media such as Facebook and YouTube at work.

Well actually, no.

Once described as recreational, these technologies are now considered to be important business tools for companies. But for me, from an internal communications perspective, it’s more than this.

I think companies should be encouraging the use of social media. Firstly, it shows employees that you trust them. Secondly, it allows them freedom to share their views – which transcend your corporate image – on what the company stands for, its products and its services, which will inevitably result in better customer interaction, more customers and business results.

In fact, as David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan state in the book ‘Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead’, your trust in employees will be rewarded as they build followings who will eventually buy your products or services.

So why not let employees guest blog on your company website, tweet about your products or contribute to your company Facebook page? You should probably put some guidelines in place, so they know what they are doing, but leave it at that.

Ok, they might do something wrong, but if they do, own up and move on. Your customers will respect this more than an attempted cover up. Embrace technology and you’ll find it has mutual benefits to your employees and your company.

We’ll see, this may be the last blog I’m ever asked to write, but I’m learning… I’ve even just joined LinkedIn. I may not be playing Angry Birds all day long, but at least I’m not smashing up computers either.

John Tilbrook, Consultant, Change & Internal Communications, Hill & Knowlton

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The miracle of technology http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/2011/03/03/the-miracle-of-technology/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/2011/03/03/the-miracle-of-technology/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2011 09:39:42 +0000 Scott McKenzie http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/scottmckenzie/?p=255 Tonight my two-year old daughter and I will have our regular transatlantic webchat with my mum who lives in British Columbia.

I find it hard to believe that my technophobe mum has suddenly become so very web-literate… which is of course driven by the powerful incentive of being able to talk face-to-face (kind of) to the grandkids on a daily basis.

Technology has allowed my mum to follow my daughter’s progress, to interact with her, dare I say even build a relationship with her… even from many thousands of miles away. In that sense technology really has been an enabler.

But how do you know which development is going to be the next Skype, or the next Second Life (remember that)?

For Internal Communications practitioners (and their key stakeholders) it is difficult to weigh up the costs / benefits of investing in technology, or digital media. You only have to see the number of questions and requests for case studies across the various LinkedIn networks and other online communities.

Our experience has been that you have to start small, test with lots of key people, build a community of interest and see whether it takes hold. There are no guarantees. But being clear on what you think the business benefits for the technology are would be a really good place to start.

And if you are struggling to keep pace with developments in technology then you are in good company. Just ask the new Chief Executive at Nokia

Time will tell whether that was a well developed piece of internal communications which rallies the troops… or an ill-considered rant. I do know people are jumping off the burning platform… the question for Mr Elop is whether they are the right ones?

P.S. You should check out this excellent piece of slideware on how the emerging digital technologies will affect the way organisations communicate…

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