If ever the case for employee training and esprit can be made, social media will make it. An enterprise should not be engaged in social media unless its employees are a committed part of the picture. They may be on Facebook or Twitter anyway, as individuals, but at least the company's not "sponsoring" them.
Bernie Charland explains on Public Relations Rogue why enlightened management policies and employee training (in that order) are critical to an organization in this social media age. You need to be out there, but you'd best not be out there with employees who have grievances against the organization. Clear them up first, and insure that new ones aren't likely to fester before going "live" on social media.
This means, of course, that, if a company wants to be effectively relational these days, it needs to be well-managed in terms of employee relations — moreso than ever. Don't put up with pompous or controlling managers; you can't afford them any longer. Let training begin, and be taken seriously, where it's needed most. That may well be at the management level.
With commitment freshly fostered, an organization will have a great shot at being consistently well-represented, and well-regarded, on social media. Bernie explains all this from his own PR experience with organizations in an invaluable post.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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