1 Oct 2007


You may appreciate the irony of reading on a blog that I am a luddite. I learned how to put capital letters into my text messages only last month. It was a big step.

Despite being a dinosaur of the analogue age (analogosaurus) I am immersing myself in new media and social networking. It’s a topic that no self-respecting communicator can afford to ignore.

Some organizations are ambivalent about social media. Others distrust, fear, or loathe it. I think that’s partly because it represents a loss, or partial loss, of control. It challenges corporate strategic communications orthodoxy - that organizations should speak with ‘one voice’ and control all content and messages. Consequently, most large organizations continue to rely on traditional corporate communications tools such as press releases, websites or events. Messages are scripted, issued and tightly monitored.

Opening the door to interactive media does involve re-writing at least a couple of chapters in the strategic communications playbook. But is that such a bad thing? Social media is unfolding at a rapid pace. Organizations that decline to embrace it run the risk of being the topic of conversation, without the opportunity to participate in or influence the conversation.

It takes time for people to get comfortable with new technology, but consider the brief period it took for email and the internet to become part of our daily lives. Social media is gathering pace – particularly in the corporate world. Now is the moment to dip a toe in the water and start experimenting with it. In the not too distant future, it will be as mainstream as a corporate newsletter. The choice is yours – evolve, or go the way of the dinosaurs.

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