Meeting the masters

I am writing this at the airport after two very inspiring days at the Employee Portal Evolution Masters in Berlin – lots of great input and great people.

Monday night I hosted an informal interactive evening session. The topic on the agenda was the future of intranets, but it quickly turned into a talk about social media – which had been the big underlying theme all day – and how to handle this inside an organisation.

The two major takeaways from the session was that Social Media require some kind of training and that your company culture needs to be ready for openness.

I would like to share one of the suggested approaches with regards to training for you to consider. It is quite eimple and as a beginning you divide the people active on social media into some groups. An example could be:

  1. Designated participants officially representing the company.
  2. Those who mix work and private life in their social media presence.
  3. People who participate privately but may have the odd workrelated contribution.

The first ones obviously require training like any other media representative – you wouldn’t put someone in front of a TV camera without a minimum of media training!

The second and third are the tricky ones. Seen from a risk management point of view, I believe that the ones in the second category should be the main concern. They often know what they are doing and may inadvertently post something that will prove harmful to the company. The third group also pose a risk. but since they mainly use social media privately this risk is smaller.

Everybody agreed that what we have seen in relation to social media is just the tip of the iceberg. One delegate shared a little story about when the phone was introduced in companies. He remembered meetings where it was being discussed whether or not everybody should have a phone or if it was OK with one per department! Nobody questioned that the phone made sense, but how much, and for what, would it be used….. I think it sounds familiar!

I would like to extend a big thank you to all delegates and speakers and if you are interested in learning more from the conference, I can recommend that you head over to Samuel Driessen’s blog where you can read much more.

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