Monday, June 21, 2010

Is this the best Social Media guide?

PIOs and crisis communicators have been watching the Gulf Spill with great interest. As some of our friends in the Coast Guard and working in the Unified Command JIC have said, this event may be the first "social media" response. Certainly, social media is being aggressively and effectively used.

One of the leading Coast Guard public affairs managers involved in the spill recently collaborated with me on a spill communications briefing and told the attendees how social media was not only used to help communicate important information, but how monitoring it helped form communication responses and strategies and how it is also being used by the response management to help understand emerging public issues and concerns.

Still, many leading communication managers and PIOs that I talk to are still trying to get their arms around what social media really is, how to implement it in their organizations, how to create policies that both allow use by employees and provide some protection against the many risks.

If you are struggling to understand how to really adopt social media in your organization, here is a great guide put out by Eloqua. Admittedly, this is marketing oriented, but the distance between marketing and public affairs and crisis management is narrowing all the time--social media being one of those reasons for it narrowing. So I think you will find it incredibly useful in understanding what will work and not work in your organization, as well as getting a handle on some of the emerging channels such as Foursquare and Gowalla.

(P.S. -- thanks William for another great find)