Leap Year Lesson #158: Don’t Believe the Myth of Controlled Communication

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Communication
Tags: ,

Social media has forever changed the way communication happens around the globe as well as inside organizations.  Gone are the days when a select few can control what is known, reported and openly discussed about a company.  Conversations about organizations are already happening in a plethora of places and platforms.  Companies have no control over that.  All the company can control is whether or not they will be an active part of those conversations.

This is a tough mental and cultural shift for communications professionals and leaders who recall a time when they had more control than they do today.  But regardless of whether or not a leader or communications office or public affairs office admits it or wants it or not, the fact is that anyone, anytime, anywhere can use any social media channel to start a very positive or a very damning conversation about any organization.  Smart leaders and communicators will choose to be a part of those venues and conversations where they can listen, respond, learn, explain, admit, defend, apologize, inform or whatever is needed to demonstrate transparency, humanness, and the culture of openness and immediate communication expected by today’s consumers.

If someone suggests to you “We don’t want those things discussed in social media,” tell them that they are already being discussed in social media.  The question is whether or not the company will also be present to be engaged with those already-engaged stakeholders.

Leap year lesson #158 is Don’t believe the myth of controlled communication.

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