Social media and internal communication

I’m finding the various RSS feeds, blogs about Social Media, White Papers from Edelman on how to manage and use Corporate Blogging (yeah, their WalMart thing was useful to their reputation in this arena) interesting reading.  Thinking of re-naming this blog “JOHNNY COME LATELY” or “BANDWAGGONER”. 

Almost all the stuff I’m seeing concentrates on using the new social media as “just”  another way of doing “traditional” internal communications.  I think we’re missing the boat, and the point.  That is — combining the media available with the theory of Social Networking so that we can identify specific communities within our organisations and relentlessly focus on how they can share information faster, with more accuracy and less headache, so that they are delivering value to their organisation in “real time.”

That is, there is a difference between:

SCENARIO 1 – letting employees read and comment on an executive’s blog, or contributing stories to an intranet site that exemplify the values in action (both great ideas)

and

SCENARIO 2 – a group of 100 employees in a particular customer-facing function dispersed all over the world being able to share real-time information that allows them to get to market faster, service a client with more up to date information, contribute to a real-time dialogue or debate about a course of action.

I don’t think I’m splitting hairs. Maybe I am.  But if I’m reading most of the internal comms punditry right, looking at new social media as a better, faster way of doing more of the same thing isn’t the point.  The marketing people are perhaps behind the times in many areas of internal communications best practice, but at least are getting the value of consumer-generated media that is different than the way things were before — not just a substitute for it.

 Hmmn. Gonna sleep on this one…

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