Tag Archives: Social Media

The Digital Business Card – Using Social Media as Your Introduction

The ubiquity of social media has made traditional professional introductions almost archaic. Although most social networks were implemented for personal social purposes, it is expected and even mandatory that we communicate with our associates via Facebook and Twitter; not just LinkedIn. Unfortunately, not every organization has the wherewithal to utilize social media in an effective manner, and failure to employ a diverse array of communications tools can have devastating effects on the ability to establish a noteworthy online presence. For governmental entities in particular, this oversight could effectively end careers.

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It isn’t uncommon that organizations are often slow to embrace technological innovations. “Workers were intimidated by email when it first hit the office scene,” says Stateside Associates Social Media Manager Graham Grossman. “How would companies use it? How would professionals adapt to using the new medium? In hindsight, how could we ever have competed in the marketplace without it?”

Using social media resources to strengthen or even initiate public relations campaigns must not be undertaken lightly; an organization’s online presence must be managed with the same level of sophistication and dedication as any large-scale initiative. Nothing is more precious to any organization than its public perception, and social media gives public and private sector enterprises the opportunity to broadcast messages instantly and efficiently.

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How can an organization hone its social media skills? By using a dedicated social media specialist as a resource, for one. While it may seem simple enough to post updates to Twitter, Facebook et al, there must be value attached to those posts. Many a public figure has diminished his or her online significance by burying essential communications in a sea of worthless updates.

Next, get the entire organization involved. Linking every team member to the organization’s social network is essential in expanding communications through every possible channel. Additionally, a robust organizational presence helps to establish the image of company unity.

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“The way we talk about and use social media is much the same as the way we once thought of business cards as granting us access,” says Grossman.“We as government relations pros should understand it and use it to our benefit.”

Keeping Funding Possibilities Alive by Staying Social Media Savvy

Social media outlets have provided political figures and affiliated partisan organizations with efficient resources for delivering relevant and oftentimes controversial messages to an always receptive public. The posts, if left in tact, provide a useful historic policy and opinion thread, which could work either to the benefit or detriment of the poster in terms of potential corporate allies and contributors.

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The days of political and social policy ambiguity are largely over for corporations. Every brand must have an identity, and a brand identity isn’t complete without at least a hint of social perspective. However, if a corporate entity chooses to affiliate itself with a particular political figure, piece of legislation, political party or ideology, it would be well advised to investigate that political or social body’s history of public proclamations first. Now that we have Twitter and Facebook, there are countless messages that can be harvested in order to gauge a public servant’s and/or think tank’s views as public sentiment shifts and time progresses. A reputable Issues Management and Legislative Monitoring firm will be able to dig up dirt easily, if it exists.

“I predict that underestimating the impact of social media on state government relations is going to be the downfall of many,” says Constance Campanella, President and CEO of Stateside Associates, a local and state governmental affairs consultancy. “The speed, the penetration, the ability to screw up on a grand scale, instantly, is going to take some time to adjust to. But, adjust we must.”

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While it may be possible to delete regrettable Twitter posts immediately, thanks to the website Politwoops, this isn’t entirely an option for politicians. Even though the post might have been officially removed from Twitter, the eagle-eyed administrators at Politwoops nonetheless manage to resurrect it and post it on their website for the world to scrutinize, sometimes years later – even if the post was up no longer than a few seconds.

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Proactive social media monitoring on the part of state and local officials is imperative – there may be no escaping the reverberation of old, unfortunate posts. Says Stateside Associates President Constance Campanella, “In the olden days – pre-2013 – Marketing and Communications folks kept tabs on social media. But, this is now a job for government relations since the legislators themselves are doing the tweeting and posting.”