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.”