There have been and there are still numerous discussions on the advantages of leveraging new media tools as part of any organization’s communication strategies. While the picture looks very exciting at the onset, it takes a lot more than plug and play when it comes to including new media into the DNA of any organization.
I am currently on that learning curve and happy to share some experiences from my ‘work in progress’ new media project. What started as a knowledge sharing session turned into an exploratory program to leverage new media tools that works. It was also a stroke of luck to discover some talented employees who had a perchance for creating videos with their hand cams and mobile phones. They in turn became our internal new media heroes to emulate and champion.
There are two key objectives – firstly to engage employees and secondly to tap and channelize immense talent amongst them for the benefit of the organization.
Trust and integrity
The culture of the organization plays a large role in gaining acceptance of any such plan. It makes it all the more difficult if there is no precedence of such usage within the organization.
Go with the flow -Like we know, the power of new media is in its ability to co-create content and de-centralize control. Therefore, trying the bottom-up approach with this medium works well. I identified a set of employees who have various skills like writing (they pen a blog), can create content (videos, flash, photography), leadership abilities (manage teams and participate actively on discussion forums, building communities).
After the initial round of brainstorming, a working document on a wiki chalked out the plan and themes which the Communities of Interest can drive.
Loosely moderated to fully controlled?
Going by what new media or social media stands for, the latter may not quite work but it makes sense for the organization to understand how creative content developed internally can be managed and published. Again, I can speak from an Indian context – the nature of the organization’s business and risk associated with employees creating content can be worth considering.
Best practices vs. what works for the business
Social networking sites have some fantastic features like birthday alarms, rating content, sharing links, survey creation – some of which are worth trying out – but tread with caution. Not all such applications are required or make sense within an organization. The bottom-line is still about business benefits.
More as my project shapes up…