I had an interesting conversation with a client today who advised that they were “planning to make more use of social media and therefore expecting to do less in the way of formal communication material” which, on the face of it, makes a lot of sense. This is an organisation that is funded by taxpayers looking for ways to reduce its expenditure, which we wholeheartedly endorse. And things like Twitter and blogs (like this one) offer an opportunity to get your message out there for, well… nothing. So the tools are readily available to anyone who wants to use them.
And therein lies the problem. Just because anyone can use them doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone should. I have a hammer in my garage and believe me, a carpenter I am most definitely not. But my conversation continued along the lines of “so people without any experience or technical knowledge can update them easily”.
Whatever the means of communication, the message still needs to be crafted, honed and polished (I’m dragging out the carpenter analogy here). The danger being that just because it doesn’t cost anything, social media postings will be perceived as throwaway; something that doesn’t merit a great deal of thought or care. Utilised poorly, they could represent a real step backwards. So by all means, Tweet away, blog to your heart’s content. But don’t lose a grip on the quality of what is said by, and about, your organisation.
RK: 08 Feb 2011.