Park at your own risk

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

Organizations, Communication, New Social Media

  • New Social Media is the new communication freeway.
  • As evidenced by the fact that NO organization today is without a website, a fan page, a social network site, etc.

  • Understanding, capitalizing, and coping with the trend is not a choice but a need.

One way streets lead to single destination. Orgs should recognize the new trend however, that communication between orgs and its publics is no longer a one-way process. It is now multi-dimensional and multi-faceted rather than linear. People are more interactive and reactive rather than passive. Messages are now created and shared both ways empowering the unheard, the unseen.

Unlike traditional media, communication is now a two-way street. Orgs should acknowledge this potential relationship and harness it by listening to their respective target publics and most importantly, engaging them in the process.

It is a curvy road ahead.

No communication activity is just as easy. Despite the accessibility and convenience of new social media, there is a tendency that messages can go different directions, from a network to another. It is important to identify a target audience and employ specific strategies in reaching them.

Pedestrians in this case represent publics. These are real people whom orgs communicate with. As in pedestrians, orgs need to ”hit the brakes” once in a while so people could “get across” and in turn, orgs generate feedback. It is also important to ensure that pedestrians experience no harm or danger in any way.

Communicating messages can best be concluded if and only if it was able to impact your target audience. On top of the “buzz” should be content and a purposeful one at that. Blowing your horn may very well create a hype, pump up or thrill people but it is only the onset of a possible communication exchange.

The road becomes slippery after a rainfall. In such a case drivers need to exercise extra caution to ensure a safe trip. In orgs-publics communication, careful planning and strategizing is as essential as anticipating a critical period. Imagine driving on a cliff in a dark, rainy night and plan a course of action to survive it. A crisis occurs if no one ever thought it would happen.

Two things highlight the concept of slowing down: first, orgs need to take time in observing, assessing, and engaging publics. This means that a communication plan is an essential tool. Second, it is important to note that every communication attempt is amplified in new social media. And going beyond the maximum speed limit, as we know it, will only cause unfortunate events and tragic deaths which is the same for orgs.

New social media is like a virtual marketplace of information and interaction which are impossible to control but nonetheless manageable. A U-turn specifically applies during crisis. If any communication attempt fails or something simply went wrong, remember that there is always an option to take a U-turn and pull back. It should serve as an opportunity for orgs to re-evaluate and rethink the entire communication plan as well as the strategies used.

  1. Ate shecai,

    I like how you related new social media concpets with road signs. Metaphors are effective ways of making people remember and I think I might be reminded of your points when I see these signs around.

    Slow down. Hmmm… This is really something orgs should bear in mind. It does not mean that when a competitor is on Facebook, an organization should immediately follow so that it will not be left behind. We could not observe and listen well if we’re in a hurry. As what you said, accidents and even death can happen if people don’t slow down.

  2. I wish these roadsigns are also used in the Internet, since the Internet also has networks which create traffic to all users. Since new social media is the new communication freeway, there must also be guidelines, at the least, for organizations and its publics to adhere to in the use of the Internet, in order to create a more collaborative atmosphere.
    I really like this entry. Your post is easy to read and understand. 🙂

  3. Creative rendition of road signs regarding the use of Internet. Well done.

  4. This very much sums up how the internet works today. Traditional forms of promotion would no longer suffice in this very competitive culture that we all live in. Organizations need to be more wary of the chenging communication strategies that they can employ so as they can effectively contribute to their cause.

  5. “Imagine driving on a cliff in a dark, rainy night and plan a course of action to survive it.”

    I agree, that during a crisis, it’s as if you are in this situation. Organizations should focus, keep their eyes on the goal, and not be distracted by the thunders or whatever that try to get in their way of recovering. The internet is one new gadget in your car, but if you do not know how to use it, your car will crash.

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