Social Media Lessons regularly provides relevant, timely and useful advice and the article entitled Five Lessons From The Social Media Frontlines is no exception. It provides great information on the basics of approaching social media for your organization.

AHA Take

I know that I begin to sound a little like a broken record when I say this, but one of the most crucial social media lessons we put forward to clients is that social media is one component of communications and should be integrated into an overall communications strategy.

Everyone in our Vancouver PR agency (including our crew in Calgary and Toronto) view social media as a component of what we provide to clients. I was sitting in a meeting with a client last week discussing social media and from the discussion, it was clear to me that one of the individuals at the table saw social media as something completely different than what it is. He viewed it as a stand-alone “thing” (his words) that the organization has no control over. In his mind, social media is to be feared.

Now, to be fair, this individual heads up a large division that is all about rules and regulations and he isn’t a communicator. However, for the overall organization, it is important that he and others that feel the same way are provided with information about social media, including the opportunities and risks that come with participating. I also have to say that I feel strongly that for many organizations, there is more risk attached to not participating than there is in engaging their stakeholders.

I think one of the lessons that is crucial for a communicator to learn is that not everyone in your organization is as tuned in or aware of the benefits of social media as you might be. Understanding that within your leadership there may be challenges is important. Providing your senior executive with relevant information, case studies and examples of positive social media usage – and potentially the challenges you might face if you aren’t participating – is an important step.

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