Is Big Business’ adoption of Social Media a PR Nightmare?

Jamie Williams, Media Specialist, NY

Yesterday, Melcrum, a research organization, released results to a survey regarding social media adoption by large corporations worldwide. While companies implementation of social media is not new news, the discussion of its use in major corporations is interesting. The research pointed out that corporations have to appeal to the new and younger employees. Since social media like blogs, wikis and social networks are a major factor in the lives of Generation Y staffers, it is necessary for businesses to adapt and implement these new communication tools into their corporate communications to keep people interested.

The study has a lot of stats on reality of social media vs. the hype of it all. Yes, everyone is blogging, however, we are not all rushing to download second life. One of the most interesting statistics was when the respondents were asked what the benefits of social media were “71% selected ‘improved employee engagement.’” That is a staggeringly high statistic and leads me to wonder if social media will have to be accepted by all corporations eventually to keep employees “engaged.”

Even more shocking was that, “only 26% were sure how to monitor what was being said about their organizations, industry or products online.” So that means that 74% do not know how to monitor what is being said about them. That could be a major problem for corporate communications efforts.

As PR people, working to put our clients in the media and to help them create a brand identity, could all our efforts be put at risk because of a few blog posts by an embittered employee with access to corporate communications? I don’t how much damage they could really do, but it brings up a question of how this adaption by major corporations will affect the work that we do for them.

You can read more in the official press release.

2 Comments
  • Bob Geller

    May 3, 2007 at 6:40 am Reply

    This points to the need for clear blogging policies, and going beyond the usual press clipping practices to truly monitor what is being said about you company and brand, whether by internal employees, bloggers the media or the public

  • Coralie Thomson

    May 4, 2007 at 6:44 am Reply

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for this post. I agree that eventually, most businesses will be forced to use social media internally to keep employees engaged. However, the worries about lack of content control will prevent external company blogs from becoming widespread, for the time being.

    Melcrum’s new report, How to use social media to engage employees, is being published shortly. To find out more about the report see the link below
    http://www.melcrum.com/store/products/product.shtml?id=3495

    Coralie Thomson
    Melcrum

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