Organizations small and large can benefit from the new obsession with social media. Communication in any organization is an essential function of getting the job done. Organizations and businesses have internal communication needs, external communication needs and then public information sharing.
Stakeholders, varying levels of management, front line employees and the general public all need to give and receive organizational information in a different way. It is likely that the information being given to each of these parties is presented in a slightly different fashion. Information for different purposes must be packaged and presented in a very different way for each of the parties who need it.
For instance, a memo from a funding agency outlining a budget cut will be rich with details that not everyone will understand or need to know. Sending out this memo in its original form could lead to mass chaos. Rather, the memo to the employees will have information that is necessary for them to know and anticipate the changes this cut may mean for them and should be done in a thoughtful sensitive fashion. On the same note a press release announcing that same budge budget cut will look very different from the other two documents.
Think about the way organizations have traditionally communicated.
- In person, on the telephone, in meetings, or in trainings and conferences.
- Email, formal letters, memos, newsletters, bulletin boards, notes and organizational reports.
Think about the additional forms of communication now available:
- Text messaging
- Internal Intranet
- Organizational website
- Social media sites
Communicating that budget cut may not be best via text message to all of your employees, however advertising the fund raiser to raise money because of the budget cut may be more effective posted on face book or on the agency website than if it was announced in a corporate memo.
Social media can serve as another tool in the box of many, it reaches a different group of people in a different way. As with anything there should be thought and planning that goes into communicating different things to different parties. Just as the communicating the fundraiser via Facebook may be effective, communicating mass budget cuts in the same fashion may be damaging.