Employee Byte: Insourcing Your Social PR

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In this digital era, I’m often surprised how conventional wisdom continues to emphasize journalists (and now bloggers) as an organization’s primary stakeholders or publics for “earned media.” This is underscored and bolded by the majority of industry publications, plus many PR and marketing practitioners, particularly those with a primarily promotional focus and an over-reliance on news releases as the main salvo in their toolkits.

Conversely, I’m saddened by how little understanding or appreciation there is about one of the most enduring and important publics found at the company’s nucleus: employees. In particular, the lack of value attached to organizationally knowledgeable, seasoned (i.e., older) and loyal employee-stakeholders across all departments. They are often overlooked and/or increasingly disparaged as “not getting it”, especially when it comes to proactive involvement in social media on personal accounts in the public domain, in which they sometimes voluntarily reference their employer.

Are you devoting the “just right” amount of time and attention to the correct stakeholders?

There’s something decidedly ironic when social + media = engagement + information doesn’t have a deliberate focus on the people most closely invested in an organization, day in and day out. This is emphasized when the data from survey after survey reveals that customers and other stakeholders want to have relationships with companies that treat their employees with respect and give credit to internal subject experts (e.g., the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, et al.).

Think about it: when it comes to third-party validation through a limited and diminishing number of media outlets, generally you are competing with hundreds or thousands of organizations for attention and mind share…and any validation first must be persuaded and proven, going through the gatekeepers of those involved with the platform, be it the journalist, editor, publisher, owner or team writers of the blog and so on.

Not to diminish the importance of when this type of earned media is successfully achieved; rather, this is a pragmatic point of view on how often it will happen. To most conventional media, your business just isn’t that interesting or worthy of real estate space.

On the other hand, in-house you have a captive group of stakeholders in your existing employee base, at least financially and physically. Their hearts and minds—and personal values and attention—are another thing.

This conundrum has always been true. Just now, in a social business, the reputation and profile of an organization is perceived through the lens and ears of a lot more increasingly noisy channels and individuals beyond the corporate and traditional media gatekeepers.

Outsourcing or insourcing?

My WN colleague, Courtney Ramirez, earned a lot of attention with her recent post, Should Social Media Be Outsourced? She made a great case for it. I’m taking a different, albeit not necessarily opposing, tact in this Employee Byte (see *crowdsourcing input from my #solopr colleagues).

I’m proposing public relations lead insourcing of organizational social media “reputation, value and relationship building” management efforts, with the buy-in and assistance of self-determined, social-media-active staff from a variety of departments. This group of opinion leaders comprises employees who want to be affiliated with the social business, primarily as a brand champion (not detractor).

Note that in most cases this management will be without official authority in terms of the organization’s leadership and/or HR-determined reporting hierarchy and accountability regarding possible negative outcomes (see Crisis Byte). When it comes to integrated communications and profile in social media, the public relations function must be prepared to accept responsibility for the social business reputation, even when fallout comes from a rogue employee. As always, it’s best to get commitment and approval in advance from leadership and HR before embarking on an insourcing program, even if it’s in an informal capacity.

Four tips for internal communications–keys to successfully insourcing PR and social media

Regarding winning over employees’ hearts and minds, will you, the public-relations-and-social-media lead, make efforts to:

1. Hold recurring training or brainstorming sessions to educate and include employees on the benefits of social media, professionally and personally?
2. Regularly share information about public relations and social media programs to help persuade and influence them, including inviting feedback on initiatives and campaigns?
3. Be influenced, in turn, regarding the core knowledge and understanding employees often bring to the organizational narrative, particularly from a public relations and social media perspective?
4. Give exceptional social-media-savvy employees internal and external credit in some small-but-significant-and-motivating way (preferably not tied to financial incentives)?

Five core benefits that may result

1. The “earned media” personal accounts can bring to the organization.
2. Self-directed monitoring abilities and sharing, regarding the pro and con thoughts and behaviours of work colleagues (particularly newer and/or younger employees who likely don’t possess the same knowledge base about the company), family, friends and business acquaintances, regarding both social business and personal accounts (and general reputation and issues management of the organization).
3. Willing cross-mentoring of seasoned/more-junior employees. Longer-term employees bring business acumen and sense of decorum/understood discretion to the table; junior employees tend to be digital natives, whose DNA is programmed to intuitively “work” the channels—the resulting synergy can be invaluable.
4. Views on the suitability of the channels selected for the social business, including what should be added and what could be dropped or minimized.
5. Suggestions and opinions about the current social business content (marketing) strategy.

When it comes to employees and social media, let’s focus on the positive for a change

In Decorum Byte, I discussed the possibility of HR departments researching negative behaviours in social media before hiring staff. Likewise, I recently read and shared the excellent article, Three Things Every Employer and Employee Need to Know about Social Media. But both focused on the potential negative side of the employee-involvement equation.

I decided to highlight employees and their potential role in social media and public relations in a positive light because I’m not seeing too much information out there. Internal communications (aimed at all departments) and social media, yes (some programs quite innovative); externally, not so much.

This is despite the possibilities inherent in mobilizing and inspiring a core stakeholder group, which can have an immense and positive impact on your social business. I invite you to read Social Capital Byte: Institutionalizing Parity in B2B Relationships, because many suggestions for spotlighting partners and clients in your social capital space could easily be transferred to employees deserving of official recognition in the digital sphere, no matter what department they work in.

A recent example and more thoughts from peers

Regarding brand championing from a personal account, it was in the last #hbrchat (see the Harvard Business Review’s Storify version) that I noted Justin Mass providing information about his company’s corporate social responsibility program. Justin is a senior learning technologist with Adobe. I suspect he is not mandated to participate in business-related Twitter chats (other than #learnshare, per his Twitter bio) or specifically champion his company’s public relations initiatives. Yet he is doing that, voluntarily. In my various encounters with Justin it’s become quite clear that he is a brand champion of Adobe because he appreciates and believes in his employer and enjoys his job.

This is a perfect example of employee-generated “earned media.”

*Crowdsourcing the insourcing question to (outsourced) Solo PR experts

Davina Brewer: Who is “social” already? Look to other departments for the people you want to be social for the company that fits an initiative’s goals. Plus have ongoing training.

Sandra Florent: Yes. From there you can incorporate those employees by using the tools they already use. Involving [employees] requires finding out what they are talking about on social media and what platforms they use.

Janet Falk: A role of the consultant is to cross-pollinate and make use of subject matter experts across the organization; this is vital.

Mary Deming Barber: Although communications may drive social media, it doesn’t mean it’s always the best department to answer every question.

Kellye Crane: Keeping as many client employees as possible abreast (and sometimes involved) in what you’re doing with social media always helps. Having regular team calls with representatives from each involved department helps ensure things don’t get lost in translation. Surveys and focus group are methods you can use to involve employees. Make sure your client has a good, explicit social media policy (or help to build one).

Fran Stephenson: You can find great subject matter experts when you look beyond the communication team for social media initiatives. Team-coaching calls are a great idea, especially if challenged by geography.

Karen Swim: Absolutely! Break down those silos for greater success! I often do “social media readiness” for organizations before we ever get to the “campaign” stage.

Makasha Dorsey: Yes. In my opinion, most employees impact communication strategies.

Olga Orda: Involving employees makes sense when you need to do a survey of internal organization issues. Poor internal communication equals poor external communication. I’ve found that you can only cover up internal strife for so long!

Daria Steigman: Yes. But while you [the consultant] can guide, someone inside the organization has to champion the process.

Lois Martin: There are great personalities, sources of knowledge and company insight throughout an organization. Sometimes the “communications department” is the most limiting in communication! Communication departments can often be gatekeepers, too. They need to be champions! Those who are engaging social media personally are often the best communicators, versus those “pushing out” posts each day.

Mel Rodriguez: We would involve [employees] to hear their thoughts, which would help us with messaging. They are part of the brand, as well.

(For all responses please see question 3.)

Your thoughts

What do you think are the best ways to both cultivate and recognize opinion-leader employees to be proactive brand champions (i.e., practice positive PR2.0 in a non-job-specific capacity) in social media? Do you know of any companies that are already doing this exceptionally well?

Bonus: Assistance in Identifying Your Employee Opinion Leaders

Earlier this year I was invited to a VitalSmarts session with David Maxfield, one of the authors of Influencer. This book is a fascinating exploration of the vital behaviours necessary in maintaining a healthy corporation or defined community, including the key sources of influence and abilities. Although not directly related to social media, Chapters Six and Seven on “social” influence and ability—Harness Peer Pressure: Social Motivation; and Find Strength in Numbers: Social Ability—are useful regarding many of the communication ideas behind this Employee Byte. For example, these extracts on cultivating opinion leaders (who comprise about 13.5 per cent of the population or typical organization):

“If you’re interested in engaging opinion leaders in your own change efforts, the good news is that finding them is quite easy. Because opinion leaders are employees who are most admired and connected to others in the organization, simply ask people to make a list of the employees who they believe are the most influential and respected. Then gather the lists and identify those who are named most frequently—typically ten or more times. These are the opinion leaders. Once you know who they are, enlist them and partner with them in your efforts to institute change….”

“Here’s what it takes to become and remain an opinion leader. People…pay attention to individuals who possess two important qualities. First, these people are viewed as knowledgeable about the issue at hand. They tend to stay connected to their area of expertise, often through a variety of sources. Second, opinion leaders are viewed as trustworthy. They don’t merely know a great deal about a certain area, but they also have other people’s best interest in mind. This means that they aren’t seen as using their knowledge to manipulate or harm, but rather to help. If others believe that you’re missing either of these two qualities, you won’t be very influential.”

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything (from Chapter 6, Harness Peer Pressure: Social Motivation)

Judy Gombita
This monthly Social Media and Public Relations column is contributed by Judy Gombita. Judy is a Toronto-based public relations and communication management specialist, with more than 20 years of employment and executive-level volunteer board experience, primarily in the financial and lifelong learning nonprofit sectors. She is the co-editor and Canadian contributor (since 2007) to the international, collaborative blog, PR Conversations. +Judy Gombita
Judy Gombita


Sr/hybrid (social) public relations & communication management strategist. Mindful curation @PRConversations. Heart: travel, film, theatre, opera, books & food.
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  1. says

    Great post and topic.  I have noticed a great deal of interest around this topic.  First I believe the emphasis on employees/colleagues as essential stakeholders is so important, especially for delivering an optimal Customer Experience – there is evidence to suggest a strong link between profitability and a positive customer experience.  Here is a great HBR case study video on the subject   

    > http://blogs.hbr.org/video/2010/07/put-your-employees-first.html
    I believe many organizations are struggling with BEING social and that’s because they are trying to DO social as another tactic or program.  I think this is the area where some more experienced (read older) colleagues can be vulnerable. There needs to be another whole conversation on the value experience brings to the workplace.  

    Here is a great HBR article about the role managers need to play as leaders in order to allow organizations to be more social. > http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/managers_need_to_up_their_game.html?aw 

    Thanks for such a well written and researched article on this issue. 

  2. says

    Thanks so much for the comment and the useful links, Joe. There was another HBR blog article I considered referencing (leading from behind), but I was already pretty link heavy. Doesn’t that organization consistently publish great information? Plus its Twitter chat is one of the best around (up there with Ken Rosen and your #usguyschat and Elli St. George’s #kaizenbiz).

    To your point about organizations struggling with BEING social, quite frankly, if it isn’t embraced (or at least championed) by the majority of employees, the business really isn’t social.

    If you have a couple of your younger employees (or outsource it) playing around on social media (albeit with business-related tweets), but nothing is happening behind the scenes…that’s like setting up a shop window with all kinds of baked goods, but when you enter you find it’s an empty room and that the baked goods are actually petrified/covered in shellac and only there for display.

  3. says

    A very well put together post, Judy and I hope this turns viral. 

    Being in the corporate world myself, I do agree that most companies are not tapping the potential of their internal advocates aka engaged  employees. The use of social media has so far been more inward focused in terms of building employee engagement through tools like Yammer, etc. It is high time that we had more policies and initiatives that harness the potential of social media active and connected employees to compound the number of brand champions for the organization.Regards,Suchitra

    • says

      Thanks, Suchitra Mishra . When I mentioned some innovative programs WITHIN organizations regarding social media and employees, Yammer was the very first tool that came to mind. A recent #SWChat (Social Workplace Chat), in fact, had Maria Ogneva, head of community at Yammer, as a guest moderator.

      I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate YOUR participation in Twitter chats, especially after learning your education/employment focus is as an engineer. It’s so important for us to get other perspectives from public relations, marketing, communications and advertising (etc.) when it comes to a truly social business. That’s one of the reasons I was delighted about the (timely) participation of Justin Mass (a senior learning technologist from Adobe) in the #hbrchat. It’s like I set him up to tweet about Adobe’s CSR program, so I could write it into this column (it was a last-minute insertion–the chat was on the Thursday and I finished writing this column on the following Sunday afternoon). But it wasn’t a setup…it was just fact!

      I’m curious about how “social” is your current employer….and if you, in fact, are its most social employee? (Even if it’s simply through participation in the channels and not brand championing, per se.)

      For individuals reading this comment thread, I recommend you check out Suchitra Mishra ‘s blog. She’s one smart individual and writes beautifully written and informative posts relating to business processes and procedures, as well as workplace culture and dynamics (particularly in regards to project management and team coaching).

      • says

        Thank you, Judy for the response and the compliments – honoured :)

        On Yammer and Justin’s timely tweets – I have found that social media is one place where serendipity strikes again and again. Dots get connected and things fall into place so beautifully with respect to both people and opportunities.

        Thanks again for the great post.


        P.S – On the question related to my company, don’t want to overstep any  confidentiality terms/boundaries :) 

  4. says

    So I finally make it here all ‘better late than never’ and am like, rats! Had I only made it sooner, I’d have linked back to this for my latest post, so much nodding as I read.

    People. That’s the core of social and they are the core of any business. I remember interviewing employees – for company newsletters, campaigns, media pitches, etc. – and seeing such a huge disconnect in their ability to talk about their jobs, their brand. Went straight to TPTB about some training – these people are your marketing, they are your brand. Every time they’re networking for business or even a social gathering, you want, you NEED them to be able to give a good answer to the ‘what do you do?’ question. And hopefully, talk about it with enthusiasm. 

    Employees are a critical, crucial stakeholder. Think of all the mistakes companies make: talking to them, not with them; launching public campaigns that blindside internal audiences; not shining light on the various corners of the organization, not integrating and showing how they work (best) together. You’re right, this doesn’t get much positive attention, mostly b/c I think too many organizations don’t see the benefits, fear the risks. 

    Must highlight one HUGE benefit of employee buy-in that you mentioned: they are also your customer. If you do it right, they become brand advocates. What’s the worst thing an employee can say about their employer? It’s not that they hate working there or their bosses are jerks or they are unethical; it’s “no, I wouldn’t shop here; I would never hire us; I’d never let my F&F come here.” If your employees don’t value you who you are, what you do – why would anyone else? FWIW.


    • says

      Hi Davina, thanks for weighing in (and please note that stopping by 48 hours after posting is not considered late in a blog that focuses on being a long-tail resource!).

      I know what you mean about highlighting employees for the benefit of other, external stakeholders. One of the first things I did when I assumed editorship of a magazine that went out to around 30,000 external stakeholders was to profile one organizational department per issue, including photos and brief position descriptions of relevant staff. Not only did it introduce the internal group, externally, but it was really well received by the vast majority of employees. They felt validated that the job they did, day in and day out, was worthy of prime (print) real estate space. What it also did was make many of the staff very proactive about suggesting article ideas down the road, as well as subject experts, both internally and externally.

      One thing I’d point out, though, is that I see employees playing a part in a strategic social media program as being more public relations-oriented—reputation, value and relationship building—rather than as “marketing” representatives, helping to sell the product or service via social media.

      Just like I did when I was in the communication management side of the equation (i.e., editor), I see employees (not in the marketing department) highlighting other areas of the organizational narrative. For example, corporate social responsibility, per my Justin Mass example, what it’s like in the workplace (i.e., corporate culture), how the company vision translates into their individual roles, etc. In that way employees do serve as brand champions (whether in person or on social media), but not really “selling” the brand’s products…except in a very soft manner. I’ve said it a ton of times: I don’t want to be marketed to on social media–do you? Why then, would we ask employees to do it overtly….?

      To continue the theme about involving employees in social media efforts, I’ve come off of a very busy week, including attending 17 screenings at the Hot Docs film festival. But one thing I’m very glad I built in time to attend was the #torontob2b marketers meetup—which is organized by the great folks at Brainrider—where I’d talked Gen Y Sacha Chua into attending. Neal Schaffer knows Sacha, because she also came out to our Toronto meetup—he highlighted her in the blog post about the evening ( http://windmillnetworking.com/2010/07/28/things-learned-social-media-social-networking-toronto/ ).

      Anyhow, up until very recently Sacha worked for IBM in a data-driven Enterprise 2.0 capacity (a focus on how social technologies can help us work and connect more effectively)—she’s voluntarily left (on excellent terms–she blogged about her exit interview!), to strike out as an entrepreneur. At the meetup, the first presenter, Andrew Jenkins, was talking about organizations who had developed excellent social media policies for staff. One of them was IBM. I whispered to Sacha, “Did you have anything to do with that?” She answered in the affirmative. You see, Sacha was already blogging and presenting/producing glorious SlideShare presentations, which she shared online. She was already very active and extremely well known in the social media space. So she was a natural fit to participate in the formalized process at IBM.

      But what she did at IBM was not even close to public relations or marketing…she simply was a brand champion, because she thoroughly enjoyed her work and her employer (who had sponsored her second year of her master’s degree…which was what brought her to Toronto in the first place. Once she attained the degree she was hired by them. Win-win, as Sacha said, as she didn’t graduate with any debt…and had a job!).

      One other question I asked Sacha was to guesstimate how many of IBM’s approximately 400,000 employees were active in social media. She thought around 10 per cent. Think about it: 40,000 brand champions on social media. She also indicated that no employee should be forced to be active online, as they would find their way around that obligation….

      BTW, check out Sacha’s “sketchnotes” from the #torontob2n marketers meetup (sitting next to her, it was fun watching how she did it):

      The session I mentioned (with Andrew Jenkins) is the first one she sketched, Building a Social Enterprise (which was right in line with this Employee Byte column!)

      Thanks, again, for the comment. (As well as for explaining on Twitter that TPTB stands for The Powers That Be.)

  5. says

    One of the best things about internal social media is the ability to share those stories inside the organization. It’s easy to be excited about work when most people around you are excited about work, but it’s unfortunately far more common that early adopters, internal champions, and new hires are surrounded by people who have gotten worn down by the cynicism of the workplace.

    “Employee of the Month” highlights had probably been invented shortly after the first memo, but often top-down employee communication programs like that aren’t effective and may even be demotivating. In contrast, bottom-up communication such as internal blogs (and you’ve got to allow frankness and authenticity here so that it doesn’t smell like a propaganda machine) help people honestly connect with each other. This means that your adopters and champions can connect and energize each other, and your new hires can be inspired by all these examples of people who have somehow managed to figure out how to have fun while doing awesome things.

    Here are some presentations that make the points above but in a more fun way. =)
    Smarter Work: Why Social Network MattersWeb 2.0 at Work: In Pursuit of Passion

    • says

      Thanks for the response, Sacha. One of the most fun parts of the Influencer: The Power to Change Anything book is the part where they talk about employee motivation/recognition programs. (And it influenced the part in my post about not being tied to financial bonuses.)

      The authors begin by detailing the kind of programs that don’t work–similar to what you said. But next they describe the ones that do…. There is a bank in India where all of the branches are working towards achieving gold stars, I think it was towards local business financing success. (Yep, like primary school.)  Fiercely competitive…and those gold stars are continuing to demonstrate outputs *and* outcomes.

      There’s high-powered American executives who want to earn a plastic duck trophy. (These are probably the “one per cent” earners.) The idea being it’s not the “gain” so much as the “recognition” by peers that you are achieving something of value.

      Because this Bytes from the PR Sphere column focuses on public relations and social media, I wasn’t so much looking for suggestions on internal social media programs. Rather, how to turn those internal brand champions out, externally. Did you see much correlation at IBM between the staff who wrote great internal blogs, who also had a great external social media presence, which occasionally also reflected the IBM experience and/or brand championing, Sacha?

      Heading off now to read those three links…..

      • says

        Sometimes people gain the courage to participate externally after they build connections and content internally, so having a social intranet is pretty useful. It’s hard to maintain a strong internal blog and a strong external blog – there’s always that itch to share things as widely as possible, so internal stuff might get a little neglected. I think it’s less about PR trying to “insource” employee stories – although I and other people had occasionally been invited to comment (as ourselves, of course, and not as any official person) on certain things – and more about helping people stay in love (or at least in like 😉 ) with what they get to do and whom they get to help and whom they get to work with. That’s not just PR (although PR plays a role). That’s culture and meaning and all sorts of other things that have to be right all the way down.

  6. Steve Birkett says

    This does indeed sync up nicely with the topic of #usguyschat earlier this week, Judy, so thank you again for the heads up. I particularly enjoyed the summary points for application and potential benefits of the insourcing recommended.

    What strikes me most here is that many organizations pay only lip-service to the value that their employees can bring to how the org is perceived, especially externally but also within, by their fellow colleagues. These bombastic proclamations rarely extend beyond a few tacit acknowledgments and limited involvement of those ‘in the trenches’, often resulting in more cynicism towards the efforts than the desired effect of empowerment.

    What you propose here requires more. More involvement of employees across all organizational functions. More appreciation from multiple levels of management. More integration of external communications channels to internal audiences. But the pay off for organizations that truly embrace the opinions and creativity of their employees is potentially so much greater, both in the advocacy they can bring and the ideas they can contribute.

    Thinking about this reminded me of this (relatively) older case study of IBM: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-ibm-uses-social-media-to-spur-employee-innovation/. I love the phrase “Lose control” for the application of the concepts raised here, as I think it highlights the paradigm shift required to distinguish those who actually do from those who simply say they do.

    Social media is public and those who participate are individuals, so the risk of uncertainty will always be there, as you suggest. The challenge for most organizations is to ride those waves of uncertainty through to the benefits mentioned herein.

    • says

      Steve, I’m so sorry I haven’t responded to you sooner. Disqus was updating
      its platform and, alas, I never got notified about this. :-( 

      Really like your “What you propose here requires more. ” paragraph. I’m
      actually in the middle of writing my next column, Culture Byte, which builds on
      both this Employee Byte and the earlier Profile Byte. Along the lines that you
      really can’t be a social business if your company’s DNA (especially regarding
      leadership) doesn’t support it.

      Thank you for the link to the IBM case study….heading over (right now) to
      have a read.

      Again, my appreciation for you stopping by.  I hope you come again, not just
      to read and comment on my posts, but those of my great

      (BTW, it’s a holiday Monday in Canada, so I won’t be attending the next
      #usguyschat. But I will come to others, that’s for sure. Great group of smart

  7. says

    Judy – so sorry to be very late in commenting.  Two thoughts. First, I’d be interested in seeing whether the culture in organizations which embrace the chaos of employee participation in social media also embraces employee participation in other aspects of the business. For example, it’s not uncommon in manufacturing for various line workers to be pulled into a planning session with both plant management  and other executives. Those plants tend to perform better than those which don’t do so.  Second, do we see more participation in businesses which are nonregulated?  The medical and financial industries seem particularly reticent (with a few exceptions) for fear of running afoul of laws and regs. 

    I definitely agree (as you’d expect) that the internal constituency is not sufficiently involved in much communication strategy and execution. One ongoing complaint I have with the concept of integrated marketing communications (as opposed to merely integrated communication) is that it reduces employees to either direct salespeople or mere cogs in the marketing wheel, rather than the human embodiment of the brand. 

    Word of mouth is a reputational tool that has impact in marketing, sales — and  the entire pantheon on communication outcomes. 

    Thanks for an interesting post  — please forgive my tardiness. 

    • says

      I’d rather have “late” Sean than no Sean. I know your work/school and personal life schedule has been wild these last few months, so thanks for stopping by.
      So, in addition to quoting your:
      “All marketing is communication, but not all communication is marketing”
      so often, I suspect I’m also going to adopt/endorse/steal:
      “…it reduces employees to either direct salespeople or mere cogs in the marketing wheel.” :)
      Really like your first point about involving line-workers, etc., into the planning session. You would really, really, really enjoy Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, because it tells so many stories (or “organizational narratives”) about this happening, in different countries, sectors and industries. (And it has nothing to do with the “scoring” type of influence that is so prevalent and popular in social media these days, I hasten to add.)
      I hope you get a chance to read this month’s Culture Byte and add in your comments (better late than never).

  8. says

    So interesting to see this as we are just discussing the potential of encouraging employees on social media platforms to share stories they think would be relevant to our internal newsletter. We have been having trouble sourcing stories through our department and company heads, so we thought asking employees to share on our FB page or through a particular hashtag may help. Of course this also builds a community for them to find each other and have an outlet to share even if their topic doesn’t make it in our newsletter. Thoughts on that?

    • says

      Hi Danielle,

      I’m so glad you picked up Sean Williams’ tweet and came over to visit and read!

      In my mind “internal communications” is another specialty. I have many colleagues and friends who work in that area, including Sean; perhaps they would probably be better suited to ask about internally communicating with social media.

      Yammer seems very well-regarded and liked by employees.

      Also check out the great work that Melcrum does: http://www.melcrum.com/ (They started writing about internal communicatons and social media really early on. Most of their information is for purchase, through subscriptions, etc., but I can tell you it’s top notch.)

      Finally, as discussed on Twitter, a hearty endorsement to check out the Thursday #SWChat, founded by David Christopher (yet another UK resource!). I think you said you’ve noodled around the site, but here it is for others:

      http://www.stopthinksocial.com/swchat_archive/ (Archive of past chats.)

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