Sunday, June 14, 2009

Transparency and Social Media

So my company is about to jump full force into the field of social media. Networking, blogging and Twitter. (I've been tweeting myself for a short time but I have other identities. If you're following me for urology, you might want to also follow @amerurological and @urology_health.)

Naturally, this prompts lots of questions -- not just ROI questions, goals questions or even control questions, but also the more personal "whose account do these groups get tied to?" questions. And the answers are nebulous at best. Twitter is easy. @wendyisett is a personal account, so it's attached to a personal address. The other accounts are tied to work domains. LinkedIn and Facebook are a little different, and tie directly to personal accounts, so...

There seems to be a common thought that one of these forums is more personal than the other, that you should use LinkedIN for professional purposes and Facebook for personal activities. BUT...

What's your personal policy? I waffle back and forth on this. Forums like Facebook present great "getting to know you" benefits, and it's fun sometimes to have the occasional co-worker jump in and comment on a photo or link. But, once you jump into the company admin role, does that change? If I'm an admin for ABC Company's Facebook page and I post on my wall that I've had a crappy day and am ready for new things, will my co-workers or group members read too deeply into that "what's on your mind" post? What if I dabble in a Facebook app at lunchtime and the updates land on friends' walls? Or share a political point of view? Or if a blog post raises issues that relate to a problem at the office? What level of censorship is necessary (beyond simple common sense)?

What's worse: to have transparent, recommendations on LinkedIN (which could possibly be viewed as job hunting) or results of a "what Hogwarts character are you?" quiz on Facebook? Is a "this is my personal blog and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer" disclaimer enough to ward off coworker "she got a new recommendation, is she looking to jump ship?" suspicion?

I personally don't know the answers to these questions, which is why I'm throwing out the question. Talk amongst yourselves. And please talk to me!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Getting Back to Basics

It's funny how getting out of the office every once in a while – though expensive and not always feasible in this economy – can actually refocus you and remind you of "abandoned" projects, generate a spark of enthusiasm that wasn't there before, or generally just remind you why it is you do what you do. And I do PR.

I didn't start this blog because I wanted to talk about PR. I started it because I wanted a way for family and friends to keep in touch, hear about the latest and greatest with the family without having to initiate or engage in a vast number of telephone exchanges about the simplest of things. I wanted to post my hobby projects so that others could chime in and give feedback. I wanted it to be a way to be, in a way, the ultimate multitasker. I started it before wave of web interaction now known as "Social Media" took hold. Now there's Ravelry for the knitting, Facebook for the family and friends, Twitter for tweeting sake and I'm left with a blog that has been untended for a while and needs a new focus. It doesn't need a new name – I think SpinneasGauge is witty and all-encompassing in so many ways – but it needs new content.

So that's what it's going to get. I don't know what yet, or even how. In fact, I'm not sure whether it will be simply personal, whether it will have a touch of work commentary, or whether it will be industry-specific with commentary from the front lines of non-profit public relations. I struggle with the transparency issue, particularly with current work climates, but I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to my journalism roots. So watch out or tune in. I'm coming back.