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Corporate Culture vs. Social Media

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In the line of my work, I often talk with Corporate Comms. They all share three issues on their “to do” list best described as:

Lets do something with…

1: Social Media
2: Engagement
3: the Intranet

These, offcourse, are very crude subjects, and without a strategy plan for either one, you’ll have a hard time fulfilling them. Thanks to Social Media however, loads of information on these matters can be found on the internet. You only have to look for it.

A good plan means you’re half way there. I’m convinced you will be able to do this, without hiring a Social Media Specialist!

If it’s all that easy, why are there still so many Corporates strugeling with these issues?
There is an “old school” phenomenon called corporate culture responsible for this.

It’s what makes a good plan fail. Even well organized IT Projects, often spread out over years, fail.
In the Netherlands there is an example of such a fail project, called OV Card. It’s about a chipcard that replaces the old Ticket system for Public transportation like trains, metro and busses. The Government has spent over a Billion euro’s over the years having been warned that this card could easily be hacked.
They went along disgarding these warnings. Two days ago hackers showed on national television how easily and untracable this hack can be done, and now the Project has come to a halt.
You don’t have to be a Rocket scientist to understand that -if intervened before- this could all have been prevented if only they would have listened to the comments given years ago, and taken on an IT Security Specialist to investigate these security issues. A lot of money  could have been saved. (For us Dutch, one Billion euro’s is a lot of money).

I think it’s fair to say, that Corporate Culture (along with Corporate Identity) needs to be taken into account when you want your project to succeed.

So my 5cts would be to start with Engagement (Corporate Identity) and Social Media, take small steps, look for best pratices and pitfalls on the internet and read these books:

Made to Stick, by Chips and Dan Heath. How a simple SUCCESs formula helps you getting the message accross. It learns you from what stuff urban legends are made of.

Switch, also by Chip and Dan Heath. How to change things when change is hard. It shows everyday people —employees and managers— have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. This is a great book with tons of best practices (rather than Theory alone ;))

Engage, by Brian Solis. The Complete Guide to Build, Cultivate & Measure Success in the New Web

With risk of cliche’s, these books are universal and timeless. I have found them to be really complementary and a great help!

© These are my thoughts but if you want them, you can take them. Do as you please but: do good.