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Project Manager : Project Manager April May 2012
36 Project Manager • career centre Listen up tweepLe: delivering content on public platforms such as twitter and Facebook is crucial for companies that want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing their brand. so says social media expert Richard spencer who adds that it’s not enough to simply have an online presence – organisations must also understand the new landscape to profit from it. “if somebody has a problem with a product or service, they talk about it on twitter. But if the company in question doesn’t have a social media response to that, then it doesn’t have an effective right of reply,” he says. “More and more organisations are realising the importance of strategies to converse and engage with sta keholders. Organisations can no longer rely on traditional channels to communicate effectively w ith their entire audience.” two and a half years ago, the 41-year-old changed tack in his pR business to focus on content creation and strategy development in the webosphere. He is now managing director of two social, an organisation that aims to help brands and businesses better understand how socia l media spaces work. Know what you’re getting into while he acknowledges it’s imperative organisations have a social networking presence, he says it’s also important to understand the medium before adding to the ‘tweed ’ (t witter feed). spencer says disciplines that demand a bit more discretion – s u ch as project management – can also benefit from using project management software with twitter-style streams and Facebook-style walls to manage internal communications. Join the social media club Don’t jump in anD start talking right away. if you Do, you are likely to put your virtual foot in your virtual mouth What collaborative internet tools should project managers be using to drive efficiencies? Attask and Vantage social project Management are two such internal platforms that have practical applications that help deliver projects more efficiently. “These tools take the core product of a social media platform and use it inside firewalls using the same context and value, but contained so as to limit the external users and communicate w ith a targeted audience of team members,” he says. How project managers benefit spencer believes project managers can improve interna l communications simply by adding a social media-styled platform to the mix. He says adding webinars, vodcasts, podcasts and wikis also allows project managers to share proprietary information in a social way. Jim Macnama ra is Deputy Dean, professor of public Communication at the university of technology in sydney and Director of the Australian Centre of public Communication. He agrees it is better to participate in the social media sphere than to not be involved at all. Exercising caution But professor Macnamara also adv ises it’s of para mount importance to be prepared before going public, saying that good and necessary governance is to avoid confidential information being released and employees commenting inappropriately online. professor Macnamara recently released the findings of a resea rch study of more than 200 organisations across Australasia and their use of social media platforms for both internal and ex ternal communication. He says what he found highlighted a number of risks in relation to social media strategies and governance. “Having a policy on who can talk on what, and guidelines for employees with simple dos and don’ts, as well as monitoring of what is said about the organisation online, is the first step in a social media strategy.” He adds that employees who are new to social media should use internal social networks and products such as Yammer, wikis or proprietary sharing tools as learning grounds before joining the conversation on a public platform, as they are “safer and more secure, and more suitable for internal conversations”. “ when joining a public social network such as Facebook or twitter, start by listening. Listen and learn the protocols and customs, the topics of interest, and the way of interacting. Don’t jump in and start talking right away. if you do, you are likely to put your virtual foot in your virtual mouth.” •••
Project Manager Feb March 2012
Project Manager June July 2012