Are you ready?

It is coming soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe sometime in 2010, but it is definitely coming to your office.

No, I’m not talking about Halloween, or Christmas. I’m not even talking about the end of open enrollment.

I am talking about the day in your HR career when you are confronted by the need to make a strategic recommendation about social media.

Most HR professionals won’t be ready!

If you will just invest a little time, you can position yourself to enhance your career. You can also ensure you aren’t suddenly thrust into the position of biting off more than you can chew at the time you are forced to go on a social media intense diet!

What should you be doing to get ready?


1. Understand that social media is not the equivalent of rocket science. It does involve technology, but it is only a type of tool. Tools can be used for good or evil.
2. Don’t make developing a policy the highest priority on your professional agenda. You need to develop at least a general understanding of the principal tools first. This doesn’t mean you need to develop the competency of a power user.
3. Think about how social media tools might be useful within your organization.
4. Think about how social media tools might be used against your organization.
5. Think about identifying internal and external subject matter experts on social media who can offer advice and support.
6. Think about doing this BEFORE you are called on to give advice. If you wait until then, you are too late.
7. Think of gaining social media expertise as an opportunity to develop your strategic presence at work, and then think about taking advantage of this golden opportunity.

Why do you need to be ready?

If you work in an organization of any size, it is very likely that you are already being discussed in social media somewhere.

One of your employees did something wrong on the internet today somewhere. Eventually, you are going to hear about it or be asked to assess the severity of their action. You will be asked to make a recommendation on how to handle this event. You need to be ready!

Government agencies, labor unions, and other groups are communicating via social media. Do you know what they are saying? Do you know where to look? You should.

You can gain major points by being positioned to provide leadership in this area.

Please let me know if you need any help with social media. I am always happy to provide advice and guidance.

Views: 18

Tags: hr, leadership, media, social

Comment by Hassan Rizwan on October 26, 2009 at 6:58am
Yes. Necessary to be ready. On the back end, its essential to have a strategy to support all these online activities. Without a roadmap, its like approaching someone with no address.
Comment by Greg Inguagiato on October 26, 2009 at 1:50pm
Great article Michael; I've forwarded this to my LinkedIn and Facebook connections. Critical I think, is taking steps to develop baseline policies for content management, so that boundaries are established. Jumping into the deep end of the pool without a floatie could be a recipe for disaster if company executives are not onboard!
Comment by Lesa Caskey on October 26, 2009 at 3:03pm
A hot topic right now for HR, definitely! Organizations must develop their own strategies and then dictate to their HR staff how they should be representing themselves in social media circles. For some, it may be best to ban using the organization's name in an individual's profile (on LinkedIn, for instance). Some folks in HR are not responsible for building the organization's employment brand, so their online activities may actually detract from the organization's objectives. It's important for the strategy to come top-down from the organization's HR leadership in order to maximize their success in the social media arena.

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