Business Adoption Of Social Media

Thursday, February 28, 2008 by Mistlee

Business Adoption Of Social Media

Business adoption of social media: It's not about employee rights

A caller in a recent episode of "For Immediate Release" (via BlogTalk Radio) was something of a revelation. Evidently, there are those who believe the counsel I and other communication consultants give to organizations about the adoption of social media is based on a fundamental belief in an employees' right to do whatever they want.

Not so.

Like our caller, I believe that company management has the right to impose whatever rules on employees it believes are in the company's best interests (within the limits of employment law and other relevant regulations). The workplace is not a democracy. I also believe that companies should make decisions based on their best interests, which ultimately should accrue to the owners of the business (investors, for the most part, including those retirees whose pensions are tied up in funds managed by large financial institutions).

My job-since I became an organizational communicator in the mid-1970s and continuing through today-is counseling organizations on communication practices that will enhance their bottom lines. In short, I represent my clients. I am not an employee advocate.


The leadership of organizations frequently want to make decisions that are not in the best interest of the organization. That is why companies employ counselors, either internally or externally. Lawyers counsel on legal issues. Public relations practitioners provide counsel on matters of reputation. Companies do business only with the consent of their constituents. If they lose that consent, constituents can create obstacles ranging from legislation and regulation to strikes and boycotts.

Public relations is the practice of managing an organization's relationships with those constituents. Companies pay communicators in order to help them figure out the best way to do that. Sometimes companies take that advice, sometimes they don't.

My position on employee engagement in social media is based on my belief that doing so will produce far greater benefit-in the form of enhanced constituent relations-than risk, particularly when it is managed strategically. There are many dimensions to these benefits, some of the most important of which include the following:

Contiue reading this article...

Article Archive News Downloads WebProWorld Forums Jayde iEntry Advertise Contact UKceo News Archives About Us Feedback WebProWorld Forum