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Social Media’s Lifeblood

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Module 1

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I didn’t have to read very far into Olivier Blanchard’s book, Social Media ROI, to find inspiration for this inaugural post.  At page four, he lists what he refers to as three popular social media buzzwords: relationships, trust, and conversations.  He writes, “These three words describe the social web’s lifeblood, especially as it relates to business.”  As a public servant, I’m extending the lifeblood idea to also relate to government – and I’m zeroing in on trust.

According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, across 25 countries trust in government (and business and NGOs) has significantly decreased.  In fact, in the 2012 Edelman survey, trust in government was lower than trust in business! As someone who lives this reality day to day this was no surprise, but it’s still disheartening.

So, what can we do to help build or restore trust? How can social media help?  As Blanchard writes, “The secret to how social media works won’t be found in marketing or business books. …In order to understand the true power of the social web, you have to look into the nature of humanity itself…”  (ibid., at p. 4).  What do we know about humanity and their relationship with governments?

We know that our stakeholder publics want to be listened to and respected.  They want to be assured by both our words and our actions that government is working in their best interests.  We also know that people now, like never before, want to have a say in how government carries out their mandate.  They want to participate, to collaborate.

Now, I just need to find the social media tools and platforms that allow me to build the best social program possible that can deliver on what my public wants.   I’m sure I’ll have all that figured out by next week.  I mean, how many tools and platforms can there be. What’s that?  How many more popped up in the time it took me to write this post?

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