MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Social Media for a Collective Mind

Taweel discusses social media being used today by savvy public realtions practitioners. I use social media. I’m constantly on Facebook; I’ve attempted to “tweet” (and failed miserably), and I even joined 43things.com after seeing it during our first Social Media class. I would like to think I’m up on the technology, but when I think about my chosen profession, and my personal life, I wonder how those two will connect. Taweel states that more and more coporations are using social media (some wrongly, treating it the way they would use the old tools), but there are some companies who have integreated social media successfully into their operations. Taweel’s article brought forth some questions into my mind that I don’t have the answers for yet, but I hope to by the end of this course.

My issue lies here – a corporation legally is an entity, but when picking it apart, it comprises of a multitude of parts, working together to form a cohesive unit. After reading Taweel’s article and how organizations should use social media, I walked away wary. Should we really? I’m on the bandwagon because it seems we’re on a roller-coaster ride through the Social Media fantasy land, and will learn to use it to the best of my ability, but I don’t know if it’s really the right choice.

Facebook, Twitter, etc. These are social networking sites to connect people together. It was started for the individual to find other individuals and connect. I don’t see how a multi-national corporation  fits into Facebook, Twitter or similar sites. When we are being bombarded by 3 second advertisements to get the biggest bang for your buck, finding Ford Motor Company and Dell Computers on Twitter just seems artificial. Is there a human face behind these accounts, and how does a public relations practitioner get that human touch when using social media for a corporation?

I come to this from a consumer’s perspective. Perhaps through the progression of this course, I can move my mind from the cynicism of a personal user of social media to the professional, analytical mind of a public relations pracitioner who can use social media as a tool, but effectively and ethically.

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May 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Social Media for a Boggled Mind
    I’m glad you said it first. I too believe that I am up on the technology. I tweet, use Facebook, YouTube, many social networks, delicious, etc. but like you, I use these tools as a consumer. I don’t know how to put my PR hat on and use these tools to benefit an organization, and the more I seem to learn, the more questions I end up asking.
    I do however have some ideas. Multi-national companies could use these tools for many internal communications. Tweeting to your colleagues that you will be late for a meeting, having a company Ning account to share ideas, personalities and just to socialize with colleagues all over the world and putting faces to names. Also I could see using Jabber or Skype or something similar (possibly Second Life) to conduct business meeting to save on costs of traveling and long distance conference calling. You asked about a PR practitioner getting that human touch when using social media, well that is my best answer. I mean as far as only knowing a colleagues email address and name, but never knowing their face, their interests, their personality, etc., all those things can be shared through social tools and networks.
    Heather, you and I are on the same page. I want to be able to think professionally about social media with the critical mind of a PR practitioner who can bring these ideas and social solutions to the table.
    Great post!
    Cheers!

    Comment by kbslice | May 21, 2009 | Reply


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