Is it a contradiction that one of the most effective and easiest public relations and communications tools – social media – has about lowest use amongst our leaders? (*Only 27% of top companies said their C-level executives were actively engaged last year)
Why is it so? Is it because my age-group isn’t gifted with wisdom, curiosity and nimbleness, but cursed with inflexibility and stubbornness?
Three reasons for not starting now
1. “It’s a waste of time”
Still a favourite, but increasingly less so. See below.
2. “I haven’t got time”
Senior people don’t have less time; many people of all ages go flat-out. And then there’s that proverb, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person.’
3. “I might say something wrong”
A CEO said this to me this past week. Juniors don’t share your fear of going public and they have more to lose.
4. “I can’t think of anything to say”
Try this: 40% company related; 40% staff related; 20% personal. Make a list of 2-3 comments about each.
Six reasons for starting now
1. Follow the money
It’s increasingly becoming a business tool. If you can’t show an ROI in your sector yet, you soon will.
Above is what Software Advice found when they surveyed 200 B2B in 2014. The data is a bit out of date, but the trend can be inferred.
By demonstrating you are contemporary you are sending a strong message to staff about the need to stay ahead of the curve.
3. Staying Relevant
Here’s the best reason I have. The biggest pressure on oldies is ‘staying relevant’, and with the accelerating pace of change, now more than ever. I think social media contributors stay relevant simply by that act – you become part of a fast moving ever-changing public relations conversation, and you are in touch with the people of all ages and demographics.
4. Better Internal Relations
With change a new constant, top-down communication is more important, not less, to instill a culture and offer encouragement. Plus, a lot of your staff are already talking about the company on social, so join in to influence.
5. Improved Reputation
Yours and the organisation’s. It’s the simplest tool for this in your public relations kit.
6. There are lots of people to help you
Your children, colleagues, consultants – you’re surrounded by helpers.
* This is a good read for the latest stats: