Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CSR and Social ME-dia

As I mentioned, I attended the Net Impact annual conference recently and I noticed that there were many sessions on social media. When I attended my first conference nearly a decade ago, there obviously were no panels on the topic, so it's interesting to see the momentum behind this.

Social media seems to vex many big, established companies. Not only from the perspective of how it should be used with regards to CSR, but also from the perspective that companies want to "control" what is said about the enterprise as much as possible.

Clearly, since I started this little blog, I'm dipping my toe into the social media world. I think I've also figured out how twitter is useful, after playing around with it for the past few months.

But are companies really using social media for CSR? We recently released our biennial Corporate Citizenship Report and were approached by a number of companies that wanted us to tell this story through social media. We decided to use one of these services to communicate the report's launch and to tell some of the stories within it, but I'm not sure I've seen any value from it. As a result of this month-long contract, I find that many of my days are spent preparing content to be distributed through these channels. I re-package information from the report, think through new storylines and I struggle with uploading videos through a cumbersome online portal. It's taking up a lot of my time, but where are the results?

We've scheduled a conversation about measuring the impact of these services, so it will be interesting to see what the company claims as value derived from the partnership.

As part of this social media "campaign," I had to sit for an on-camera interview in preparation for the report's launch a few weeks ago. Even though I've gone through media training a few times, it was still a very anxiety-inducing experience.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marcus, so great to see your blog! And I think it's terrific that you're dipping your toes in the social media space, both as a blogger and with spreading your company's good work online. I will say anecdotally that I have seen news about your company's citizenship reports popping up everywhere - so from my perspective, it seems like you're making waves. It will be interesting to see how well you and the social media agency you've hired can quantify the return you're seeing, if any. I'd love to see that as a blog post!