|Circa 1979 Crocker National Bank AVP|
Companies may take a different approach now that we have "social media," but it is really not very different than the days of lapel pins and/or uniforms.
Weren't we always social? I think so. 40 plus years ago the banking industry dreamed of eliminating tellers by introducing Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), but they soon discovered that customers still like and need to go into a bank office and interact with bank employees and why not have that be a teller, as opposed to a marketer or Vice President. According to Wikipedia: "Tellers are considered a "front line" in the banking business. This is because they are the first people that a customer sees at the bank and are also the people most likely to detect and stop fraudulent transactions in order to prevent losses at a bank." Given this definition you'd think it was a pretty high paying job...but the median income for tellers is about $22,000.
Jay is correct when he concludes that "common sense and good judgment is not the sole property of a department" such as marketing, but I disagree with Jay when he says that "it's just that social media missteps are public," as if news media has not always been public. Jay suggests (I am sure tongue-in-cheek) that companies might consider reading employees' emails or listen in on their phone calls. These two activities have been part of the corporate world for a long time. And when the corporate world was less technically mature, we had mimeograph machines, steno pads, the Recordak machine, microfilm, multi-line phones and employees' memories. I think what Jay might have meant to say is that today's social media missteps are immediate. They were always PUBLIC.
Ernest Hemingway once said: "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." Trust is a two way street and it doesn't take long for an employee or employer to know whether they can trust each other. Think about the lapel pin. Recognizable logos! As soon as the employee is seen in PUBLIC wearing the company pin they are part of the Social Media department. When a company hands the employee the pin or supplies a uniform or logo embroidered polo shirt they have broadened the employee's role to include marketing. The employee's social audience has broadened further than one might imagine.
Last year at BWE10 I heard Jeffrey Hayzlett remark that the "customer owns the brand;" today's board rooms and senior management would do well to remember that every employee really is and always has been part of marketing. I have some great lapel pins to prove it!
|Go ahead click the photo. How many of these companies can you identify?|
Do you have any lapel pins? How about polo shirts? I would love to know what you think...