A reasonable portion of our work in any given year is commissioned by non-Comms people, who want to develop their skills and confidence in using social media.
Demand has come from the UK public sector, specifically central Government policy teams, and the NHS. It’s also evident among much larger private sector clients, who employ teams of people around the world in public-facing but non-Comms roles.
Reflecting on a couple of recent projects, it is not a pretty picture. At best nothing has moved forward in the past few years, and among the public sector organisations we work with, things have regressed.
In the slavish pursuit of digital marketing goals, many comms teams have failed to support their colleagues in the use of social media. Staff social media policies are vague and unhelpful, if they exist at all.
There is no acknowledgement of the real and valuable relationships and influence that people working on the front line of policy and operations have with customers and users.
Comms teams tell me they are under resourced and under funded. But these are exactly the reasons to support their colleagues’ use of social media: to build capacity and reduce the organisation’s reliance on a handful of corporate channels.
Whether your Comms team is 2 people or 200, your priority has got to be building digital communications capacity across the business, in a meaningful and practical way.
Don’t wait for a channel strategy or a policy on this – just get on and train, support, cajole. Because your colleagues are already using social media and they need your help.