I felt it best to answer Anjuan’s statement of, ” CIO’s Should Own The Corporate Social Media Policy? ” here rather than on FaceBook, I’ve added a few other comments to. Anjuan touches on so many nerve endings in his article that I couldn’t bring myself to keep it short. : )
On the surface it would appear the CIO is a great candidate to be the owner of a Social Media Policy, but only on the surface. A few of the questions to be asking before assigning this responsibility are, who is responsible for crafting the consistent message of the organization? How is that message integrated into all communications, and who is responsible for executing it? Who is responsible for the metrics and tracking them? Who is responsible for the role of listening to who is saying what about an organization? I suspect not the CIO.
The CIO does own the Acceptable use or Internet Policy, so a Social Media Policy really isn’t necassary. This policy may be touched upon in a Non-Disclosure Agreement and or Code of Conduct document all staff must sign when hired. But not likely. Begging the question, isn’t that an HR responsibility?
Anyway, In the example of a Virus entering the organizations network via Facebook or any other Internet source is not a Social Media Policy issue. It’s not even an Internet Policy or Acceptable use policy issue, that would be assigning responsibility to the wrong place. It is however a security issue which is handled by the I.T. Manager’s Security & Network Administrator’s. It is already assumed that these virus attacks are going to happen and are common place anyway, the CIO only wants to know that the I.T. Manager’s Security & Network personal are looking after this problem before it happens. (That’s an assumption of course)
The CIO should however, recommend to Upper Executives a Social Media Team be formed and that they are in compliance with the Internet & Acceptable Use Policy. This team resides within the Marketing / PR Departments, not I.T. The Policy Monitoring should be entrusted to all Executives / Managers / Department Heads. To be completely honest, as a former CIO I wouldn’t want that job for all the tea in China; I am more interested in more high level issues, like where technology is going, how and what do we use it for, how does technology help us meet company goals, not worrying about violator’s & monitoring chatter.
The Tools: Again, as long as all departments and or staff follows the Internet & Acceptable Use Policy, I don’t care which tools they use. The department head’s might care, but I don’t. The role of the CIO is not to police or babysit, it is to ensure that the IT department is doing what the organization needs purely from a technical perspective. HR can monitor the Internet Policy as it’s probably packaged with the NDA and Code of Conduct anyway. I.T. will have monitoring software that can spit out reports for HR if needed, HR can then deal with the violating staff person and inform the head of I.T., NOT the CIO, unless a crime has been committed.
When it’s all said and done, the CIO is responsible for the technology needs of the organization and to see that technology align’s with the organizations business processes (needs). He is also tasked with educating executives and the organization as a whole on new technologies that may be of value or are being implemented. They may make a direct improvement to the bottom line or automate an existing process. Assuming the CIO get’s involved in the details or the tasks his Manger’s should be handling would be poor use of the CIO’s time.
The Internet Policy & Acceptable Use Policy will already have covered the Social Media aspect of the Internet, Social Media is not new, Instant Messaging and Blogging forced organizations to address these types environments years ago. What you say on the Internet could be a violation of the company Code of Conduct, NDA, Internet & Acceptable Use Policy.
I hope this helps, and I hope it makes you ask more questions, I love a good debate now and then, some of us will agree and many
will disagree but that’s OK. Thanks Anjuan for getting it started. Anjuan, you are on the right track, but remember, Social Media
is about giving up control and embracing ambiguity and sharing. Social Media is also the new CRM (Customer Relations Management). A seperate Policy for Social Media will be confusing and overlap the above mentioned Policy’s.
So, should CIO’s own the corporate Social Media Policy? My answer is….No.
There are two questions that come up in almost every conversation I have on the topic of Social Media here in my local community, not online but offline. It never fails, these are the most asked questions I face.
1.) How Do I make or Implement Social Media in my Business?
2.) How do I make money and get the appropriate ROI using Social Media?
That’s more than two questions and alot to unpack, but that’s how they end up coming to me.
Keep in mind, I live in Canada and we typically are not early adopters on most things, we are at least 6 – 18 months behind our neighboring domestic USA. But that’s another story. We tend to be behind on what these new technology tools and movements are, what they mean and how to integrate them into our businesses and lives. So when the questions come from the executives the department leaders don’t have the right answer and worse yet they try to figure it out on their own, using old metrics and methods to generate some kind of understanding.
These two questions are hard to answer over a coffee or even in a board room, bringing in someone who has an understanding and is actually involved or an early adopter having success with Social Media to walk through some very important questions. Success doesn’t have to mean they are making millions, it means they have done many things right putting them in a position to monetize their passion or existing business.
There is many a debate on where Social Media fits in an organization, the Marketing / PR Department, HR, IT Department and so on. I would suggest to you it fits into all three. The Marketing / PR Department will most likely be the message creator for consistency purposes and also would hand off the Social Media chores to the Online Community Communications person. The HR Department would be involved for NDA purposes and orientation of new and existing staff, this would include the Internet Policy that the I.T. Department most likely helped develop. I.T. supports and ensures up time for all aspects of Information Technology needs.
I am assuming here that Information Technology was implemented properly in the organization, which means, I.T. is in line with business needs and processes for the purpose of obtaining the goals of the organizations business plan. As you can see there is much that needs to be discussed before you venture out into this environment without building a team to discuss how you will proceed. The key is to bring someone in your area that is in the know and can help your team by ensuring the right questions are being asked and that they are getting answered. This person is much like a Project Manager with a difference, he/she is a lighthouse, a beacon and a sounding board. In the end it is up to the organization to decide what and how they want to proceed.
The point of this article is not lay out what you have to do step by step, but to prompt you to bring in someone who is knowledgeable, who is respected and recognized as someone in Social Media circles that can truly assist your organization. Someone with a strong background in technology and online marketing. This person can help you build the appropriate team, that will go a long way to ensuring success in developing your Social Media Strategy.
If you are in need of help, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org