Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stock up: 7 thoughtful social reads for communications directors

Fall's the time for saving and stocking up, and I've been putting by some good reads for communications directors. Social media's the common theme, but you'll find in this pantry fodder to help you think through everything from staffing to social conversations and publishing to how the top communicator jobs might change.  You might well want to put this post in your own personal online "pantry" for reference--it's packed with good stuff:
  1. Defining roles on your social-media team: I'm working right now with a client whose nonprofit has a social media policy--but no clear lines about who's doing what or how odd situations get handled. So this post resonates with me, and I expect you'll find it useful. It moves you past a policy to real-time, day-to-day practical advice on staffing situations.
  2. And about that new generation of social-media experts you're grooming:  This looooong and thoughtful post might give you new eyes on the junior team members who have their own YouTube channels, blogs and postings--look first for the qualities to appreciate, then at the online video examples shown here. Stick through the end for real insight.
  3. You might want to answer these, yourself: Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker always wows the crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit, and this year--this week--she offered 10 questions Internet executives should ask and answer. I work with clients in every sector, and these questions are universal enough to apply to you. Take this quiz and see where you stand.
  4. If you straddle the worlds of journalism and the communities most important to your organization--and I know you do, I think you'll find useful "Escaping silos and talking to strangers" on Josh Stearns's Groundswell blog. It's about the dance of engagement, news and the roles we play.
  5. Wonder how you're going to manage it all? Chris Brogan's got a lovely, laid-out-plain post on how to set up a social media management center in your organization.  Hint: It's easier than it sounds, and way more logical than you think. 
  6. Have you struggled with why link with competitors, or how far to take collaboration? Then take the time to read TBD.com's Steve Buttry on how you can compete and collaborate at the same time. His current viewpoint's from the tough new world of journalism, but there are many lessons here for all sectors, employers and organizations. It's a mindshift you should be working on.
  7. What will the vice president's role look like? This post gets you to a list of attributes that communications and content management leaders will need in the brave new world of social media--and it'll change, but this one is a good start.  Hand it to your HR person or recruiter (and make sure you can meet these marks, yourself).
Sample away--and I'm always awaiting your reactions. Put your thoughts in the comments and let me know how you're using these approaches.  A hat tip to Georgy Cohen and Joe Bonner for helping me find some of these gems.

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