Through tCn – the Construction Network [a client] – I was approached by Brian Moone of Mace Business School to contribute an article on Web 2.0 for its house magazine School Report.
This has just been published (PDF here), and is accompanied by a Q&A feature in which Catherine Button, Mace’s head of marketing and communications, strongly endorses the value of online social networking. Any architecture, engineering or construction business wondering whether it should incorporate social media into its corporate communication should read her views (as well as mine!) – it is gratifying to see a construction business adopting such a positive attitude to Web 2.0.
I particularly liked Catherine’s points about employee use of online networks:
“There appears to be a push to create more and more regulation for what employees can and cannot access during work time, and many businesses seem to wish to “gag” their staff through increased policy and guidelines. People talk, and will always talk, the rise of social media just means it is more visible. They were always saying what they are saying; it’s just now you can see it, which for brand and communications specialists is a gift not something to be frightened of. It is now much easier to understand, monitor and manage your brand’s reputation.
“My advice would be to be clear as to the purpose of social media in your organisation, and ask your employees to be responsible for what they write. Give advice on how to protect their personal online profile, and if they blog or use open communications channels such as Twitter, request that they post a disclaimer…. Ultimately, it’s about honesty, from the employee and the employer. We believe that we have some of the best and most engaging people at Mace. The fact that they are using social networking is something we should encourage, not be afraid of.”
I will be interested to see what reaction (if any) these articles get in the next issue of School Report (and you can always add your own comment here, of course)