I’m constantly asked “how did you convince your management to let you do this stuff?”
That’s when I get a little sheepish, because my management has been pushing me for at least two years, not the other way around (have I told you the story of how, two years ago, our web team told our Deputy Administrator no, he shouldn’t do a blog?).
But I do get to talk to groups of managers around EPA and elsewhere to help them understand why they should, at minimum, be learning about social media.
Two key points when talking to managers:
- Focus on mission. Managers have a job to do. Help them understand you’re not pushing for a cool toy, but rather for them to incorporate useful tools into how they achieve their mission.
- Be clear this is a culture change, not a tech issue. We’re changing how we trust employees, how we invite the public into the conversation, and the way we write. All the emotions normally associated with change apply here: fear, confusion, wariness, excitement, anticipation, worry about doing it “wrong.” People will make mistakes, and you must be up front about that. But the benefits far outweigh the occasional mishap.
And here are some tools I use:
- The presentation I use when briefing EPA mgr groups about social media. Feel free to use any of it. You can even download it from that site and edit it.
- Blog post from Marie Ulysse of the Social Media Subcouncil: “Making the transition from “filtering” communication to engaging in the “open” arena of social media may seem like a daunting task for some organizations. However, with some preparation and the “good ole” power of persuasion the transition can be positive and valuable …”
- I also like two engaging videos that either I ask them to watch ahead of time, or show them during the presentation:
Information R/evolution: discusses and demonstrates how the way we think about information is changing. I especially like this one because it doesn’t rely on specialized knowledge
Did you Know? Current version is 3.0. Provides several facts about how the world is changing, esp. online. Some folks still prefer version 2.0, although the stats are now a little outdated
Also good is The Machine is Us/ing Us, but I don’t think it’s as useful unless you know some technical info like what RSS is.
What tools do you use when talking social media to managers?