I am going to state this up front. I do not think highly of Edelman Digital. They want to be thought leaders in the Social Space and I don’t find their thoughts much more than self serving. I had a bit of a disagreement with Michael Brito on his blog post about Social Business. Edelman is pushing the term ‘Social Business’ in a way that is skewed towards their business.
Let’s start with Michael claiming what all the people say in all these Twitter chats focused on how business should run.
DUH! Well of course Edelman knows if the CEO get’s hooked the purse opens.
In fact I discussed a while ago why Social is not in the C-Suite and btw it still isn’t. Not until CEO’s see their bonuses being impacted in a meaningful way. I told Michael that businesses have always been social. Michael didn’t agree.
And when I responded back with the cold hard truth that unless everyone benefits from better communication and goals they won’t do anything the CEO spouts. They will do what maximizes their paycheck nothing more and nothing less. Of course when I responded Michael didn’t respond back which isn’t very social is it? Because today’s business problems are the same as yesterdays. Tools change. Systems change. But they are the same problems in a different form.
Businesses have been striving to improve for years. The CEO’s LOVE to jump on board the ‘Idea of the Day’. In the 90’s there was ISO9000 and Six Sigma. In the 2000’s Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing. For communicating we had email, staff meetings, intranets, etc. Today it is Social Business. Which really says nothing to me. Often players come in and make a killing schilling stuff to CEO’s who bite hook line and sinker. So Edelman is fortunate to be in the current space.
If a company approached Edelman and asked about Social Business, if Michael was honest and said “To be truly communicative you will need to ensure all workers have a stake in the profits in a way that truly motivates them. Let’s start with 20% given back to Employees”. How many CEO’s would choose short term vs long term? They would see the hit on earnings as a hit to the short term share price and even their bonus as well as all bonuses for upper management who get paid in stock options. With no loyalty even at the top this is a very hard sell. Long term that decision could propel the business to great heights though. But will the CEO be there still?
But if Edelman leaves that part out they very well might get paid a lot of money to set up systems and platforms to try to make the business more social without any carrot for success. I am not sure what the answer from Edelman would be since Michael didn’t elaborate. And the fact is all businesses don’t have to be ‘Social’ but they do have to be communicative.
My point here is Edelman is selling Social Business so of course their blog posts will be pushing this. Even though businesses have always been social!
Take a step back. There is value in what you read from Edelman employees. But if you really want to be shown ways to improve your intracompany communication you need to find people or an agency that have no platforms or agendas to sell you and can actually objectively guide you with what is best for you. That could mean them choosing an Agency like Edelman if their skill set matches your needs. Or completely different solutions that might not even have the word Social attached. You need to have a choice of all tools and platforms because each business is unique and has their own goals and objectives.
Seek people like Cheryl Burgess from Blue Focus Marketing, or Gini Dietrich at Arment Dietrich who co-Wrote a great book with Geoff Livingston of Razoo called Marketing in the Round. All give great advice on how to improve and galvanize intracompany communication, and external with customers and suppliers. They teach solutions for challenges and are very objective vs biased. Trust me Cheryl is cringing because she loves the term Social Business even if I don’t. But we both have the same viewpoints on communication itself for organizations. Read her posts for ATT’s Networking Exchange Blog And when you read posts on this by Gini Dietrich on Spin Sucks you don’t see her pushing any platforms vs pushing your success.