Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting in the flow (chart) of social media

"But what if someone posts something bad about us?"

Sound familiar? If you've had those internal discussions about social media, it should have come up a few times in your organization. Here's the thing, it's often up to you, the intrepid PR pro to navigate, write, plan, respond, and ultimately stick your neck out when things go screwy or even when things go well.

So, how do you get in the flow? Hopefully, you've thought about a plan for appropriate organizational responses and reactions. Maybe you've considered putting those down on paper or perhaps even a full-blown step-by-step plan for situations. Whatever your status, you should at least have some kind of mechanism to guide you in your listening and responding through social media.

I came across a couple of interesting examples of flowcharts that illustrate processes for managing scenarios.

The Balcom Agency's Social Media Response Flowchart (thanks Chip Hanna) which is simply an outline that they can use to build on deeper for clients depending on specific needs:

Another more complex version is from concept illustration guru, David Armano, who shared a Community Management Scenario Map through a recent post:

(Photo: David Armano via Flickr)

Both of these flowcharts have three very important things in common:
  1. They require someone who can anticipate issues.
  2. They require situational awareness.
  3. They reveal that sometimes one's best approach is to leave it alone.
PR professionals must constantly delve, discover, and determine next steps if we're to deliver on the promise of effective communication for organizational guidance which, if not explicitly in our job descriptions, is certainly in the subtext.

Are you a PR pro with a plan? How do you decide organizational/client responses? Are you in the flow?