"The days of controlling the message is over," says Steve Crescenzo. "You might as well join the program."
Government agencies need to get over their fear of social media, Crescenzo told NAGC members at the opening general session in Albuquerque. The CEO of Crescenzo Communications says the main reason they don't is because leaders of the agencies are "afraid of losing control of the conversation."
With so many people able to publish online and no gatekeepers to control their content, the message is being controlled by outside forces, he says. Government needs to learn the new media being and use it to convey their messages and build public trust.
Great examples of agencies who are using social media are the TSA blog "Evolution of Security," the U.S. Census Bureau's daily podcast, and the "All Hands News" from the U.S. Navy.
Social media only works if it meets the following criteria, he says:
1. It must serve a purpose for the organization;
2. You have to fill the “entertain expectations” – especially for podcasts and blogs;
3. Communicators need to be involved in the creation of the content;
4. You need to be coaches, not just “Public Affairs Speicalists;” and
5. You must allow others into the conversation…even if you’re secretly controlling it.
For those of you in Albuquerque, tell us what you thought of Steve's presentation. Did he hit the mark? Will you be taking his advice and start adopting social media?