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Can companies ignore social media?

Last week, the Portuguese Association for Corporate Communication (APCE) held its yearly forum to discuss how important the new online media can be for corporate communication strategies. If proof was needed, the rising popularity of Twitter, Facebook and all sorts of social networks would be enough.

I had to represent the
Technological Plan at the opening session, so I decided to split my presentation in two halves. First, I tried to show how the Technological Plan emerged from the need to address an ever-changing world. Then, I couldn’t resist to argue that the worst mistake companies could make is to block the access of their employees to social networking websites... Companies who do so (and they’re so many!) become blind, deaf and mute towards what goes on on those social media...

To demonstrate my point, I decided to quote two examples:
how Comcast started to use Twitter to innovate in client relationship and how Domino’s Pizza managed to respond to a potentially destructive online video, asking their employees to use social media to restore the company’s name.

Just before the beginning of the session, I decided to share over Twitter what I was planning to say. The answers were immediate, so I asked for other suggestions, besides Comcast and Domino’s Pizza. I believe the response speaks for itself:

Rui Grilo: What's the role of new media in the internal communication strategies? This afternoon in Lisbon - http://www.apce.pt 2:09 PM Apr 28th from Gravity
Rui Grilo: I'll be speaking at the opening session http://apce.pt - a good opportunity to say again: companies, stop blocking social networks! 2:11 PM Apr 28th from Gravity
sherpas: @rgrilo I must give some time to it... someday! It’s a matter of updating knowledge which is so scarce even regarding strategies of conventional media! 2:12 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
ananeves: @rgrilo I’d love to be there, but I’ve just heard about the event through your tweet Sad 2:15 PM Apr 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rgrilo *
MariaSpinola: RT @rgrilo speaking at the opening session http://apce.pt - a good opportunity to say again: companies, stop blocking social networks! 2:16 PM Apr 28th from web
hugodom: Couldn't agree more! RT @rgrilo: http://apce.pt - a good opportunity to say again: companies, stop blocking social networks! 2:16 PM Apr 28th from DestroyTwitter
Rui Grilo: @ananeves It demonstrates that APCE must use new media to promote their events... Winking 2:19 PM Apr 28th from Gravity in reply to ananeves *
sherpas: @rgrilo plenty of newspapers and TVs feel the threat. They can’t prevent the people from speaking freely! 2:19 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
Rui Grilo: @sherpas Absolutely! And if the companies who ignore the new media become blind, deaf and mute in relation to what happens there! 2:21 PM Apr 28th from Gravity in reply to sherpas *
ananeves: @rgrilo yes, it really looks like they should. I hope it’ll be a great event and I’ll be waiting for the tweets from the ones who’ll be there 2:21 PM Apr 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rgrilo *
pgsimoes: VERY WELL RT: @rgrilo: I'll be speaking at http://apce.pt - a good opportunity to say: companies, stop blocking social networks! 2:21 PM Apr 28th from TwitterFox
Rui Grilo: At http://apce.pt forum, I'll quote Comcast http://tinyurl.com/comcast-twt and Domino'sPizza http://tinyurl.com/domino-pq (pt) +suggestions? 2:23 PM Apr 28th from Gravity
ananeves: @rgrilo check out "Naked Pizza puts up Twitter billboard" http://tinyurl.com/cy3oet (via @KursaalTom, @woonyOstend) 2:26 PM Apr 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rgrilo
MariaSpinola: @rgrilo at http://www.twibes.com/group... you’ll find "good & bad" examples 2:27 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
MariaSpinola: @rgrilo Good example: From "Dell Hell" To "Dell That Gets Social Media Listening and Engagement: http://www.dell.com/twitter 2:27 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
MariaSpinola: @rgrilo Another good example: Apple apologizes for Baby Shaker: http://tinyurl.com/czplpe ( see also http://tinyurl.com/crjwh8 ) 2:27 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
ananeves: @rgrilo check also this http://tiny.cc/9ZFVY and look into the comments for more interesting links 2:29 PM Apr 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rgrilo *
MariaSpinola: @rgrilo Bad example: Amazon's Silent Mistake in the Face of a Social-Media Firestorm: http://adage.com/digitalnex... 2:30 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
josebaldino: RT @GoUp to support @rgrilo A good post how social media change the rules of the marketplace. http://migre.me/JNa2:30 PM Apr 28th from web *
sherpas: @rgrilo I’m not an expert, but I understood that 4, 5 or 6 years ago! lol 2:33 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
MariaSpinola: @rgrilo and another example of how to create a “storm” in social networks: http://tinyurl.com/dllffw 2:34 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
joaovc: @rgrilo how about Petrogal? 2:36 PM Apr 28th from Tweetie in reply to rgrilo
Rui Grilo: @ananeves Thank you Ana. 2:38 PM Apr 28th from Gravity in reply to ananeves *
Rui Grilo: Thank you all! @ananeves @sherpas @joaovc @josebaldino @GoUp @MariaSpinola - I managed to include your links in the presentation 2:50 PM Apr 28th from Gravity *
sherpas: @rgrilo "honored"... I feel!!!... I’m not lying!!!... lol 2:53 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to rgrilo *
Rui Grilo: @joaovc I’ve included a link to your article about Blogs e Twitter 2:55 PM Apr 28th from Gravity in reply to joaovc *
Rui Grilo: It’s starting... Happy 2:56 PM Apr 28th from Gravity *

( * my translation to English)


I’d like to thank everybody who gave me their suggestions and opinios. As promised, here is the presentation (in Portuguese). The new slide with the additional suggestions is number 26:

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