I had the pleasure of talking to the Indianapolis Public Relations Society yesterday about the evolution of technology. The concept of the presentation is to shed light on the ever-changing landscape of communication. How is technology changing the way we communicate? How are WE (as communication experts) transitioning into the new age? Are we allowing for a paradigm shift?

The people attending the presentation are stoic figures in the public relations community in Indianapolis and while talking with them I realized three important principles to implementing social media into your organization.

Embracing. Educating. Empowering.

Embracing: The first step in implementing a social media strategy for your business is to embrace the concept of communication in the online environment. It is simple. It means you recognize the change that is transforming the way millions of people communicate on a daily basis. As a brand, you are embracing social media as a way to create a marketing message and tell a story to thousands of potential clients. You do not need to be particulary comfortable with the notion of open communication but you DO need to understand the concept of implement a strategy into your business.

Educating: Once you have embraced the concept of using social media as a communication platform.. it is important to educate yourself and your staff in the philosophy and practical use of the platforms. Whether you are debating on using tools like Twitter or Facebook it is important to educate yourself in the simple and complex workings of the social media world.

The first step in education? Listening. Listen to what people are saying on the Internet about your company, product, or industry. By listening to the masses you will be able to adapt yourself to the world of online communication.  There are also great seminars and learning environments to immerse yourself into.. every city has them… search and you will find.

Empowering: After embracing the tool and educating yourself (and your team) on strategy and usage it is time to empower the actual implementation of a social media strategy. This could mean with money, time, and other resources. Use the strategy plan you have written (or had written from an outside firm) and empower your team to use the tools.

Remeber that pig headed discipline always wins out in the long run. Empower yourself to have the discipline to stick with the strategy you have crated whether it surrounds blogging or a use of a social network.

This is just the start to great journey that is unfolding in front of us. Use the Internet to communicate (both internally and externally). I think you could be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

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