Telstra is an Australian telecom company, providing mobile, phone, internet and TV data services.
They have asked their employees this question:
[flv:http://typednotes.com/library/flv/tel-sm.flv /library/flv/p/tel-sem.jpg 600 400]
This Australian giant is, however, leading the world in training staff in how to engage in social media, thus acknowledging its importance and seeing it as not a passing trend. Rather, it is training all 40,000+ staff in how to engage in social media and – very significantly – setting out the ground rules and a code of practice for employees. Training is mandatory and a formalised policy of “3Rs” – responsibility, respect and representation has been instituted.[flv:http://typednotes.com/library/flv/tel-3r.flv tel-3r.jpg 600 400]
They have created a YouTube video to explain: The company has taken another bold move – in the interests of transparency – and published the social media training guide online, so that anyone can check it out, learn and critique. The guide starts with the basics – explaining the platforms, through to addressing more complex issues such as if an employee blogs and is critical of the company.
The guide is here:
“while this communications environment has risks for corporate entities and individuals alike, we believe that with the right training and policy support the potential benefits far outweigh the risks … We have decided to open up this course to the scrutiny and feedback of the ‘outside world’ as it may assist other organisations and help raise the level of awareness about social media with staff.”
There will be many commentators who will be critical of this move. I think is is very smart and, for the first time, see a a major organisation being proactive in embracing social media.
Update 18.12.09 – 11.14
A tweet from Twitter by Innocent Drinks seems to have lost sight that the message is everything – and something said in jest can be read otherwise.
Rod Geoghegan works with Marketing Services Agencies, Tech Start-ups and Professional Services Firms to plan and deliver growth.
He is Founding Partner at Metropolis Partners