The struggle of a Communication Professional

The struggle of a Communication Professional

Perhaps one of the toughest challenges I faced when I started my first job as a Communication Coordinator was convincing the organization the importance of social media. I think this is an issue many people in our field might initially face as a lot of employers still do not see the potential in online communication.

First, the department I worked for was the Youth Directorate. Second, there was no sign of any social media platforms. Do you see the humor in this? The first task on the job was to alert ‘the youth’ about the upcoming Outstanding Youth Achievement Awards. My first reaction was to use Facebook, but my boss was quick to say “no we have always used email and it seems to work fine”. Okay, well “fine” isn’t good nor measurable. So I began to implement a social media strategy.

My boss did eventually allow me to set up a Facebook page and I was able to get in touch with ‘the youth’. However, don’t even get me started on Twitter; my boss flat out denied my request multiple times, but when we didn’t see enough nominations I set up a Twitter account. Initially, I did go against his word, but I felt that it was my job to spread the message and by not having Twitter I was not properly doing my job. So it is tough to decide when and where to draw the line between what your boss says and doing your job.

Usually, the organization would receive about four nominations but after I implemented a social media strategy (upon resistance) we received a total of 14 nominations. Now, that may not seem like a whole lot, but it was over double the usual amount. Thus, to get to my point, social media engagement may not always be easy to measure, but in this case, the number of nominations spoke for the effectiveness of social media.

I have found with most of the jobs I have worked at had no idea why social media even mattered. Yes, organizations are beginning to a become a lot more tech-savvy and are starting to accept it’s usefulness. However, that does not mean that you won’t face resistance or even be questioned if what you are doing is working.

Luckily for us, we are trained to do this. So, know your objective and start from there!

 

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4 thoughts on “The struggle of a Communication Professional

  1. I was in a similar situation at my summer job last year. One of the reasons they hired me was so that I could help attract young people to the organization via social media. I find that many employers outside of the millennial generation still aren’t familiar with social media, so it can be kind of flattering when they believe you can help increase their audience and maybe even teach them a thing or two!

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  2. I read a blog post the other day that mentioned how the previous generation thinks that our generation is lazy and obsessed with social media. I mused to myself that social media is changing the face of communication to our generation the same way that TV and radio changed communication in theirs. Your post was a very good illustration of that philosophy.

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  3. I relate very well to your situation! Most organizations don’t know the value of social media or in my case the use for multiple types, until they begin using them.
    A couple of years ago when I was working for an NGO based in India I had requested my boss to create a Instagram and Twitter account for the organization. In the beginning he flat out denied stating that Facebook was getting enough interaction! It took me a while to convince him that we could attract different audience’s through different mediums and eventually he did come around. I didn’t stick around for long after we starting using Instagram and Twitter, but I spoke to him 3 months ago and he told me that donations have been increasing at a rate of 18% every year, whereas for the 10 years prior it was at 6%. He mentioned that Twitter and Instagram were targeting a younger generation, and they have been the highest donators.

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  4. I love this post! Most of the organizations I’ve worked for have social media, but don’t fully understand what it is capable of. But, like to said, we’re trained on social media. It’s in our blood, and it’s our responsibility to educate people on the power it has.

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