Monday, December 26, 2011

SMRT Sets-Up Twitter Account

It was interesting for me to learn that SMRT only just realized the importance of using Social Media to not only communicate with its stakeholders, but also as an effective platform to communicate crisis information. I expected this of government institutions where the need to control information outweighed the need to keep stakeholders informed. But, frankly, not from a “private” institution that profit-driven.

As a crisis communicator, I acknowledge that SMRT has taken a step in the right direction, but having a Twitter account is not being social media savvy. Like SMRT, many corporations establish impromptu social media presence when a crisis strikes. They then hope that this new social media will be the cure-all only to be disappointed.

What corporations fail to realize is that Social Media true value is the corporations' “relationship” with the stakeholders. Thus, similar to real life relationships, it takes time and effort to build.  And, unless a corporation has spent time to build a social media relationship with its stakeholders, any impromptu social media presence will only be seen as another form of propaganda and will be ineffective in a crisis.

The key lesson here for crisis communicators is this. Social Media's impact on the information environment is undeniable. Corporations must therefore start building their social media relationship with their stakeholders before a crisis.

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