Every good, successful team is lead by an effective leader. Part of your organization’s media plan must focus on your team’s structure, even if there are just two members. A social media team is only as knowledgeable and functional as its players…with a leader who delegates responsibility and provides guidance towards achieving objectives and establishing a clear message.
But who should lead?
Do the traditional media skills of a public affairs manager automatically translate to social media savvy? Not if tradition instills fear of change and not if it persists to keep the team from exploring new ideas.
On the other hand, knowledge of new media techniques and comfort using social tools are not necessarily a substitute for experience.
Do you exercise caution and fall behind, or do you act on impulse and trip on your shoelaces? How do you balance the old and the new?
How do you structure your social media team? Who’s the boss?
If we lived in a perfect world the “leader” would accept input from technically skilled team members and take the time to explain why the team will have to go slower on a portion of the plan/project. Realizing that it is NOT a perfect world, I would lean toward putting the technical person in charge if for no other reason IMO it is easier and faster to learn and apply leadership skills.
I think that they both compliment each other, and it would depend on the organization to decide who should be the boss between someone knowledgeable of new media and someone skilled in public affairs. I don’t believe that you can have a successful new media team without both, and one isn’t more important than the other.
To answer the question of “How do you balance the old and the new”, my answer is to embrace change. Don’t be afraid of it. Part of embracing the change is to not act on impulse, but to ponder the idea for a bit –just don’t take too long.
That is how I balance the old with the new.
We work collective among marketing, media and customer outreach, with marketing taking the lead. I think if we start off knowing what we’re trying to do, less time is spent running in circles…which also greatly reduces the chances tripping over our shoelaces.
Here’s some info that might help: According to the Public Sector Social Media Study released a few months ago, Marketing & PR most often lead social media policy, followed by IT. (See slide below from the report).
The benefits of social media cited by survey respondents could be your guide for which areas should manage the function: Increased education of the public, improved access to information and agency promotion top the list of benefits noted in the survey report. (See slide below).
For more on the Public Sector Social Media Study results, check out http://www.marketconnectionsinc.com/socialmedia.
Source: Market Connections, Inc.