It’s time for another Frontline chat – we’re spoiling you with two this week. We’re chewing over social media likes, dislikes and predictions with Leoni Atkins of Logica.
NAME: Leoni Atkins
COMPANY: Logica, now part of CGI
ROLE: Global Internal Channels Manager
TWITTER HANDLE: @creativekitty
FACEBOOK URL: www.facebook.com/leoni.atkins
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I manage the global communications channels for a business and technology services company called Logica (now part of CGI). This includes news content for the intranet, email communications, audio webcasts and internal marketing campaigns. I have nearly 10 years experience of working in internal communications – mainly in the financial and technology industries – and I have a BA in Print Journalism from the University of Westminster.
What do you like about social media?
Instant reaction to stories, whether they’re political, current affairs or celebrity. It was fascinating to watch the Olympics coverage and follow feedback on Twitter at the same time. It’s a fantastic tool for really gauging national and international opinion to events.
Personality – some of the best profiles of public figures are really authentic as they illustrate their tone of voice and interests. You can pretty much tell when a profile is managed by a PR company or when it’s being managed by the individual.
Learning – I was always the geek at school that loved to learn and asked for extra projects. That’s why I love Twitter – the randomness of the knowledge that’s shared is wonderful. It’s home to many pearls of trivia.
What don’t you like about social media?
This is a bit of a double edged sword – but speed. We’re all in such a hurry to be the first to share a news story – and when I say ‘we’ I mean everyone from news programmes and media organisations to Joe Bloggs working in an office – to be the first one of our friends, or the first publication or programme to report a news story that due diligence around checking the facts of a story seem to get a bit lost sometimes.
Do you have any social media tips you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Be yourself, establish exactly what you want to do and share before you create an account, and lastly take a look at all of the tools around and choose the one that best fits your overall strategy. The use of social media in internal communications is still something that’s being debated and ‘take up’ is slower than in external communications. Nevertheless, all of the above still apply whether it’s for external or internal channels.
Usually the biggest obstacles to implementing social tools for employees is cold feet from management. There are the usual fears around employees wasting time on these tools or saying things they shouldn’t be, rather than working. It’s up to you to illustrate the benefits of social tools in an organisation (collaboration, eliminating duplication of processes, sharing best practices) and to bring some ‘common sense’ to the argument. Employees don’t need Facebook or Twitter or Instagram to waste time at work (water coolers anyone?), likewise tools such as email, telephone or (gasp) face to face conversations can also be used to make potentially negative statements.
Where do you think social media is going? Do you have any predictions?
I think as the challenges of globalisation and emerging markets in the economy increase, many enterprise organisations will start to see it’s necessary for their employees to have access to social and collaboration tools to get their work done. So we’ll start to see a lot more companies taking advantage of these platforms. For specific social networking sites…I think Facebook has an extremely challenging few years ahead of it. If it doesn’t take control of these issues now, it might become the My Space of the future.