Thursday, April 02, 2009

It’s All a Matter of "Common Sense"

Part II of an Interview with Symantec’s Cory Edwards

Do the social media present risks for Symantec? What are best practices to keep in mind, as companies scale up? Senior Vice President Corporate Communications, Cory Edwards, offers answers in Part II, the conclusion of this interview [Part I].

Q: Symantec is in the business of managing and securing information. With that in mind, do you believe the social media present any risks to security or privacy?

A: Sure they do. But you can make the same argument for most every other online medium. Whether you’re using email, IM, Twitter, a blog or simply interacting on a discussion board, you need to ensure that you’re acting with common sense and following security best practices.

Q: Given that many companies are in the pilot program phase of using social media, what are some of the best practices they should keep in mind as they scale up?

A: There are volumes of books written on this, but here are five practices that I would like to have heard as we first jumped into social media:

• Educate appropriate teams internally. We’ve created numerous trainings for our teams to bring them up to speed on what all these newfangled social media are and how to use them. Right now we’re doing something that I think is particularly fun—a series of informal Lunch-n-Learns where we take a particular medium and just dive in using an on-screen demo and group discussion while people eat their lunches.

• Create a plan but don’t squash the grassroots efforts. As social media programs become more and more formalized, you are going to, of course, identify specific objectives for what you’re doing. That’s a given, but don’t let a rigid new program replace the genius of individual grassroots campaigns. Heck, those grassroots efforts can be looked at as a sort of incubator for future more formalized programs.

• Listen before you speak. This new generation of social media is all about conversation and there can be no successful one-way conversations, so companies need to be sure that they’re establishing a good monitoring program to see both what is being said about their company and solutions, but also what is being said about the industry and trends in general. A good monitoring program leads to engagement.

• Nothing replaces experience. You can read and read and read about social media and how to use it for personal and business purposes, but at the end of the day, nothing beats creating your own accounts and exploring this growing world on your own.

Technorati Tags: Makovsky + Company, Symantec, security, social media, Privacy, software company, Cory Edwards, Corporate Communications, blogosphere, email, Twitter, YouTube, business, communications, public relations


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