If you are a knowledge worker – whether a marketer, a programmer, a blogger, any other form of writer, a critic, a human resources professional, support personnel for a company, or even a cook – you have one purpose inextricably tied to all your public activities, on and off the web.
You are here to be awesome on your clients behalf.
Your better understanding of social media, traditional media, and the communicative web will help you be awesome. It’s really not that hard; You Cannot Suck. How you achieve this is where it gets complex – but it’s not complicated out of intention, it’s usually complicated because of lack of savvy and situational awareness.
Doing better work, in any position, requires that we recognize just how in-public our lives are, and get used to living that way – or making adjustments in our behavior to allow only what should be public to be public.
Awesomeness includes, but is not limited to:
- Making positive comments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social areas about your employer, your clients, and yourself.
- Adding perspective where it can be helpful, through status updates, blog posts, and links to other helpful perspectives.
- Helping people by providing information
- Helping people by passing along useful tools
- Making connections between people in your network, and others who can help
- Not always being the most important person in the room
- Allowing others to do what they do best
- Recognizing awesomeness when you find it
… And just all around being a good, helpful person.
- Expressed angst
- Passive aggression
… and all other forms of public nastiness you wouldn’t want to see on a first date (or a fiftieth).
If you are a knowledge worker tasked with communicating, you must acknowledge that;
- … living in public is not for everyone.
- … your best work can still be misinterpreted.
- … your employers deserve your best at all times.
- … your employers need to provide you with clarity of purpose and message.
- … only you can set your own limits (awesomeness requires that they are not beyond your grasp).
- … you must set goals which are achievable by your own level of awesomeness (which will, and should, grow over time).
- … you should avoid promises on behalf of others without prior confirmation or consultation.
If you are an employer of knowledge workers, be aware:
- Not everyone is capable of living in public.
- Those not willing or capable of living in public will do better work when they are allowed their privacy.
- Media savvy workers do better work – providing training is a good idea.
- It’s bad form to make promises on behalf of others without prior confirmation or consultation.
- People will make mistakes. To deal with mistakes, first educate, then punish, then eliminate – in that order.
- Not all mistakes you perceive will be received as such by the public, or even the clients on behalf of whom your employees are being awesome.
- Not all successes you perceive will be received as such by the public, or even by the clients on behalf of whom your employees are being awesome.
Social Media is constantly evolving.
As such, by the time this policy is published, it’ll already be outdated. So, a challenge. Write your own personal social media awesomeness policy. Keep it people-focused. Think about the human costs of your holistic publicity. Let your people – whether clients, employees, or employers – shine with awesomeness in the way that’s best for them to do so.
What would you add?
(Obligatory note; this is not a lawyer-approved document. It’s intended to make you think. Did it achieve its goal?)