Whoah. Wow. Whoah.
We could not keep ourselves from saying these (and repeat them) in class as our professor ‘revealed’ some new social media sites we haven’t known or heard before. Our Communication Trends and Styles (OrCom 152) class has never been this interesting, I can say. It was like being able to explore a secret passage in a deep excavation beyond expectation. Perhaps, we have never thought social media are actually beyond tweets, likes, posts, or comments.
Of all what our professor, Sir Barry, showed our class, the efficiency that the Internet gives a person to organize various social media sites while monitoring every update connected to an organization, celebrity, product, or anything there is impacted me the most. The core of our lesson today was how important image and reputation are to organizations and how new social media impact these nowadays. I usually fail to remember that aside from pleasing target markets and doing PR, organizations should prioritize crafting tactics on how to take over their competitors given the relay of tons of information. Information should be designed to engage to customers in one hand and to provide a defense against competitors in the other.
But then, the bigger issue here becomes how are organizations able to manage image and reputation in one hand and security in the other as they stand atop of social media?
Glass- House Dangers
Ramo says that every nation now, in the context of globalization, is like glass house that is open for other nations to take surveillance on. This is the norm now, for if a nation has to shut itself from globalization, it opts to suffer.
“If your country is open and democratic, then my open and democratic country can see what you are thinking. You can see what we are thinking.”
Similarly, I realized from today’s class that taking good care of your image and reputation entails comparing yourself with others. The sense is like “there is no such thing as good of there is no bad”. Moreover, in the business setting, every business should be ‘good’ all the time. This now implies segregating what should be in the limelight and what should be kept hidden.
There should be no walls anymore that organizations build to protect themselves from their external environment but instead have strategies that will make them protected while giving out more information.
Monitoring your competitors online seems to be an exciting task actually. It’s more interesting because of the fact that the Net is borderless unlike national war zones. Online battlefield is what the Internet is all about for organizations. Information war is now taken into a higher level where catapults, armies, and shields all comprise an organizational image.
Organization X can track all the information they need to have about their competitors and their competitors can do the same. But then, is this scenario gives an organization more of a benefit or more of a threat?
“Positive transparency means more clarity should mean more stability.”
The idea of positive transparency among nation-states is also applicable to organizations. The more information people has about you, the more they get to know you. The more you disclose honest and genuine information, the more likely you can gain public’s trust. The more people trust you, the more you can earn your way to ‘stability’ as an organization.
But then, nothing works one way. Everything surely has its counterpart.
The existence of “negative transparency” is also discussed in the book. Transparency makes one nervous and realize that there is nothing to be complacent about in return. Ramo explicates this:
If your neighbor’s house was transparent and you could watch him polishing his gun collection, would this make you feel nervous or less? What if you just watched him while he watched you?
Information battle makes one, or an organization, alert and prepared than ever at the very least. This is another thing organizations should prioritize: how to be ready at all times given that environmental uncertainties abound. An organization must keep an observing eye to its surroundings and watch its competitors’ every move without being too anxious on their part.
Disclosing too little information in social media is detrimental nowadays for organizations as well giving out too much. How the battle will be won over relies on how companies develop strategies on how they can deliver just the right amount of information to its public, allow customers to be brand ambassadors themselves and let the web pages and blogs do the talking for them. To thrive as an organization may mean being Machiavellian of some sort but keeping the organization’s values intact and adhering to corporate ethical principles will surely lead organizations as glass houses the security they long to have.