During the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many executives about New/Social Media. The most common comment that I receive goes something like this:
“My customers don’t use social networking, social media, etc…”
The problem with words such as “social,” “networking,” “community,” etc… is that they mess with an executive’s core beliefs–the building blocks to understanding. Core beliefs form the origins of our “Blink” moments. Core beliefs are so deeply embedded into our subconsciousness, that we never question them, and attacking them threatens our very understanding of the world…an act that flirts with taboo.
Let’s take a look at most executive’s core media beliefs:
- Mass Media is the pinnacle of message-delivery.
- Getting mentioned in Wall Street Journal is the bees knees.
- Any channel that a company owns (website, blog, podcast, online video) is less valuable than access that can be purchased (advertising) or earned (public relations) through the mass media.
- Any phrase with the word “social” in it can’t be considered for serious business
- “Networking” is for individuals and “social networking” is an oxymoron.
- “Community” is for for families, neighborhoods, and religious organizations…not businesses.
Our core beliefs form the most sacred of our understandings. They take a long time to develop and even longer to change. We who believe in the power of New/Social media need to be sensitive to them. Without understanding the source of executive resistance, we’ll continue to battle with “fight or flight” caveman responses.
Photo Credit: Ken Lund