Yes, in some ways social media has changed everything. It’s reduced the media cycle to a nanosecond. It’s turned the general public into a watchdog for ethics and opinions. It’s handed power to the customer and the voter.
Even older stakeholders are now part of the digital age and if they’re not, old media follows new media anyway. Opinions are affected, if not shaped by social media. It has changed the way people receive, digest and are influenced by information.
So yes, social media has changed everything, and there’s definitely no harm in having a young person who grew up in that environment in your corporate affairs team to help you navigate it.
But in some ways, social media has also changed nothing.
The need to serve your customers and understand your stakeholders hasn’t changed. The need to be targeted in your actions and messaging hasn’t changed. And the need for strategic thought, planning and risk management hasn’t changed either.
At Anna Whitlam People, we see concerns about social media in both our clients and candidates. Some clients fear their teams aren’t up with the latest developments in social media. And some candidates think that their lack of hands-on social media skills will rule them out of consideration for senior roles.
However, many other clients understand that the development and execution of social media strategy requires experience and wisdom as well as youth.
They see a need for all three – but they recognise they may not always get them in the same person.