Last week I went to a social media learning/networking event sponsored by the Society for Marketing Professional Services, which was attended by marketers in the Architecture/Engineering industry – and me. The event (as all good ones should be) was followed by a happy hour, where I talked to the membership coordinator about what the benefits of joining were. She rattled off a solid list – learn best practices from marketers, meet marketers, etc. – but when I asked her what the benefits of joining were for me, the HR guy, as I’ve branded myself, she paused and said that she’d have to think about it.
I came up with an answer for myself. This whole social media thing has made it clear to me how important it is to get out of your comfort zone and wear multiple hats, so becoming the first HR person in a marketing organization can only help me to gain new perspectives and share my point of view with others.
When talking social media, as an HR guy, you gotta jump in and be a marketer – after all, isn’t HR just internal marketing? You should play the “employer branding” card and get your name out there on the PR front, strategize and think about how your campaign could bring in new business, technically work things on the IT front, develop a design of a Facebook page and Twitter background to be aesthetically pleasing, write what’s going to go out on your channels…OK, I could go on, but you get the point. You can’t just do one thing – you gotta dabble in it all. And work with others that can do the same so you’re not floundering by yourself.
The best example of this is writing a set of social media guidelines. It combines the writing of HR policies with a knowledge of social media usage and an understanding of an employee population. And it needed the marketing/PR push to make sure people read the guidlines and understand them without being turned off by the whole thing. If that’s not multiple hats, then I don’t know what is.
And incidentally, this is the exact topic that we’re talking about at the Social Media Club Breakfast in DC next Tuesday. So if you’re in the area, come out to Busboys & Poets on Tuesday 7/20 to see me and my colleagues/friends speak on the panel about crossing the departmental boundaries and working as a team to put together an effective campaign for social media! Should be a rockin’ time, so come out!