Social Media @ Work, rest and play

Click on the image to view the film on the Red Sky Vision site

This afternoon a film called Social Media @ Work was released online by content creators Red Sky Vision and change consultancy Able and How. I wasn’t sure what to expect, however having watched the trailer earlier in the week, I decided to watch it and wasn’t disappointed.

During 13 minutes it manages to cram a plethora of insights and stats to create a technicolour romp through the world of communications with views from a variety of people working within the industry. These include in-house and agency-side professionals, many of whom I follow on Twitter and have read/heard from in the past (you can watch the film and see the list of contributors here).

The film highlights the impact that social media is having in the workplace and offers the view that organisations who “choose to ignore it” are failing to recognise the benefits that social media can bring. The film also says these firms are falling behind the businesses where more innovative communication is embraced.

Social Media @ Work looks at how the world of comms has changed, where it is at now and a glimpse into the future. It peppered research from Melcrum throughout and I found myself making various notes as I was watching. Rebecca Richmond, who I met at a Melcrum event last month revealed that 52 per cent of internal communications professionals suggest that their businesses don’t have a social media strategy. That statistic doesn’t surprise me, however a quote from Robin Block, Director, Red Sky Vision, did. He says: “Businesses are dragging their feet in adopting new approaches to internal communications. Only seven per cent of business users admit to being able to integrate social media into their wider marketing strategy. So, whole generations of staff are side stepping the organisation to communicate with clients, colleagues, contractors and their peers.”

Blurring the lines
Other quotes I noted were: “There needs to be some thought before the toys are got out to play with”, “social content is the lifeblood of an organisation and of an intranet”, “technology has blurred the lines between internal and external communications.”

David Ferrabee, MD at Able and How revealed the blurred lines, saying: “A significant 74 per cent of business social media users believe that the technology has blurred the lines between internal and external communication. Therefore, it’s important for companies and their staff to be able to reconcile what happens inside the organisation with what happens everywhere else. Only then will executives be able to recognise the changes taking place and begin to act on them.” Wise words indeed. But how big is the disconnect between how employees act and communicate outside of their workplace and how their internal comms are being delivered?

To me, Social Media @ Work is a call to action for comms professionals – a coffee-smelling moment if you will. The use and popularity of social media is well documented and still growing, but inside companies it is an untapped resource. The call to action from the people in the film is for comms professionals to recognise the need to start taking steps today to close the conversational divide between the use of social media and the way employees communicate outside work and internally.

Well done to all those involved in this thought-provoking project, I wonder how long it will be before the benefits of peer-to-peer communication and social networks are truly recognised and adopted to become part of business as usual, both inside and outside of organisations.

If you’d like to follow the conversations sparked by this film on Twitter, the hashtag is #worksm and the contributors include @redskyvision @corpcommsmag @richardDennison @jangles @ableandhow.

Post author: Rachel

Update: I’ve discovered there are many more comments on this film online. Check them out here.


  1. Rachel,
    Great write up. And thanks for watching. The challenge with this stuff, as you know, is that there’s no single ‘best practice’ template that works everywhere. So companies have to make decisions… and do some things that may just be unique to their company. And that makes people nervous.
    Hopefully the film will make its way to more people who (unlike you and I) do not think about these things very much. And it will give them pause… Maybe even get them to think about it more.
    Thanks again for your support.

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks for your comment David.

    I think it’s a good conversation starter. It is great to have another solid example, backed by stats, that professional communicators can have to hand in case they need it in order to make/influence decisions on how communication happens around their organisation and beyond.

  3. Lorena says:

    Great post! I watched the film and really enjoyed it. I agree with the fact that businesses need to start using or at least thinking more about how social media can be used within the organization. I think it would be beneficial not only to expand collaboration and data sharing but also to create a more engaged community within the organization, for example it can help blur distance boundaries in cases where a global company is looking to have employees across all locations work together and exercise teamwork. . It can also be used to create two-way dialogue both up and down the hierarchy but also across. I also think that social media has been so geared to external communications but I think the same principles and benefits can flourish if used wisely within internal communications. It’s true the world of communications has changed and so should the way we communicate within organizations.

  4. Thank you for commenting Lorena. I agree with the blurring of distance boundaries – also blurring of functional boundaries. How many times do we all hear that companies are operating in silos? Appears to me that the more IC professionals are aware of the opportunities that exist to encourage communication and collaboration in every direction, the better.
    I think your point about “used wisely” is a good one, Rachel

  5. Steven Murgatroyd says:

    One of the best Social Media videos I’ve seen in a long time.

    Explained exactly why Social Media is such a vital tool in the work place, and did it in an easy to understand way using people who are clearly passionate about the topic and are aware of the challenges.

    I’ll be using it in any future presenatations I do around SM.

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