Best trait in a social media communicator? Bravery. No contest.

I would like to believe that I am brave (Bravery is one of the traits that has received so many “Like” clicks down the ages, who wouldn’t?). But there are two other traits too that are needed to communicate on social media, I guess – choice of words and patience.

I have been in some online debates – especially ones in which I critique some actions of an elected official, there are a number of people who try to counter my view. These are presumably supporters of the elected official’s published policies and close enough to know the policy’s intent.

They believe that I am not informed and try to educate me, typically. But soon, they get to a level of debate that questions personal choices & makes silly comparisons, sometimes without facts! For e.g. while I would talk about a potential harmful outcome I the future, they would talk about some past when similar policy lead to the same harmful outcome and ask me why I did not complain then. They would argue that since I bore the outcome then, I should not complain now.

Choice of words had to be careful in responding to these kind of arguments else the debaters soon descend into large scale personal attacks. The choice of words comes from the second attribute I have listed – patience!

And to be patient, one needs to be brave… Am I going in circles? 🙂

social for the people

This month I’ve been working with a cool organisation to recruit an outstandingsocial media and communications professional.

It has made me think hard about which qualities are most desirable in a social media manager or communications employee of any kind.

Also, various conversations I’ve had, as I spend timewith lots of talented teams across the public sector, have led me to notice: the excellentones are those who fight their fear.

There are four reasons I think bravery is the number one factor that marks out the good digital communicator from the splendid one.

Photo by Sean Narvasa, (CC BY 2.0) Photo by Sean Narvasa (CC BY 2.0) Heroism infighting sign-off

I’ve worked for and with enough government agencies to know that communications people often havea ‘mare getting theirwork approved. There are still manyplaces (in the public AND private sector) that make expert, experienced communicators seek permission before they send tweets. Apparently,22 people had to…

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