Do you remember when Jay Leno took over for Johnny Carson on NBC’s The Tonight Show? Of course in the scheme of things this wasn’t the most pivotal time in the history of the world. But it did mark an important turning point in the show’s existence. With new furniture and background, combined with fresh faces and musicians, this transition obviously marked a new era for the successful talk show.
Intel has recently undergone its own transition of sorts, although this one isn’t so public. All that changed yesterday when Intel published its Social Media Guidelines for all the world to see. This act in itself doesn’t necessarily mirror the sweeping changes seen during the Carson-Leno hand-off, but it is a harbinger of a new era of openness at Intel, and it’s like a breath of fresh air.
For several years a handful of cutting-edge, passionate social adventurers at Intel have blazed the trail by publishing blogs, participating in forums, posting photos, and Twittering away on behalf of Intel in the myriad social sites that pepper the web. However it’s taken the company a little longer to settle on company policies, best practices, and training to help minimize the risk that sometimes accompanies a foray into unchartered territory.
By publishing the Social Media Guidelines in conjunction with a new Digital IQ social media training, Intel is both encouraging and empowering employees to participate in online social media activities on behalf of the company. And although this step may not seem that big on the outside, it is pretty huge for a company previously known for its requisite secrecy and well-trained spokespeople.
Intel recoginzes the important role online conversations continue to play in building solid relationships with our customers. And how better to participate in those conversations than to empower the technology experts that can add value to the dialogue? Intel is hoping both the guidelines and the training will help our technical experts all across the company feel comfortable and confident to participate in social media activities when it makes sense for them.
Intel decided to publish these guidelines externally in an attempt to be as transparent as possible with our customers. I can tell you from personal experience, it is not a simple task to get nearly an entire company to agree to a set of guidelines which all agree to adhere. But I have seen nothing but the most enthusiastic support from all corners of the company for these efforts. And that’s saying quite a lot.
So tell us what you think. Did we get it right? Is there room for improvement? We welcome your feedback.