Setting the Context for Transitioning From "Social Media" to "Mission Media"


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This was the keynote presentation for Adobe's 10/13/2011 event, "Transitioning from 'Social Media' to 'Mission Media': Using Social Media for DoD Missions."

The slides, themselves, are sparse by design. However, ALL of the narrative is accessible in the NOTES field for each slide. This should enable you to literally give this presentation yourself.

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  • My background:Pentagon ChannelEmerging Media Directorate: exploring the tools and what they enableGovernment 2.0 “movement”: leveraging emerging tools & technologies to improve mission efficiency and effectivenessGov 2.0: = technology, policy & cultureThere will always be early adopters of emerging tools & technologies, but, in a government agency, until there is a policy in place to “rubber stamp” it, it’s never going to gain widespread adoption.So I moved over to work on DoD’s social media policy.A policy opens doors, but without senior leaders saying, “take the hill!” no one walks through this door. Why? Because there is no incentive for them to do things differently. This cultural change –the third piece of Gov 2.0 – is the hardest part. I’m going to spend the next 15-20 minutes:Providing context for social mediaShowing why YOUR component should care Exploring why it’s not so easy to just “do” social mediaAnd, finally, explaining how social media can improve YOUR organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Shhh…. I’m here to tell you al little secret ….
  • Social media is not about tools and technologies…. it’s about what they enable.Social media doesn’t = FB, Twitter, and FoursquareSocial media is DRIVEN by technology --bigger, faster, cheaper bandwidth catalyzed a whole new wave of invention and innovation and thus, a new generation of tools and technologies. – but it’s not ABOUT technology.Let me explain what I mean….
  • Don’t get me wrong, social media & web 2.0 technologies are a BIG deal. Not because they are trendy or hip or because they have catchy names like “Twitter” and “FriendFeed”Or even because so many Americans are using them every day. They’re a big deal because they are changing the ways in which we interact and communicate with one another. Social media provides us with the two-way interaction that relationships are made of, but without the horizontal constraints of time or vertical constraints of place.Social media tools make it possible for us to do things differently. In fact, they encourage us to do things differently ….
  • Our models for communication -- individuals and organizations, alike—are relics of the Broadcast Era. In the 20th century, information waspowerMedia companies had the information; media companies had the powerSenior leaders at DoD had the information, they had the power
  • But now, social media tools & technologies are democratizinginformation Social media tools and technologies afford individuals the same access to information and influence previously only available to organizations with big marketing budgets and celebrity spokespeople. The power is shifting to the peopleYou, too, can have influence that rivals the most widely-syndicated columnist and the most-remembered Super Bowl adThe price: transparency, participation, collaboration….These toolsare not static, they are not broadcast tools, they are collaborative, interactive, sharing tools. On social networks, information SHARING MULTIPLIES power . This is a tremendous cultural shift. Your current customers and employees are tasting and trialing social media tools and it’s changing their interactions and their expectations. They’re wowed. They’re seeing that there are better ways to share photos, invite friends to events, discuss the news of the day. They’re no longer waiting for the broadcast, they’re engaged; they’re participating; they’re leading the conversation.
  • Many of today’s servicemembers and DoD civilians are Digital Natives – people born in or after 1982. They are wired differently; don’t think like previous generations.They’ve only known a world that includes the InternetThey know that everything is available at the touch of a button: any sports score, video clip or news byte is available anytime, anywhere in any format, via any device that’s connected to the Internet. Collaboration is not only their expectation, it’s their instinct.They embrace social media because these tools enable them to share, engage, participate and collaborate.
  • In this networked world, people don’t revere the media, heck they don’t even trust the mediaThey trust people….And not just ANY people…
  • They trust people they KNOW, people who are a part of their social networks --- their communities of interest (COIs)
  • Let me share with you a quick example about how social media shifts the power to the peopleIn November 2008 Motrin launched a new ad campaign targeted at moms with babies“We know that wearing your baby can be painful, your back aches… etc.” Moms on Twitter united in voicing their displeasure with the Motrin ad . They used "#motrinmoms" as the hashtag for the threaded conversation. Twitter was abuzz! In 24 hours, “mommy blogger” Katja Presnal) compiled the Twitter screenshots and posted babywearing photos video on YouTube and it went viralThe story was picked up by mainstream media w/in a day and the traffic crashed Motrin’s website . Only THEN did Motrin notice what was going on. They hadn’t been on Twitter. They hadn’t been listening to the revolution that had formed against their brand. The tremendous uprising against their campaign caused Motrin to pull the ad, apologize to the mommy blogger community and rethink their communication strategy – they were catapulted into participating in the conversation.
  • So, to be a trusted source of information, you have to be engaged: listening, responding, participatingAs the New York Lottery says, “you've got to be in it to win it”But this is easier said than done. This stuff is tough! Here’ why….
  • We want to understand the value of social media tools before we invest our time and energy in using them; and yet, we can’t truly understand the value of social media tools until we use them.
  • We can’t understand the benefits of collaboration until we collaborate; and yet we can’t truly collaborate until we understand the benefits of doing so.  
  • But these two Catch-22s inform one another in -- what I like to call a “Catch-44”We can’t truly understand the benefits and possibilities of social media tools until we use them to collaborate; and yet we can’t truly understand the benefits of and possibilities for collaboration until we utilize social media tools collaboratively. The challenge is where and how do you jump in?Well, you can start with social media tools (bottom up) and just start using them,Or you can start with collaboration (top down) and see how you need tools to support this orientation.
  • The paradigm shift to info SHARING requires a huge leap of faithNew set of rules to follow. Change is tough; resistance to change; out of comfort zone Have to learn a whole new way of doing things.But keep your eye on the prize as you leap… if information-sharing multiplies power, that means that it exponentially amplifies situational awareness. This has tremendous implications for DoD and the IC.In fact, DARPA recently issued a solicitation for bids to help them develop a whole new science using social media for intelligence-gathering.
  • So just taking a leap of faith is one way to break into the Catch-44….
  • A Presidential memorandum is another….In the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, issued on January 21, 2009, the President instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive. Open Government Directive (issued December 2009) encourages – in fact, requires – agencies to embrace there principles. This has been good cover for many agenciesIt’s been something to point to for those who’ve WANTED to do things differently, interact differently w/citizens and stakeholders, but haven’t been able to get leadership’s support.
  • Another way into this Catch-44 is….
  • Your own organization’s strategic imperative.:Recruitment: aging workforce, DoD example – lack of succession planRetention of Digital NativeBudget cuts – doing more with less forces new thinking
  • But having worked on DoD’s social media policy, I know as well as anyone that government agencies face unique challenges when it comes to using social media. Democratization of info raises security concerns. When we’d just started to work on building a social media policy for the Department back in August 2009, STRATCOM issued a warning order that they were going to shut down access to a great number of social networking and other websites. Suddenly EVERYONE can have a voice. Who can be a spokesperson for your organization? Initial instinct is that this can’t be managed! Shut it down! Prohibit it…. But censorship never works. Have to remember that it’s a management issue, not a technology issue Let me explain to you why social media is so tough
  • Engaging in social media presents not just a technology challenge for us, Digital Immigrants; it presents an emotional challenge Requires us – and our organizations -- to behave differently that we’re used to – beyond our comfort zone. Let me explain what you go through when you begin with social media, whether for your own personal reasons or on behalf of your organization….
  • The point of social media is collaboration --The whole is worth more than the sum of its parts.
  • Successful social media is driven by collaborative principles This is tough b/c it’s not what we grew up with – it’s NOT our instinct…. this is NOT how the playground I grew up on lookedWhen OSD-PA launched the Emerging Media Directorate in 2007, the community in which we aimed to engage was “people interested in military issues.” The target group for engagement were military bloggers – influentials --so that we could capitalize on the network effect of their blogs and tweets.The Bloggers Roundtable has become a successful model because it is based on collaboration – not on broadcastSo HOW do you do this? How do you embrace social media and collaboration?
  • Focus on what you know best – the mission of your organization I started out today talking about how it’s not about the tool sand technologies, it’s about what they enable. In the case of a DoD organization, it’s about how social media can help you to achieve your mission Use social media – in fact, use all technologies -- for the right reasonsSo, I’ve spent a lot of time n strategy and business development roles, first in new media (, then at DoD). Senior leaders have a knack for being enamored of shiny objects – the latest new tool or technology company that’s run by this brilliant guy that your CIO sat next to on his last flight home from Silicon Valley. This is the solution to everything. It may be; it may not be. You have to help your senior leaders avoid “shiny object syndrome”Don’t be swayed by the latest technology. Let it spark new thinking and open your eyes to what’s possible, but then think critically within the context of your organization’s mission. There are probably dozens of other tools that do similar things. Stay focused on your organization’s mission
  • As we saw with Motrin Moms, you have to BE there. – wherever they are “THERE” is not necessarily on your website.
  • Participate in the conversation Social media is a two-way conversation, not a press releaseYou’re there to build relationships, not to broadcast your messageBuild relationships BEFORE you need them. It’s too late to develop them once you need them
  • Yes, Halloween is right around the corner and it’s very easy to think that you can just dress up and people will think you are who you say you are…But one of the core principles of social networking is authenticity. Earlier this week The Open Forum Foundation released a Guide to Owning Transparency for government agencies which I am proud to have helped write. Broadcasting your website headlines via Twitter doesn’t qualify as engagement and participation. It’s a cop-out, a work-around and it won’t…. Be authentic.
  • The cultural shift from hoarding that which is most valuable, to sharing that which is most valuable is tremendous.It undermines the very social structure of trust that we -- Digital Immigrants – grew up with. Social media is tough for organizations and individuals --not because of the new-fangled technologies – it’s tough because of this very small, but very BIG mindshift from hierarchy to collaboration.
  • Public affairs guidance directs action down to the lowest level possible. This can actually be applied nicely to social media engagement. Empower at the lowest level – push it down to the base level When we started the Emerging Media Directorate, social media was happening at the OSD level, soon the services embraced it and designated resources. The DoD All-services Social Media Council was formed to share best practices and support one another in this “brave new world” Now at DoD ASSMC meetings, there are plenty of reps for specific program offices , as well as the individuals who help specific SMEs and leaders manage their social media presences.Best practices are shifting. We need to push social media engagement down to the lowest level.In his book, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson talks about the value being in the niches. Because technology makes place and time obsolete, niches are big enough to matter.So remember how people don’t trust institutions, they trust people…It’s hard to have a relationship with “DoD” or with “the military”… it’s easier to have a relationship with the specific service—Army, Navy, etc.-- in which you served… It’s even more comfortable and relevant to have a relationship with your own area of interestTo take this one step further, it’s even more satisfying to be in touch with the individual whose job it is to represent that specific program, group on one or more social networks… And when that program contact serves as a connector for that niche community, introducing you to like-minded individuals with the same connection, interest and passion about that particular cause or program , you begin to form relationships that drive action.
  • Setting the Context for Transitioning From "Social Media" to "Mission Media"

    1. 1. Transitioning from “Social Media” to “Mission Media”: Using Social Media to Achieve DoD Missions<br />Setting the Context for Social Media<br />October 13, 2011<br />Presented by<br />Maxine Teller<br />Director, Strategy & Business Development<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />
    3. 3. Social media is not about the tools & technologies <br />3<br />
    4. 4. Social media is changing the way we communicate<br />4<br />
    5. 5. Our communications were modeled after broadcast hierarchy<br />5<br />
    6. 6. Power is shifting…to the people<br />6<br />
    7. 7. Digital Natives are wired differently<br />7<br />
    8. 8. People no longer trust institutions, they trust people<br />8<br />
    9. 9. People trust people they know<br />9<br />
    10. 10. 10<br />
    11. 11. “You’ve got to be in it to win it”<br />11<br />
    12. 12. Social media is a Catch-22<br />use<br />social media<br />understand<br />12<br />
    13. 13. Collaboration is a Catch-22<br />use<br />do<br />social media<br />collaboration<br />understand<br />understand<br />13<br />
    14. 14. Social media + collaboration = a Catch-44<br />use<br />do<br />social media<br />collaboration<br />understand<br />understand<br />14<br />
    15. 15. Collaboration requires a leap of faith…<br />15<br />
    16. 16. use<br />do<br />social media<br />collaboration<br />understand<br />understand<br />16<br />
    17. 17. … or a government directive…<br />17<br />
    18. 18. use<br />do<br />social media<br />collaboration<br />understand<br />understand<br />18<br />
    19. 19. … or a strategic imperative<br />Recruitment<br />Retention<br />Budget cuts: do more with less<br />19<br />
    20. 20. Government agencies face unique challenges with using social media<br />20<br />
    21. 21. Social Media Adoption Curve<br />collaboration<br />relationships<br />participation<br />broadcast<br />observation<br />education<br />social media experience<br />21<br />
    22. 22. Social Media Adoption Curve<br />collaboration<br />relationships<br />participation<br />broadcast<br />observation<br />1-way -> 2-way<br />education<br />social media experience<br />22<br />
    23. 23. Social Media Adoption Curve<br />collaboration<br />relationships<br />participation<br />take value -> add value<br />broadcast<br />observation<br />1-way -> 2-way<br />education<br />social media experience<br />23<br />
    24. 24. Successful social media participation is driven by collaborative principles<br />24<br />
    25. 25. 1. Focus on your mission<br />25<br />
    26. 26. 2. Meet people where they are<br />destination sites distributed web<br />26<br />
    27. 27. 3. Participate in the conversation <br /> Talk at an audience Build relationships <br />27<br />
    28. 28. 4. Be real<br />28<br />
    29. 29. 5. Share that which is most valuable<br />Information = Power Information SHARING * Power<br />29<br />
    30. 30. 6. Catalyze collaboration <br />Community Connector<br />30<br />
    31. 31. Six principles of successful social media participation <br />Focus on your mission<br />Show up<br />Build relationships<br />Be real, be authentic<br />Share that which is most valuable<br />Catalyze collaboration <br />31<br />
    32. 32. Maxine Teller<br />Director, Strategy & Business Development <br />202-258-4605<br /><br />Twitter: @mixtmedia<br />32<br />