If you need further evidence that social media is here to stay in the corporate world, look no further than Telstra, the Australian telecom giant.
The 40,000+ person company makes social media training mandatory for its employees and formalized a policy of “3Rs” – responsibility, respect and representation. Taking things a step further, today the company is trying something about as transparent as it gets – publishing their entire social media training guide online, so that anyone can check it out, learn and critique.
We got a chance to take a look at the guide, which takes the form of a comic book but also includes narration from a speaker (in a cool Australian accent too). It starts with the very basics – like “what is Facebook” – but eventually moves into much more complex issues like “what if my [personal] blog post is critical of Telstra?” To-date, the company says that 12,000 of its employees have completed the course.
Speaking of the decision to publish it on the Web, Telstra says that “while this communications environment has risks for corporate entities and individuals alike, we believe that with the right training and policy support the potential benefits far outweigh the risks … We have decided to open up this course to the scrutiny and feedback of the ‘outside world’ as it may assist other organisations and help raise the level of awareness about social media with staff.”
Clearly, it’s a bold move by Telstra that will leave them open to plenty of criticism, but ultimately we think it’s a smart one that should foster a lot of conversation in the space. The tool itself is also very well put together and highly interactive – give it a whirl and let us know what stands out to you in the comments