A Deloitte survey about ethics in the workplace (nicely summarized by eMarketer) illustrates the need for news organizations to measure how their social media activities are affecting their brand.
The survey points out that 74 percent of employees think it’s easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media. However, 53 percent feel their online profiles are none of their employers’ business, and 49 percent say that a company policy wouldn’t change their behavior.
News orgs’ attitudinal surveys should now try to assess whether a news org’s Facebook groups, Twitter tweets and the like – whether they are run by the news org or by a reporter who’s known in the community – have any impact on traditional brand equity measures such as “provides me with information I can’t easily get elsewhere,” “gives me the most complete understanding of issues and events,” “is more credible and trustworthy than most other news sources” and “is the number one source for news and information for [fill in topic].”
These surveys were traditionally done annually, but now should be done much more often. They definitely should be done to benchmark and thus gauge the success or failure of any major social media project.
The Deloitte survey also raises the question about whether policies (e.g., Dow Jones’ Twitter conduct rules) that attempt to regulate employees’ social media activities have any effect.
Another question: The Deloitte survey points out that 22 percent of business executives would like to use social media, but don’t know how. Is this an opportunity for news orgs?