The social media revolution

Dr. Carl Zangerl evaluates the impact of social media on organizations

Is the corporate world taking maximum advantage of social media? Dr. Carl Zangerl believes many companies are still playing catch-up.

“We talk about the evolution of the sender/receiver relationship,” says Dr. Zangerl. “For years, the sender – the corporation – was in the dominant position. The advent of social media has changed that balance dramatically. Communication is now more multidimensional and complex – and that’s both challenging and exciting.”

The exciting part is that social media provides unfiltered perspectives and instant feedback on customer needs and employee morale. The challenge is that organizations are less able to control the conversation.

The social media revolution is also challenging how organizations assess and measure the effectiveness and impact of their communications efforts, and even how communications resources are organized, according to Dr. Zangerl.

“We used to see more siloed communications functions: public relations, employee communications, investor relations, marketing communications,” he notes. “Now we’re seeing a blurring of those lines as organizations attempt to coordinate their delivery for greater consistency.”

Dr. Zangerl is a faculty member in the Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication degree program, which addresses these trends and issues in a practice- and application-oriented way.

“Selecting the right medium, the right technology, is more critically important,” says Dr. Zangerl, “but while our communication world has changed, the fundamental themes remain valid,” says Dr. Zangerl. “Success depends on having the ability to tell a story, to persuade, to influence, to focus on impact.”