My last post focused on employee engagement & how that intersects with a CRM strategy.  In particular, I made a strong point that every CRM strategy needs to be company-wide & have employees at its' heart. 

A few readers commented on that post and the previous, musing on how social media, through a CRM strategy, engages employees.  And, more to the point, why it matters.

It used to be that outlets such as the media - by nature of their reach & audience numbers - held real influencing power.  Now, with personal narratives everywhere, the power of influence is becoming democratised.  Everybody can be influential through tools like  blogs, Twitter, etc, and can influence a company's reputation in the marketplace. 

The world has fundamentally changed -  influence, it could be argued, is becoming the future of media itself. But, as Seth Godin recently noted in his blog, the reality is "you can't control what people are saying about you. What you can do is organize that speech. You can organize it by highlighting the good stuff and rationally responding to the not-so-good stuff"

So, organising that speech means enabling your company's ecosystem (staff, partners, customers, etc.) to communicate in an authentic and transparent manner.  Having a set of CRM-based tools to help them manage communication is essential, as is a corporate strategy that understands and works in the ecosystem. 

Organising the speech becomes the management of reputation (the credibility that you have) and is a natural extension of brand management.   However, rather than the old view of "official corporate communications", it's people that are being influential.  This change is is shifting what we see & how we view the world.  It's that important.

And, once again, you need a CRM strategy that "gets" social media & the power of influence.

-= David