Pizza Hut, as we all know, had decided that an intern would fit the bill for them just fine - and (according to Idealware) they're not the only ones (although Social Media Answers does NOT recommend the practice).
A lot of associations seem to be operating in the middle management space (as a matter of fact, Maddie Grant has an article coming out soon for Associations Now in which she'll be interviewing a few of these folks).
And Maggie McGary references Jim Durbin in wondering if social media manager = career suicide. I quote: "A social media doer is not a position with career advancement." (She's also expressed misgivings about this before.)
I think we're focusing on the wrong level. I think associations in particular given our role in creating and supporting community in our professions/industries need to elevate our thinking on this topic. I think sssociations need a C-suite executive - a Chief Community Officer - to take charge of all community building initiatives. This is too important and too central to what we're supposed to be all about to leave it to some $10/hour intern or to a middle manager who doesn't have much actual power or authority.
So what would a Chief Community Officer look like and do?
- A CCO would need to know both old and new media and how they relate to, compete with, and support each other. Engagement requires both.
- A CCO would need to be a visionary, strategic thinker, because, as Groundswell documents, the best uses of new media are those that see the potential inherent in the technologies and platforms to support whole new kinds of participation.
- A CCO would need to be able to identify clear goals that may not have a direct financial measure, be able to discern what data is relevant to track, and understand how to measure and report it to assess the success of the interaction of old and new media efforts.
- A CCO would need to be conversant in the technologies and geeky enough to find "this stuff" interesting and useful enough to stay up to date.
- A CCO would need to be someone who can talk to everyone, sit at all the relevant tables, and muster the troops, because this involves all departments in an organization.