A Look at Real World Social Impact

As we are all more than aware, there is great upheaval taking place in Iran. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media tools (collectively the “new” new media) have provided a conduit for real-time news and information that organizations like CNN (the old media – even when considering CNN.com) have not been able to match. The twitterverse has been filled with tweets about the Iranian situation and CNN’s coverage thereof followed by the hashtag “#FAIL” since CNN has not kept pace with the story.

Clay Shirky delivered a TED Talk at the U.S. State Department this month (June 2009) about the impact of social media on the dissemination of information. He discusses how “Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.”This video showcases how these tools are fundamentally changing the way we communicate as a society. It is absolutely worth watching.

As you watch Clay discuss the impact of these tools on the global stage, think about these open questions on a more local HR level: How do we share information about employers? How do we engage with employer brands? How do we leverage these tools not only for attraction, but also for retention? How do we identify and empower our internal and external brand evangelists?

In NO WAY do I wish to diminish the severity of the events in Iran. The questions I raise above are about the impact of social media and the fundamental shift in the way we communicate on every level.

Let me know what you think.

Want to know more? Reach out to me with a comment here and join the conversation.



Steven Ehrlich
Written by Steven Ehrlich

Fueled by an addiction (and brand loyalty) to Diet Coke, Steven has spent the past 18 years as a complete "tech geek." As an early adopter of everything from the Apple Newton and the Compact Disc to Satellite Radio and the iPhone, Steven has focused on the use of emerging tools and technologies to enhance both brand articulation and recruitment for a multitude of organizations including Yale University, Exelon, Walmart, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Steven is constantly on the move, both in the office and out, working with TMPers and clients alike to explore, develop, and implement strategic initiatives leveraging social media, new technology, and innovative employer brand delivery channels. He is one of the agency's thought leaders and is often found in front of a crowd - large or small - yakking away about some new thing-a-ma-jig or a socially-enabled whos-a-what-sis. At TMP Worldwide, Steven has met some of the brightest, hardest working, and talented people with whom he has ever had the pleasure to work. He is an advocate and brand evangelist for the agency and loves coming to work every day.


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