Train in social media to ensure sustainable change: #AMS2015 | radioinfo

Train in social media to ensure sustainable change: #AMS2015

Tuesday 26 May, 2015
Broadcast managers from all over Asia heard how social media can change their business at today's Asia Media Summit workshop in Kuala Lumpur.

AMT's Steve Ahern and former Radio Australia CEO Mike McCluskey briefed the senior managers about a new training template developed by AIBD to help them spread understanding and usage of social media through their organisations.

"It's not just about using social media apps," said McCluskey, "it's about changing the culture of your organisation."

The template has ten modules and covers the basics of how social media has altered the media landscape for broadcasters, up to high level skills such as regulation, organisational change and policy issues.

Ahern showed how he had used the template to develop and deliver a training course for Indonesian broadcasters that helped upskill staff to a point where they felt confident to deliver content via social media, as well as the traditional broadcast platforms.

The seminar aimed to assist broadcast industry leaders meet the challenges of the ever-changing web and digital media environment and focuses on organisational development to enhance social media capacity. They examined methods that can be used to train broadcasters to use social media and discussed how to implementation organisational change.

With so many differerent cultures across the Asian region, it is not possible to devise a 'one size fits all' curriculum for social media training, because different countries have varying sensitivities to social media usage by their citizens. To overcome this problem, the template gives guidelines on the issues that should be taught, but leaves policy details to be localised by each broadcasting organisation.

The workshop discussed the tension between false news and the cult of celebrity on one hand, and the use of social media for good purposes and trusted news on the other hand. The point was made that Katy Perry has 69 million facebook followers, ahead of Barak Obama, who has 59 million.

Social media is vastly dominated by celebrity, but credible broadcasters must work hard to ensure that they also have a presence on social media platforms, so that they can build their audience engagement, as well as their credibility and trustworthy reputation.

"Often people trust friends more than they do news outlets... Social media is a way of getting into your audiences networks to push out your content, but that content must be credible so that your reputation is enhanced," said Ahern.

McCluskey told participants: "The  currency of broadcasting is not just being personal, not just connecting, it is also TRUST.

"Good use of social media can improve trust, but poor use of social media can erode trust. Broadcasting content from tweets, facebook, weibo or other social media without checking your facts can discredit you very quickly... 140 characters can never tell the story – misunderstandings and lack of context are a constant risk for broadcasters."

Good training is one of the factors in minimising those risks, so the AIDB plans to make the new training curriculum available to broadcasters across Asia so that they can use it to improve their organisations' social media engagement with audiences.

A broadcaster from Nepal told the story of how, after the recent earthquake, false information was spread on social media, telling people to sleep outside because another worse quake was coming. Many did so, but there was no bigger quake, it was false information.

Broadcasters tried to counter this wrong information, but there were still many people who believed what they read on socila media more than they believed broadcasters, because the broadcasters did not have a strong enough presence on social media networks. "Better social media engagement from broadcasters is essential if they are expected to counter such misinformation," said the broadcaster.

The Asia Media Summit continues tomorrow. See the program here and follow the twitter conversation at #AMS2015.








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