As someone coming into the age of the “post-email” world of social networks and workgroup messaging, you were rather disappointed to find your new employer solidly stuck in the age of email. You use email, of course, but it is only one of the tools in your communication toolbox. From your college years, you have hands-on experience with a wide range of social media tools, having used them to collaborate on school projects, to become involved in your local community, to learn more about various industries and professions, and to research potential employers during your job search. (In fact, without social media, you might never have heard about your current employer in the first place). Moreover, your use of social media on the job has already paid several important dividends, including finding potential sales contacts at several large companies, connecting with peers in other companies to share ideas for working more efficiently, and learning about some upcoming legislative matters in your state that could profoundly hamper your company’s current way of doing business.
You hoped that by setting an example through your own use of social media at work, your new colleagues and company management would quickly adopt these tools as well. Unfortunately, just the opposite has happened. Waiting in your email inbox this morning was a message from the CEO announcing that the company is now cutting off access to social networking websites and banning the use of any social media at work. The message says using company time and company computers for socializing is highly inappropriate and might be considered grounds for dismissal in the future if the problem gets out of hand.
Your task: You are stunned by the message. You fight the urge to fire off a hotly worded reply to straighten out the CEO’s misperceptions. Instead, you wisely decide to send a message to your immediate superior first, explaining why you believe the new policy should be reversed. Using your boss’s favorite medium (email, of course!), write a persuasive message explaining why Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking technologies are valid–and valuable–business tools. Bolster your argument with examples from other companies and advice from communication experts. Remember to follow the AIDA model, ending your message with some sort of request.
Additional things to consider:
- Identify yourself and your credibility to be writing the letter.
- Present facts and illustrate how the issue affects you.
- Offer further information as needed.
- Be brief, polite, and constructive.
- End your letter stating your opinion and requesting the individual support this position as well.
- Keep in mind AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.