Social Media and Succession

First off, sorry about not getting a blog post up last week. I was working at New York Comic Con and didn’t have much internet access over the latter part of the week and the weekend. But look out for a blog post about that weekend soon. I had a blast and learned a lot.

Anyways, this week in my PR writing class we have been talking about succession, and it seems to be a perfect week to be doing so. Between Livestrong, Citigroup and our own Chancellor here at Syracuse University, there seems to be a lot of succession in the news, some announcements done well and some…not so much.

I am going to focus on Livestrong and the role social media platforms (specifically Twitter and Facebook) play in the announcements.

I am NOT going to get into the politics of it though, that is not what this post is about.

As you may know, Lance Armstrong stepped down as the chairman of his cancer non-profit organization LIVESTRONG.

I first heard about this announcement on Twitter, through friends who follow the cycling world and was pointed in the direction of the LIVESTRONG blog.

LIVESTRONG also supported this announcement with a tweet and a Facebook post on the official accounts. Both posts linked back to the full announcement on the blog.

After posting this statement it seems like the social media accounts and blog went back to their normal daily business, with no more discussion on the topic. Which I think helped show that this change isn’t going to affect the organization’s daily work or its overall goal.

I also think it was very smart to put the announcement out via the social media accounts.

By posting the announcement and a link back to the blog it allowed LIVESTRONG to get the message directly to its fans and public. It helped control the message that was going out to its supporters. LIVESTRONG’s Facebook page has over 1.6 million likes, and over 400,000 followers on Twitter.

Words of support have been pouring in on Facebook, the blog and Twitter. It has also been reported that donations have been going up, not DOWN since everything started back in August.

I think it’s important for an organization to reach out via social media, even if it’s just to post a link to the announcement. It can help show that the organization does care about their followers and wants them to know what is going on with in the organization.

What do you think, should organizations take social media into account when announcing major changes? Or should they just stick with the more traditional outlets?

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