Social media is bringing with it sweeping changes in corporate transparency and with it the ability for more perspectives to be heard. Gone are the days when the only information that the majority of people can find about a company is through corporate press releases and statements from key stakeholders.
On LinkedIn I can find the following numbers of current or past employees at large companies:
Cisco – 69,547
Procter & Gamble – 35,534
Disney – 41,193
Lockheed Martin – 43,714
Ford – 43,349
Accenture – 143,198
If I really want to find out information about the company, I can contact directly those who are most likely to have the information. Now all of these people are not really likely to share everything with me, but with a little effort I can likely get what I need — even if off the record. Just a few short years ago that kind of access would have been mind-blowing.
All this creates some pretty big headaches if you are in corporate communications where your job is to get the version of the story out that you want heard. You are no longer the single point of contact or even the first point of contact. What happens when major corporate events occur that may receive a lot of reaction — what if the CEO is, in fact, naked?!?