Is social media a friend or a foe?  I’ve never considered social media to be an enemy, but after listening to the “Social Media: Friend or Foe?” podcast by Mark Ragan, Shel Holtz and other P.R. professionals, I now have a whole new outlook on social media. The podcast discussion stresses the importance of blogging, Facebook and Twitter.

Social media is all about building and maintaining relationships. It can be very beneficial to companies, allowing them to gain more business. If costumers are having problems with a company or with its products, the company can address the issue through blogging, allowing their costumers to leave comments.

I learned more about the benefits of blogging from Ragan when he uses Marriott Hotels as an example in his podcast.  Bill Marriott made 10 million dollars in hotel reservations just by blogging about Marriott Hotels.

In his blog called “Marriott On The Move,” he addresses questions and concerns that costumers may have about his hotels. He puts links in his blog that allows readers to book their hotel reservation right away. Through blogging, Marriott built a relationship with their costumers, hoping to gain customer loyalty.

I liked how Ragan used role playing to address issues that companies may be facing in regards to social media. I thought it was really odd when he made the comment of having the CEO use their speech writer to create their blog.

If you’re the CEO, and if you run the company, you should want to make sure that you personally are connecting with your employees and customers, like Marriott.

I also learned that company employees are having a hard time communicating with their superiors. The bosses are saying that they have an open door policy where employees can speak freely, but employees are not comfortable enough to come right out and speak their mind.

I loved the idea that Ragan discusses about creating an internal blog where employees can give ideas and discuss issues.