The silver lining for being stuck in a airport for almost 14 hours is the time one has to catch-up on reading. Due to the storms, I found myself in Chicago, curled in a corner with my Nook reading Geoff Livingston’s latest book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate.
One of the many challenges of social media integration is how many organizations put the cart before the horse and implement the technology before mindset. While Geoff Livingston’s Welcome to the Fifth Estate addresses this perilous approach and outlines the proper use of certain networks through case studies, he also discusses how conversations are the community and adaptation is key to any strategy. His analysis of how non-profit and other storied organizations are implementing social strategies and evolving the organization’s culture proves that social strategies can and do work when executed with proper resources and custom goal alignment. While the intended reader may not have been exclusive to community managers, communicators and those who are participating in the conversations alike should read Livingston’s book and think twice before jumping into any conversation, online or offline, without properly planning how and why the organization should participate.
The book is chock full of case studies and not all of them are the stories we have heard time after time. Follow Livingston as he chronicles how social good organizations are harnessing the power of social networks. Because, let’s face it, several non-profit organizations are blazing a trail of creative communications with small or nonexistent budgets and limited human resources. The private sector could learn a lot from how social causes are rallying the communities they serve.
This is not a how-to resource, but inspires new directions of what can be done if the Fifth Estate is embraced. You will want to keep this book handy as you build and execute your own strategies. An added bonus of the book is the measurement chapter written by Kami Huyse. In fact, many wonderful names and organizations are featured in this book. The book will be released in the coming weeks and a solid sequel to one of the original social media books, Now is Gone, also by Livingston. In the meantime, check out the Fifth Estate wiki for additional details that will whet your appetite for more.