Uwe A. Kohrs, Managing Director

Social Media –
the communicative mobilization

When discussing or writing about social media reality, one can easily get the impression that Germany is in a state of digital war. Companies fear their “digital destruction” and equip themselves with PR bodyguards and other digital combat troops against the latent threat. Appeal to good style, or factual argument and the reference to the Netiquette act naive at best in this environment. After the Shitstorm is in front of the Shitstorm. The attempt to achieve disarmament through legal regulations proves to be extremely difficult. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the likes have long since taken the pole position in opinion making and offer everyone the opportunity to comment on topics and to let the outrage run wild. Lange has the communications industry, companies and politics have talked about the dialogue with citizens and consumers and rested on their exclusive access to traditional media. Social media channels have democratised access to public perception. And now we have the “crap” dialogue – and experience the dark side of the range of opinion. They were already there before, but in the colorful social media world you can not ignore them anymore.

And, of course, the public likes to respond with indignation and alarm to every digital gaffe and every new Shitstorm battle. This public dialogue has become the maximum challenge for business and politics. Because here are two completely different players on the digital battlefield. On the one hand, hierarchically structured companies that practice security thinking with legal examinations that level out every content. No wonder, that alone the reaction times, which are far apart, cause for bad luck. This discrepancy is exacerbated by a peculiarity of dialogic communication, namely the need for a resilient attitude in order to convince in dialogue. Anyone with shortcomings, having to coordinate and check everything first, is always on the defensive. And many companies and politicians have their problems in dialogue with the base right there. The unilateral public exposure that has been practiced for many years is an obsolete model. This has now become clear and has led to the fact that one takes the social media channels after all serious. In the ability to interact but it still hapert. Therefore, one tries to arm yourself against the latent threat of permanent communicative mobilization.

Good advice and tips are not lacking in discussions. But perhaps the solution lies not so much in the upgrade of digital combat troops in the companies and institutions, but in the concentration on clear attitude and principles on relevant issues of the public as a basis for a real dialogue. And this before the next Shitstorm threatens. It makes sense to say goodbye to the idea that you get applause for everything and everything on the net. Criticism is also part of dialogue, even if it sometimes comes in less qualified form. But as long as one hears in private that in many companies, marketing departments, party headquarters and other institutions, criticism is still seen as pollution of the nest, social media is more of a threat and real dialogue remains the exception. Rezo has demonstrated with his YouTube post the lack of criticism of the CDU. The dilettante and attitudeless handling of AKK and its troops has made a veritable excitement in the network. Oh, what were we all indignant again and in the analog media to read, the CDU have lost the battle. It will be interesting to see what extent the digital state of war in the Republic is still going on and when the communication people finally enter into disarmament negotiations.



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