Cowboys and cowards

Reflections on the 2011 Social Media and the Communication Profession survey



Imagine waking up one morning and getting ready for work, just like every other day.

But this time, something feels different - that’s right, your iPhone has been suspiciously quiet all morning.

And when you check for incoming messages, feeds or tweets, there is nothing but a blank display. When you try turning on your iPad or your laptop, you face the same problem: total media blackout – total social media blackout, to be precise. You can’t access your favourite news site, your blogs are down and, without access to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you have no idea what your clients and friends are up to right now. While still being perplexed about what is going on, your old landline phone starts ringing. It is your coworker, telling you that your entire office is experiencing the same mysterious blackout. What are you going to do? Will you still go to work?

Christian Fieseler

Christian Fieseler is associate professor for media and communications management at BI Norwegian Business School. In his research, Christian is interested in social responsibility, media management and innovation, organisational culture and digital communication.

Miriam Meckel

Professor Dr Miriam Meckel holds a professorship for corporate communication and is the managing director of the Institute for Media and Communications Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Eliane Bucher

Eliane Bucher is a PhD candidate at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. She studied marketing, services and communication management in St.Gallen, Lausanne and Oslo.