Regular readers know I belong to an e-mail exchange with government webmasters and public affairs people throughout the country. The question asked was whether or not to use employee names on websites for the products they create?
The writer specifically wanted to know if blog articles should carry a byline (the name of the author(s).
Most government or corporate or nonprofit bureaucracies have a hard time with this question but the debate misses the point of engaging people we care about. We need to understand that most people see us faceless entities who, quite frankly, don’t care about them or their issues.
That’s a shame; that’s not how we see ourselves.
The business community suggests that people don’t buy from companies, they buy from people. They buy from those establishing a personal relationship with the customer.
Social media “experts” offer the same rational; personalization is necessary to build an audience.
I assume that citizens (customers) want a personal connection with us. It’s difficult to relate to a big-impersonal bureaucracy. It’s easier to relate to Sam or Jane.
Personalization is a difficult mix from some but it’s necessary if we want to build relationships and interactions. With all the criticism of government (and all bureaucracies) we forget that citizens don’t see us as real people working hard on their behalf; they see an entity—not the people who work there.
My opinion? Let people see bureaucracies as the embodiment of themselves through personalization. Connect your communications with real people.