Summary of Tactical Transparency

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Shel Holtz and John C. Havens have tremendous experience with a range of social media, and both this experience and their zest for its possibilities come through clearly. This lively, timely book’s core message is simple: In the digital age, transparency is a requirement, not a choice, and so business leaders must decide how to manage it. Your choices are complex, and fraught with emotion and risk. Transparency issues concerning openness and how much data to divulge often unfold in real time, so business readers need every bit of the guidance and preparation the authors provide. Holtz and Havens acknowledge that some of their specific suggestions will become dated quickly; however, their general principles and case studies will be useful for quite some time. (Actually, more pertinent than the fear that their pointers will become dated is the concern that the authors are overly enthusiastic about their topic.) getAbstract recommends this to readers interested in social media, and to leaders trying to shape a communication strategy in today’s shifting landscape.

About the Authors

Shel Holtz, author of Public Relations on the Net, is a principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. John C. Havens is lead organizer for PodCamp NYC and vice president of business development for BlogTalkRadio.



An Overview of Transparency

Transparency means being clear and open with your public to give “greater authenticity to your company and your brands.” The exact way you choose to do this is “tactical transparency,” that is, selecting tools and techniques to create authenticity and openness. This deliberate, strategic transparency is a response to “forced transparency,” a reality of doing business in the way-out-there information age. In a wired world, people will talk – are now talking – about your company, how it treats people, and what it does well or badly. You don’t have any options about that. Your only choice is how you engage in the conversation.

Transparency doesn’t mean sharing everything with everyone, giving away industrial secrets, violating employee privacy or flooding the Web with endless data. Effective transparency means your firm’s leaders address the world with openness, especially in a crisis. It requires that your employees and executives learn to represent your business and communicate its values. It involves sharing your strategy with your investors and explaining the results of your choices.

Transparency – the decision to engage in open conversation...

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