I picked up this link to Ten things every journalist should know in 2009 on Twitter a few weeks ago. If I was a consultant, I'd be ripping it off and running an expensive workshop for gallery and museum directors and HR mavens faster than you could could say "churnalism".
In the list, John Thompson notes that journalists should:
-- be using Twitter and RSS feeds to find readers, monitor news, and build community
-- understand that you don't need to own (or hell - even understand) the technology that will let you mingle with your readers online
-- acknowledge that "Multimedia for multimedia’s sake rarely works, and is often embarrassing."
Here are the adaptations I'd make:
-- before you employ a comms person nowadays, you should ask to see examples of their work with social media, as well as their traditional print work.
-- if your comms team/person isn't using RSS feeds to monitor mentions of your organisation and its work online, they're missing out on immediate and informative feedback that you should be using.
-- beware of boundless enthusiasm for all things Web 2.0*. Your comms team/person should know who should be putting what content on which platform, and why.
-- your comms team/person should be trusted to respond to blog posts, tweets, Flickr photos and whatever other online chatter appears relating to you & your work. They should also know when to respond, when to just listen, and when to use another approach (Flickr mail rather than a comment, etc).
-- any of your staff members who are using any form of social media site and talking about any aspect of their work are now your comms people as well. Don't freak out at them. Support them by offering simple and fair guidelines, and encourage them to share their enthusiasm for their job & their workplace.
*In fact, beware anyone who uses the phrase Web 2.0 without any irony. Especially if they pronounce it "Web Two Point Zero".