A strange thing is happening, we’re being asked to speak to our clients about social media sites; but some of our clients can’t actually view them! The IT tyrants in many large and some not so large companies have strict policies on what can and can’t be accessed at work, and in many cases sites such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter fall into that category. Astonishingly this even applies in the marketing department which just seems absolutely barking to me. Do they not let them read Campaign or Marketing Week either?

I wonder how necessary this is. Do these companies remove magazines and newspapers from their staff in case they read them, are they allowed the radio on, are they even allowed to speak to each other? Now the argument might not be about distraction and be about IT security, something some companies seem to be excessive about. We’ve one client who has an IT security system that would put the CIA too shame, but when you ask them why no one seems to know. I find it hard to believe that social network sites are anymore susceptible to virus than any other sites though and frankly it has always smacked of overkill.

It’s testimony to the rapidity of the complete IT revolution all industries, particularly marketing, have had that we still view the workings of a PC or Mac with fear. But the information it can bring us should be embraced not shut out. If you have a concern that your staff are talking to their friends rather than working and that this is happening on a regular basis then your business has bigger problems. If your staff aren’t motivated to work then maybe management need to have a look at themselves rather than the staff. Either way any company that can’t even get access to speak to the 11 million or so people that use Facebook in the UK has some serious problems on the horizon.