Soon, the glossy brochure with the great HR stock photos will arrive from SHRM HQ on Duke Street promoting the SHRM Leadership Conference to take place in Arlington, VA, November 17-19. Often cited by the SHRM C-Suite as "their favorite" SHRM Conference, the Leadership Conference is designed for SHRM volunteer leaders to gain professional development as well as share best practices across chapters and state councils.
To SHRM's credit, they provide free registration as well as two-plus nights of housing for many volunteer roles, including Chapter Presidents, Chapter Management Professionals, State Council Directors, State Council District Directors and State Council Core Leadership Area Membership Directors.
However, left to fend for themselves are State Council Social Media Directors. So, here are a few reasons SHRM should include Social Media Directors to the above group:
1. Social Media Directors volunteer work is significant.
I've served as a SHRM volunteer leader for over 12 years in a wide range of roles (Area/Regional College Relations Director, State College Relations Director, State Foundation Director, Chapter President, State Conference Co-Chair), and I can say without hesitation that the volunteer work performed is on par, if not exceeds, many of those roles. Such work includes, but is not limited to:
*Setting up and blogging on a regular basis
*Posting on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn on a regular basis
*Visiting and speaking to chapters about how they can utilize social media for their chapters as well as their own personal development
*Speaking about social media at the state leadership as well as the state SHRM conference
*Helping and mentoring volunteer leaders and chapters set up LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts
Given the immediacy of social media, the Director role necessitates vigilance on a daily basis.
2. It would legitimize the role
Kudos must go out to the concerted efforts of SHRM's own Curtis Midkiff in his capacity as the social media guru for the organization. From the Bloggers' lounge at the SHRM Annual Conference to the Tweetups and blogtour at various state conferences, Curtis has demonstrated SHRM's dedication and support for the role social media can play for SHRM chapters. Supporting State Council Social Media Directors would serve to continue the legitimization of this volunteer role.
3. Social Media Directors are the voice of SHRM and the profession
Social Media Directors provide the PR for the chapters, the state council, and by extension, SHRM itself. We are the ones trumpeting the latest efforts of the SHRM Foundation on Twitter. We are the ones highlighting the latest piece of legislation impacting HR from Governmental Affairs on our blog. We are the ones providing on-the-ground coverage of the state legislative conference or state HR conference. We are the ones promoting the Pinnacle Award to members and non-members alike. In the end, SHRM is shown in the most positive light.
So, SHRM, support you Social Media Directors at the SHRM Leadership Conference in November.