Cultivating corporate communications: A social media community of practice

The ubiquity of social media has caused many organizations to develop social media programs to increase employee and community engagement, promote the brand, enhance the effectiveness of communication, expand audiences and improve retention and recruitment. The corporate communications department at Canadian Pacific has expressed interest in expanding their social media presence. Social media is collaborative, interactive and democratic, similar to the foundations of Communities of Practice (CoP). To support the expansion of social media at Canadian Pacific, a community of practice has been established within the corporate communications department to 1) assist with the creation and delivery of relevant content 2) to learn and share experiences as they occur internal and external to the organization 3) to develop general and industry specific best practices and 4) monitor and evolve practices as required. Focusing on Facebook, department members will be given questionnaires to determine existing ideas and attitudes about how participation in the CoP serves the social media agenda. This analysis will contribute to organizational knowledge pertaining to factors that influence how corporate communication departments can use the CoP model to support social communication technologies.