Public and Private

Two weeks ago, Jacob entered my office yelling that I embarrassed him. He was really mad, and it took me a moment to figure out the issue. Here it is. I watched part of his soccer game at Ridley that afternoon, and as I walked back to my office, he happened to be near the side of the field so I called good-bye. “Called” is not even the word. He was playing right defense, so I was able to speak in a regular voice as he was right there. But my error was saying our regular exchange: “Bye Jacob. Love you.”

Those words caused this reaction in my office:

Jacob: HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?

Mom: Say what?

Jacob: YOU SAID, “LOVE YOU”

Mom: But I just said it quietly, to you.

Jacob: TWO KIDS HEARD.

I should have seen it coming. At the start of this year, grade seven, when I dropped the kids off at school, I got a cheek to kiss. Then I started to get the lean-and-nod, so I could kiss the top of his head. After the soccer field incident, he just smirks when I look at him and won’t come near me. Sometimes he mutters good-bye, if he is in a good mood. Last week when no one was around, I rolled down the window and yelled, “I love you.” He knew what I was up to and I at least got a big smile.

And so begins a new era in the Kee household – what can be said publicly and what can be said privately. He sets these terms and I follow course, reluctantly but respectfully.

We are having related conversations here in our virtual office as we enter into the world of social media. What goes public? At last week’s staff meeting, we discussed our strategy and looked at our first draft of a CAIS Social Media Policy. Paul is our Digital Media Strategist who, along with LiQuid, is leading our launch into Twitter, YouTube, and FaceBook. He shared two resources worth checking out:

Here is a link to a tool that generates a policy based on answers to a number of questions. LiQuid suggested it, and Paul used it to develop our first draft.

The Telestra link is an interesting example of how a large company approaches social media.  I think its popularity stems from the comic book form but the content is also quite interesting and the embedded videos really add something. It also broaches the subject of the area between what is personal and what is company related.  On that note, Telestra is clear that it has no say over private social media where the company is not discussed.

So stay tuned as CAIS enters the world of earned media this month. We will begin with our Collaborative Boarding Project (check out our new boarding website) but we will only enter once our policies and procedures are totally approved.

On the home-front, the good news is that there is the odd case where my son – unintentionally – slips between public and private. Yesterday he called the office and signed-off with the usual, “Bye Mom. Love you.” (I never take those words for granted anymore.) My colleague, Margo, our CAIS Business Coordinator and Mother of three boys, was in my office at the time. Jacob was on speaker phone so Margo heard the conversation and that lovely sign-off. When she heard Jacob say, “love you,” we looked at each other and smiled.

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