Are we going about this whole communications thing backward?

(Inspired by Justin Kownacki’s post “I Tweet, Therefore I Am Empty“)

There’s an increasing backlash against Social Media as shiny object lately, and rightfully so. The concept of communicating online to meet business goals, when wrapped around this aura of Next Big Thing can easily mutate into the “Get me a Facebook account!” nightmare that haunts our dreams.

Every time we recommend a channel plan in place of re-learning basic communication skills and applying them to the betterment of the audience, we do everyone a disservice. It turns out that companies (and people) that are bad communicators are bad communicators, regardless of whether they’re communicating on Twitter, in person, via an ad campaign.

As those who are ‘in the know’ and focused on improving communications as much as we know how, should we be focused less on providing a friction-free way for the people within organizations to map their bad habits on to new channels (surely not a recipe for success)?

Or are we going about it backward? Should we instead be focused more on swaying people’s hearts and minds toward investigation and communication styles that we know to be more effective, even if it is technically ‘outside the scope’ of what we are officially responsible for?

How far up and back does our responsibility to influence the process and the mindset go?