Social Media and the Cultural Discourse

Written by
Gabriel N. Elizondo
Published on
February 6, 2024

As a brand and culture strategist one of the conversations I find myself having more often than ever is about the responsibility a brand has to the cultural discourse in the world. It’s a powerful statement because of the gravity in personal responsibility leaders find themselves owning, whether they are aware of it or not.

What is Cultural Discourse, Exactly?

Cultural discourse is the way individuals communicate with one another and the impact those chosen practices have on all the lives connected to the participants. Anything we say has a ripple effect on anyone within earshot, anything we write ripples across those who read, and anything we post, well…you get the idea.

It can be a daunting realization for brand owners, leaders, managers, anyone who is granted an audience on a regular basis. Because the decisions you make in your communication will either add or take away from the culture around you. It may seem obvious to some but it’s easily forgotten in the midst of monday emails, tuesday reviews, wednesday conference calls, thursday check-in’s, and fridays in general.

Be Aware of Your Communication, Even When You Are

Be aware of how and what you say, even when you think you are, I suggest pausing a moment and double-checking your communicative awareness. Did you raise your voice? Did you rush past someone else’s point? Did you not speak up enough? These things are apparent to your teams, clients, investors, whoever.

Internal Brand Culture and Culture

During seminars, networking events, consultations, or hanging out sipping coffee in a hotel lobby, you might find me scaring brand owners with the following statement:

Internal brand culture is anything that happens inside the confines of the brand; however, the moment any communication officially enters the marketplace (willingly or not) it becomes part of culture. 

As in, real life, big-picture culture. Once it enters the culture, brand owners cannot get it back. Once it enters the culture, brand messaging takes on a life of its own and begins to evolve. Audiences can read into whatever it is brand owners have positioned, they can change it, redirect it, add to it, take away from it, and use it to either aid your brand or destroy it.

The Power of Cultural Strategy

This is why it’s necessary to have an understanding and a cultural strategic lens on anything a brand creates for public discourse. I mean anything. From ads, to social media posts, website headers, press and promotion releases, tweets, LinkedIn posts, whatever statement goes out has got to be considered in more ways than engagement/like worthiness.

Because culture is an on-going conversation; make sure your brand is contributing to it in the best way possible.

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