My first blog post was short on detail, as it was posted 24 hours before the Caledon Institute’s principal funder, the Maytree Foundation, released an email blast (and associated Tweets) that described the “next phase” of its relationship with Caledon.
In the weeks that have passed since January 17, it is clear that many of Caledon’s followers interpreted “next phase” as “dead and gone.” One of my responsibilities is to tweet for the organization (@CaledonINST), so I continue to answer the “sorry to see you go” messages with one that says “stay tuned – more to come.” In our minds, reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.
Instead of agreeing that we’re wrappings things up, I’ve set myself the task of using social media to capture and disseminate some key lessons learned by Caledon over the last 25 years. The goal of this effort is to tailor those lessons for postsecondary students enrolled in Masters-level public policy courses at the University of Toronto. They are the next generation of policy makers and their instructors (gatekeepers) are the focus of my effort.
My reason for not posting a blog on a publicly-viewed blogspot is that this social media strategy development is mostly occurring in my head. Caledon has succeeded for 25 years without a business or marketing plan. It has never clearly defined or consulted its principal audiences and sees social media the way an elephant views a fly.
What I have learned through my listening exercises over the last few weeks is that the social media space is buzzing with social policy ideas and meeting spaces. It’s high time to remind people of the valuable lessons learned by Caledon.
Albert Einstein said that, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” His ideas are still circulating. Caledon’s should be too.