Social media will open the flood gates to criticism about the organization. Social media will take away their control over the brand image. They won’t be able to control the resource requirements needed to do it right.
My experience in discussing a potential social media outreach strategy with a hospital (my own or one I consult for) typically generates the same concerns John references in his blog article sourced above.
What these institutions and companies don’t understand is that the social media community is already vetting their institution or corporation. A simple search of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Posterous would likely prove to be very revealing to those who are most concerned about their perceived loss of control, potential brand tarnishing, and other unfounded variables they simply can no longer control.
Having a clear social media policy, and engaging the social media community will increase your control and offer you the opportunity to make your brand shine. Hiding your head in the sand will lead you to miss the gathering storm… should one exist.