Companies are being pressured into the whole social media thing from lots of angles. They're reading about it in mainstream press more often. Their PR agencies are asking them about it. PR agencies themselves are being pressured into getting into social media and social networking. But what does it mean? Where should one start?
First, mentally break the chain between social media and social networking being specifically about the software. If I were introducing elements of social media into an organization, and I do this very shortly, I'd start by explaining why one bothers to do this in the first place, who one might reach in the space, and how one might use these tools to listen better, have two-way dialogues, and collaborate creatively.
One way to help organizations understand is through case studies. Superstar authors Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis provided an entire section of case studies to accompany their excellent Now Is Gone, a primer on new media for executives. It's a quick read, and inexpensive enough that you can buy a copy without expensing it.
In fact, pick up a copy to share with your team.