I’m reading Amber Naslund’s post on how to do ‘hard work‘ as I try to decide how to start two quite distinct proposals while it’s still morning. Worth reading if you need a little inspiration and a reminder to get focused, get to work and push the results beyond simply what’s expected (incidentally, it’s also worth a click for the photo of Spider-Man ambling along the sidewalk with his duffel).
This has me thinking once again about one of my favorite client questions on managing communications in a world where there are just too many ways to reach customers — how do I find the time to do social media when I barely have the resources to get the basics done? The answer, of course, is to rethink “the basics.” But how do you do that?
One of my maxims for clients thinking about establishing their social media and online presence is to re-cast their thinking from “what I have to get done today” — the newsletter, the brochure, the article, the trade show booth, the website redesign — to “what’s going on out there today, what do I have to say about it, and how can I help?” These questions are likely to lead you toward your audience via communications media and tools that are much more immediate and direct.
For example, the corporate communications to-do list might include:
* Each week, review company news, topics and themes with corporate, marketing, sales and service: what do you want to say today? Where should we say it?
* Scan industry news, blogs and social chatter — how can we be relevant? What can we learn from customers and influencers today?
* Determine whether and how to respond to social chatter, blog posts, news articles. Respond or elevate where needed.
* Post your news on your website or blog, and on networks where customers and influencers can find and follow.
* Meet with internal stakeholders to ensure in-depth awareness and understanding of what’s happening inside the business. Adjust the message. Take time to review the strategy. What are the tools, media and materials you need to make the message work?
Do all this along with creating corporate presentations, participating in meetings, handling ad hoc high-priority executive requests, communicating across the team, juggling deadlines and actually writing and producing the stories your organization has to tell.
(Are there enough hours in the day?)
If we keep asking questions, the answers should become clear — what works? what doesn’t? what does the customer need? what moves the needle? what are we doing because we’ve always done it?
If you could start over, what would you keep? What would you drop?