Own your media…build the team

I am continuing my thought process surrounding how we as organizations/businesses have to own our media. But this takes on a fundamental thought process and radical shift in how we do business…we have to truly own our media by building our team.

For so many years…large organizations have allowed agencies and firms to own the “brand’s” message. They were tasked and empowered to do the brand research, create the strategy, build the message, construct the media, distribute the media, and track the results. As we move into the digital world, ownership of media assets is coming more and more key to the success of organizations.  This is from ownership of URL’s (domains), website access, video content, and now social media ownership.

I have always advocated that organizations and business should take an ownership role in owning their media and communications. They should not be restricted by third party vendors how to access the online tools that support their brand. This goes all the way down to who owns the right to update social outlets, who can change the website copy, share a Twitter update, create a video message. Organizations (specifically brands) should own their media and how they share this message…but to support this philosophy, their has to be a staff in place to push this philosophy forward.

Large organizations like hospitals and higher education institutions are battling this issue. Who creates the Facebook updates, Twitter updates, video messages, blog posts, etc. Should it be the people that work inside the brand or the vendors that support the brand. I think the vendors should help brands create a strategy and create workflows for organizations to own their branded message and build a community.

1) You have to have a new media/social staff in place. These people inside your organization have to be able to not only understand the marketing/pr initiatives but also be able to have the skills to design, develop, implement, and share the content created. They have to be the ultimate brand ambassadors who not only help create the community…*but* empower others in the organization to share the message. A Community Manager is a good place to begin but you also need:
– New media staff that can create and update web properties (from design to programming).
– Video professional(s) that can create video messages and manage video content managements systems like YouTube, Vimeo, and other private portals.
– Creative writers who not only can create copy for online properties, but help write scripts for video content. 

2) Create an advisory team to support the organization. Hospitals are a prime example of this silo based organization. As a consultant, I spend more time working with service lines and departments that are creating social/web portals that do not meet the organization’s goals. This advisory team empowers, educates, and helps implement organization strategy so the online properties are successful. This team can be made up of representatives across the organization that directly interface with the part of the organization that manages these online spaces. Let them be a part of the strategy help empower them to build the community.

3) Have an senior new/social media team in place that builds community strategy goals and initiatives. This team is a part of the visual branding process and also implements strategies to track success for this online properties.

Owning our media has become ever important, one that is harder now is to wrangle a team together. So many times I walk into an organization and I ask, who updates your website, your Facebook page(s), domains, etc. How can we control our message and be a part of the community when we do not even have controlling access to our digital properties. The organization many times knows their brand message the best…why not empower the branded organization own the process, the media that is shared.