Organizations right now are having a real hard time telling there story…it is not because they do not have compelling stories to tell, it is because they are not properly equipped to craft and deliver the stories.
Over the past few months, I have been finding large to medium size organizations who are in a new media, operational conundrum. They have for so many years been staffed to handle lots of the traditional means to deliver stories. Now their organizational structure does not support the staff or resources necessary to keep up with the drastically changing movement of audiences to more new media outlets.
Let’s face it…a company/organizations ‘website’ or ‘web-portal’ is now the face of the organization. Now I say this just in the present tense…who knows where new media will take us, because as we know…everyday, new media is old media in this ever changing environment.
Large to medium size organizations are typically staffed (or outsource) with graphic designers, copy writers, and other organizational marketing and public relations professionals. They are trying to rapidly convert these resources to not only meet the demands of the new, mainstream media…but they are also still trying to keep up with their current tasks. We are finding that much of these professionals are not embracing the evolution and not translating their skills to new media standards. For example, the websites and online newsletters look like print publications and print newsletters and press releases.
Today’s audience wants engagement, a bi-direction path of communication. Organizations can not longer just deliver information in a one way pattern, they must find ways to engage with the audiences and evolve with their needs. Traditional ad agencies are finding themselves caught up in this conundrum right along side with the organizations that they represent. FYI…I do find tremendous value in the combinations of use between traditional and new media(s). PRINT IS HERE TO STAY. Audiences still like to pick up a book or a magazine to read…but these publishers are learning to become lean and targeted with thier content.
So how do organizations learn to not only embrace new media strategies but also maintain the equity they have the traditional sources of delivery. IT IS ALL ABOUT AUDIENCE! We have lots to learn from news organizations. There is a new boss in town and they are now the CCO…the Chief Communication Officer! All information must flow through this person. They must create a new media strategy that funnels all of their information through web portals and use them to promote and support traditional means of delivery.
Organizations also need to re-evaluate their current personnel! They no longer can just be staffed with an IT professional, they need a communications group that supports new media designers & developers, content creators & distributors, community builders, and rich media creators (video/fluid media). Organizations also have to take control of their silos of information hoarders and create internal relationships of trust that allows them to control/regulate brand, and control/regulate release of content. Organizations also have to empower their members to become owners of a bigger plan, to take part in the tribe and be a part of the communication strategy.
So where are these silos formed, how are they created? This has to be understood and examined in-order to create synergies between silos within the organizations. These silos can be found in universities, hospitals, and other large organizations with many verticals under one roof. These silos are created based on these verticals, these internal groups which represent revenue streams. These particular verticals have level of communication strength and represent brands that are well supported financially.
So how do we begin to bridge these gaps of communication? It is time to find new ways to realign, reposition, and repurpose experts within the organization. Leadership has to be cognizant that the bigger the silos, the more disjunct the umbrella brand becomes, and a smaller vertical becomes the focus of the organization. There is value of telling lots of little stories to reinforce the bigger brand as long as it meets the rhetorical position of the over-arching brand.