Communicating with the world

Some projects simply need more publicity than others. With budgets being squeezed what can you do to get the message out?

Social Medial might help but recognise that, like any tool, it has its limitations and risks. A social media trend (in old media it might have been called a buzz) can be created by more than one person posting contributions about a particular key word. That means like every other part of your project, you’ll need to plan and co-ordinate the work.

If you have communication experts available, make sure you talk to them first: you don’t want your messages to crash over the wider organisations plans: you want the project noticed for the right reasons. Some organisations want their lawyers to check online activity, so make sure you have time in the plan for that if it is required.

The communication plan may need to be updated for this new media.  Certainly, the decisions about the purpose for using these techniques and which audiences to reach with social media channels must be considered. Then you’ll need to look at the messages you want the world to get and  the best sort of social media to use for the style needed. 

  • Facebook (pictures and interaction with “friends”)
  • blog (broadcast longer written pieces with pictures and videos)
  • phone apps (content with interactivity and updates)
  • Twitter (short broadcast texts with links).

Then choose who you will involve and make sure they know:

  • the overall purpose
  • the risks of mis-communication
  • the benefits of getting the message across and who the target audiences are
  • their responsibilities and the code of practice you’ll work with
  • who handles the negative comments or difficult questions and how to handle the person who send these to them (often a simple “I’ll get my friend Jake (expert in xxx) to answer that” will do)

Train them to use the tools and the messages and meaning behind what you are about to do. If they can be “natural” the message will reach further.  Check they have no conflict of interest in their existing accounts or the work they’ve been asked to do publically. You don’t want your project derailed by someone’s past plastered across their Facebook page.

I mentioned a code of conduct.  This CocaCola example may help:  http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/socialmedia/

Finally, make sure you have a contingency plan for any negative reactions or (if success overtakes you) you get more responses than you can handle. Make sure your risk management plan looks at social media too.

Now set up the accounts, schedule the activity (if you have the right tools e.g.  Wordpad will schedule the publication date and time of blogs), take a deep breath and go for it.

Good luck

About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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