Bridging the Gap between Virtual and Physical Marketing

As my web master use to tell me “It isn’t Rocket Science”. Many companies are still looking for ideas on how to bridge the gap between traditional marketing events and virtual audiences. Back in December a large healthcare company contacted me about community and collaboration marketing and I shared a few thoughts. They then went and hired an agency who didn’t have any experience in this area who contacted the vendor. Guess who the vendor reached contacted to speak with the agency on how to do this? I love irony. So, without giving away my secret sauce here are a few things I have done that have been successful.

  • Social Contests
  • Virtual Events
  • Bridging the Gap with Gamification

All of these concepts are pretty logical it is a matter of identifying your audience and providing content and activities they would be interested in participating. Engagement and participation is the key and if done right it will not only help bridge the gap between traditional and collaboration marketing it will expand your share of voice, increase brand awareness and help build a community of advocates who are passionate about your company. I’ll dive into more details about each one of these items and examples of what we did to help bridge this gap in my next few posts.

If you don’t want to wait for my next posts and want to know more you can connect with me via linkedin and Twitter and am available for select consulting opportunites.

 

Conflict Prevention via Transparent Communication

Opinions are like belly buttons, “Everyone Has One”. Word will get out about that you have executive sponsorship, funding and or a plan that may change how others will work and believe me there will be no shortages of opinions. You will find that many of the stakeholders, you need to work with will want to ensure their pet projects and or features get escalated to the top of your backlog list and will be one of many obstacles your team will face. There is a delicate balance on how to handle to help manage these obstacles but don’t get frustrated if one of the stakeholders escalates to their executives. You can’t stop that and actually, it makes that person look unprofessional that they aren’t able to work with you and in all reality the executives don’t want to hear it. The executive team will have an expectation of you that you are engaging that person and will resolve without their involvement. As a team leader they expect that you will come to the table with solutions and updates not conflicts and issues. Learn this fast otherwise you could see yourself replaced if things can’t be resolved. So, you know there will be opinions and escalations that will happen so how can you address it. Lesson number one, Transparent Communications!

Deploying a Social Intranet

It has been a while since I have posted and lots has happened since we launched a more web integrated community last March. After the dust settled from that launch March 4th we had over 190 backlog items on our burn down list. While  the team worked through the list via monthly sprints our internal community leaders began pulling together a team to deliver what we called a social intranet. The concept isn’t new but still few companies have ventured into this new territory.

So, what is a Social Intranet? Well if you think about how must employee intranets are used for internal communication and business critical for communication they inherently lack depth. And more specifically social depth. Intranets and websites for that matter are very 2 dimensional. You can push information and hope people consume and you might have the opportunity to fill out a form or send a message to get some additional information. That isn’t as effective since the emergence of social media tools and instant messaging we have all become a custom to. So, combining traditional web communications on a social platform like Jive Software provides that depth so you can consume, collaboration and communicate with all your employees while allowing that social share, follow and engagement capability that is typically missing from traditional internal communications.

The team has spent several months planning and we are now into our execution phase and only a few months a way from go live deployment. I’ll try to follow up with lessons learned, how we started, built the team, crafted executive communications, created communication and training plans as well as identifying the requirements for an Phase I release…

So, if you are interested in hearing more stay tuned and maybe it is time for you to start your own discussions on how you can improve internal communications by building a social intranet.