When communicating through the ‘groundswell’ in a typical work environment, a few guidelines should be set in place to get the best interactive communications strategy in place. Most organizations, already have a communications process intact, however the groundswell is not always considered or given as much attention as it should. According to some highlighted steps from our class reading, “Groundswell” (Li & Bernoff) is a term that describes the fast growing technology and internet age in which we live. It gives countless real-life examples of how businesses are reacting to new media and social media phenomenon. It also explains four steps for each communications department to address, and perhaps redesign, their communications strategies overall.
The first area to address begins with People. An organization should be able to ask questions about its customer base in order to better understand the objective of their new and revised communication plan. This deals with knowing the already existing customer profiles of your particular audience and determining what level of participation your customer is willing to commit to in the groundswell. Will they rate your products or refer them to a friend? Will they respond to online surveys for a discount on products? Will they respond to blog posts on Twitter? These are just a few questions your team could be thinking about before they move to the next step of the strategic plan of building clear Objectives.
A clear statement of your communication goals is the best way to filter out whats working and whats not when it comes to the revision of your communications strategy. The first question you should ask deals with how you want to interact with your customers. Do you want to generate sales by getting your best customers to engage with you directly? Or do you want to focus more on finding more interactive ways to engage your employees? This leads directly into the Strategy step of your communications planning. This steps involves an in-depth critique of how you want to reach and accomplish the aforementioned communications goals. In other words, how do you want to get there? Finding a concise way to measure results and successfully addressing customer relations is important in this step. Any good plan has directions incorporated into it and this is where a detailed strategy comes into play.
The last of the four steps is the easiest to choose because it involves addressing Technology. All you need to do here is pick the medium of communications. Whether its a blog format, social media platform or a shared space for multimedia (flickr, vimeo or YouTube). Once these steps are thought thru, you are on your way to a new and evolved communication strategy fit for any business to hit the ground running.