It's 2014. If you are in PR, marketing or communications - or have that as part of your role, even if you are not formally in that "department" - is part of your business the rapid creation of online content?
The Internet provides all of us with a fundamental opportunity on a scale great than we've ever had before:
We can tell our OWN story, in our OWN words, through our OWN channels.
The gatekeepers of the past to whom you had to beg permission for them to publish news about your organization are now... gone. Disrupted by the Internet.
But have YOU embraced that?
Are you thinking like a "media company"? Are you thinking about how you can best tell your story online? Are you thinking about how you enable many people within your organization to tell your story?
I'm not just talking about social media and encouraging employees to share or retweet corporate tweets or posts on Facebook or Google+.
Are you enabling people within your organization to rapidly create online content related to their roles?
Can they easily post blog posts? Can they post videos to YouTube? Can they create an audio podcast episode? Can they post photos to Instagram or Pinterest or Flickr?
Or does everything have to go through YOU in the PR or Marketing department? Are YOU the only one who can post information about the company online?
And if so, can you/your department scale to truly represent your company online when thinking like a media company?
Unless you've got a large staff and budget, I think the answer for most people is that to truly embrace the "media company" thinking, you have to look at how you enable more people within your organization to rapidly post content about their aspects of the company. Your role can then evolve to be in helping with the overall strategy and with enabling the individual groups within the company to rapidly create online content - and also to post
If you are embracing the "every company is a media company" opportunity that is out there (and guess what, if you aren't your competitors either already are or will be soon), then you need to start asking yourself some questions:
Do people within your organization have the authority to create online content related to their part of the organization? Can they do so rapidly? Or does everything have to go through 15 layers of approvals before it can go out?
Do you trust certain people within your organization to communicate online on behalf of your organization?
On a purely practical level, CAN they rapidly create content? Does your website or blog system allow them to rapidly create content? Do they have the tools - and training on the tools - to be able to create content?
Have you reduced the "latency" in your processes? Is the user experience as fast as it can be?
If someone wants to post something online, particularly someone who might only be doing this as a small part of their larger work, can they get into your system, enter in their content fast, and publish it quickly?
Or is your system slow, with many different screens and fields that just don't make sense?
If you have a non-tech-savvy person who just wants to post an article with maybe a photo, can they do that fast?
To that point, do the people in your organization have the skills to rapidly create content? Do you have people who can write well who are tasked with communicating for their group? Do you have people knowledgable in how to create videos or well-done photographs? Do you have people who understand the nuances of using different types of social media services?
Think about this - have you ever considered "embedding reporters" into the different groups and teams within your organization? Hiring people with communications skills who don't work directly for, say, the PR department, but instead are working within the actual product teams or other divisions within your company?
Could you do something like that with those embedded communications people having some connection to your central team? (And some companies are doing exactly this by hiring some of the journalists who have been laid off from the true "media companies" (ex. newspapers) who have been disrupted.)
Can you help people within your organization to gain the skills to help tell their part of your larger story?
The Internet has fundamentally disrupted the traditional view of PR, marketing and communications. The opportunity is there for people who can embrace the new world to truly rise above the others out there and tell their story in their own words.
Are you embracing that change?
Are you enabling the people in your organization to rapidly create their own content?
Are you thinking like a "media company"?
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