We’re seeing more and more interest in our work to help staff at all levels of organisations to use social media in interesting, authentic ways, to talk about their work.
In a fumbled attempt to explain this to an audience the other week, I used this wonderful photo by Pedro Lastra as a visualisation of the communications landscape we see in so many companies and government departments.
On the left hand side are the bricks and mortar of large, well executed and functional campaigns, each with their owners’ creativity stamped on the inside. Most places seem to do campaigns quite well these days, on some level. I guess in part because the tools are there and a time-bound project, often with a budget attached to it, helps focus minds.
On the right hand side is business-as-usual comms. It’s evolved from a few different places over time. It works because it delivers what it needs to. By now the visualisation is stretching thin, but I’m sticking with it.
In the middle you have the necessarily untidy bit: the people, pathways and constantly changing space that isn’t really controlled by any one person. Here you’ll find colleagues connecting with each other on social, experimenting with different ideas and navigating their way through problems and opportunities.
This is where the skunkwork websites come from, or the influencer you never knew you had in your office. It’s where staff talk about the campaign you just launched with their friends and family, spurring good and bad feedback that ends up with the press office, insight team or government relations, to be applied next time.
Most teams we meet have more playbooks, strategies, plans and models than they know what to do with.
Few are brave enough to tackle the vast, messy, but fertile space in the middle.