Chris Brogan has an excellent post on the point that social media needs to be a team sport. In it he focuses on social media and the need for a team approach, but I think that it is worth applying that approach to communications as a whole.
Connecting with your stakeholders, with your public – with your community works best when it is approached holistically. You can have a great PR strategy and not be able to execute on the plan if there isn’t a connection between what you want to share, how you want to start and maintain the conversation and where the content comes from.
Often in an organization, decisions are made that may affect the communications strategy – or at least how the tactics being used to support the strategy – without the input or knowledge of the communications team. Whether your PR team is in-house or an agency like AHA, it’s important to have someone from that area at the table when you are brainstorming and when decisions are being made. I don’t think it should be a case of the tail wagging the dog, but it’s important for your communications team to be included in major decisions – for input, counsel and guidance at the very least. And they need to be kept in the loop.
The immediate pace of communication today changes things and I think it has created a challenge in organizations. Messages and information is fed out so quickly through a range of challenges such as Twitter, Facebook and others that everyone is expected to play a role in communication, but we can’t forget that it still needs to be strategic.
Communicators are an important part of an organization. Sharing information with us is crucial to the success of not just your communications plan, but the organization as a whole. I believe it’s better to give your communications team or agency too much information and allow them to work through what is or isn’t of value to them, rather than to make assumptions and not bring them into the loop.
Think of us as a part of the team and you will be amazed at what can happen.