Regular readers of our AHA blog know that we’re big fans of Chris Brogan. He’s smart, he’s talented, he’s kind and he’s generous with his knowledge. A pretty great combination, if you ask us. We always find something interesting on his blog – topics that engage us in conversation and discussion in the AHA office and with clients. One of his recent posts on how important it is for communicators to do more than “talk well” resonated with me. This post is worth a read.
We know that the world has changed and that technology has empowered us – as communications professionals and as people. The use of visuals to tell a story is more popular than ever and more accessible, thanks to widespread access to technology (and the reasonable price tag).
As communicators, we will always be charged with developing positioning and messaging. I can’t imagine that speeches, newsletters or editorial style content are going away anytime soon; however, there is so much more to communicating these days.
We have used both professionally shot and flip style video for many years now. While we are smart enough to know when it’s time to bring in the professionals, we have also learned how to shoot and edit our own guerilla/Flip style videos. We use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (and so many more) – all online communications tools that demand a different understanding and approach to communication, including how to engage with an image or video. Our abilities don’t end there – Paul took a web design/html course so we can better understand what it takes to build a site. Not that we, personally, will build a site, but we need to know what it takes and be able to make minor changes. I am obsessed with online measurement and we have spent time at conferences and workshops focused on how to interpret online stats and measurements. I am continually reviewing the incredible information that can be gleaned on Google Analytics to better understand what works online for our clients and what doesn’t. SEO is another area that it is important for communications professionals to understand.
All of this at once can seem overwhelming, I know. But if you are a communicator, you can choose one area a month and spend a little time understanding how it works and what it means to your organization (or you can just call us and we can help).
It’s important to have at least a working knowledge of a wide range of communication tools and approaches relevant to today’s technology and to the expectations and demands of your stakeholders.