I regularly meet individuals who struggle with what I call simple answers to what many feel are complicated questions. I’m no genius here but I do tend to pay attention to human behaviour now and again. In fact, I talk about the gravities of human behaviour in my keynotes and workshops, what are they, what do they say, and how should I react to them, to name a few:
1.) We are creatures of habit.
2.) We always gravitate to what feels good.
3.) We always gravitate to our comfort zones, what’s familiar.
4.) Almost all of us has an opinion and loves to express it.
5.) Most of us don’t like change. But we need it to survive.
If this short list is accurate, why do we struggle with trying to figure out what people want? PR people and Marketer’s frantically try to answer the question of what consumers want every minute of the day. Maybe PR and marketer’s need to get out of the way, maybe, they need to pay more attention to the gravities in human behaviour? Maybe we are trying to complicate things too much, to justify our existence, to justify our rates, to make us feel good because we are so smart, could it be?
The Future Of Business will rely on you recognizing the gravities of human behaviour, they are the simple answers to what appear to be complicated questions.
There are many things I.T. Strategic Planning can cover, blogging isn’t really one of them, unless your an IT Sweat Shop and it’s your portal to the world. Blogs however, tend to be birthed out of Marketing & PR Departments, they are a means to an end when it comes to getting the message out or building community.
From a Strategic Planning perspective, the Blog is a tool, yes it’s a technology platform but not a strategic one, this is not an item the company may live or die on. In my case, I’m a Consultant, a self-employed one at that, one of my tools of choice is this Blog. In this case, not only would it be in my Business Plan, it would also be in my I.T. Strategic Plan. Why? I would have to plan to implement and deliver the platform in order for my business to to do business here.
How would I arrive at such a decision? Well, I am not a large organization with resources, I am a sole Proprietor, I can reach my target market faster and in a more efficient and cost effect way. Hence, I need the Blog! I also need to have a Hosting Company to hold my blog so I am able to deliver my content, not only to my target market but to the world. I started my own webhosting company, it was a place to put my friends & clients, I also wanted learn how the backend works. So the arguement of Tactic & Strategy comes to the forefront yet once again.
This decision was easy for me, almost no money is required, I know how to build the site, and I know how to run the Content Management System. I knew which CMS I was going to use (WordPress Self-Hosted) & which theme, I use Headway Themes.(affiliate link) A no Brainer right?
Today almost every person is or will have a Blog at some point, almost every business will have a Blog, if they don’t, they won’t really have a voice out here and most likely will be out of business. So, the Blog is strategic in some cases, and in today’s digital world, it is imperative.
Having said that, the Blog is also not strategic. Why? There is no way a Blog can circumvent the server and it’s server platform, that has to come first before the Blog. The server, or the hardware required to deliver your information is strategic in that it’s a fixed cost and yet disposable at the same time. In my IT Strategy I would be saying, I need a server, on that server I need to run Windows Server or Linux or whatever server software happens to be the best suited to deliver my content. On that server, there will be web server software, it will be home to the Blog, it will be the space to which I upload and store my content.
As you can see the Blog really can come later, it may be the driving force to having a server but I think not, you will need a place to store files first before you need a Blog. We could go back & forth on this for some time, but the fact is, the Blog is becoming a staple in your business strategy and it is thought of long before the server ever is. So in that sense it’s part of your I.T. Strategic Plan.
What do you think?
I’ve been thinking about how much time a person or company should spend on Marketing / Promoting their Blog. Is everything you do on your Blog considered Marketing and or Promoting? I mean everyday you do things like branding, PR, adding content and making sure your name (company name / brand) is everywhere. Is there ever a time when marketing what you sell or do is too much marketing? I can’t imagine an executive ever saying we are advertising to much, we have our name out there too much we have saturated the marketplace with our Brand. If you do have someone like that, he or she probably won’t be there very long. I would rather have the problem of too much business and too much awareness than not enough.
Some of the tasks involved in marketing & PR today are changing subtly, because the rules are changing, now that Social Media has become mainstream you can’t just set it and leave it. You have to listen more than you do anything in todays new marketing environment. So, how much time should you spend listening? More than you are probably willing to spend time doing I’ll bet. If you aren’t willing to listen, how will you know what to do? How will you know when to do it?
So I keep asking myself, how much time should I spend doing PR & Marketing my blog? I think you should invest more time listening and then figuring out how you can solve what you just heard that day. So, do you market your blog everyday? How much time do you alot for that task?
Do you promote your blog everyday? I would love your input so please leave a comment below.
I felt it best to answer Anjuan’s statement of, ” CIO’s Should Own The Corporate Social Media Policy? ” here rather than on FaceBook, I’ve added a few other comments to. Anjuan touches on so many nerve endings in his article that I couldn’t bring myself to keep it short. : )
On the surface it would appear the CIO is a great candidate to be the owner of a Social Media Policy, but only on the surface. A few of the questions to be asking before assigning this responsibility are, who is responsible for crafting the consistent message of the organization? How is that message integrated into all communications, and who is responsible for executing it? Who is responsible for the metrics and tracking them? Who is responsible for the role of listening to who is saying what about an organization? I suspect not the CIO.
The CIO does own the Acceptable use or Internet Policy, so a Social Media Policy really isn’t necassary. This policy may be touched upon in a Non-Disclosure Agreement and or Code of Conduct document all staff must sign when hired. But not likely. Begging the question, isn’t that an HR responsibility?
Anyway, In the example of a Virus entering the organizations network via Facebook or any other Internet source is not a Social Media Policy issue. It’s not even an Internet Policy or Acceptable use policy issue, that would be assigning responsibility to the wrong place. It is however a security issue which is handled by the I.T. Manager’s Security & Network Administrator’s. It is already assumed that these virus attacks are going to happen and are common place anyway, the CIO only wants to know that the I.T. Manager’s Security & Network personal are looking after this problem before it happens. (That’s an assumption of course)
The CIO should however, recommend to Upper Executives a Social Media Team be formed and that they are in compliance with the Internet & Acceptable Use Policy. This team resides within the Marketing / PR Departments, not I.T. The Policy Monitoring should be entrusted to all Executives / Managers / Department Heads. To be completely honest, as a former CIO I wouldn’t want that job for all the tea in China; I am more interested in more high level issues, like where technology is going, how and what do we use it for, how does technology help us meet company goals, not worrying about violator’s & monitoring chatter.
The Tools: Again, as long as all departments and or staff follows the Internet & Acceptable Use Policy, I don’t care which tools they use. The department head’s might care, but I don’t. The role of the CIO is not to police or babysit, it is to ensure that the IT department is doing what the organization needs purely from a technical perspective. HR can monitor the Internet Policy as it’s probably packaged with the NDA and Code of Conduct anyway. I.T. will have monitoring software that can spit out reports for HR if needed, HR can then deal with the violating staff person and inform the head of I.T., NOT the CIO, unless a crime has been committed.
When it’s all said and done, the CIO is responsible for the technology needs of the organization and to see that technology align’s with the organizations business processes (needs). He is also tasked with educating executives and the organization as a whole on new technologies that may be of value or are being implemented. They may make a direct improvement to the bottom line or automate an existing process. Assuming the CIO get’s involved in the details or the tasks his Manger’s should be handling would be poor use of the CIO’s time.
The Internet Policy & Acceptable Use Policy will already have covered the Social Media aspect of the Internet, Social Media is not new, Instant Messaging and Blogging forced organizations to address these types environments years ago. What you say on the Internet could be a violation of the company Code of Conduct, NDA, Internet & Acceptable Use Policy.
I hope this helps, and I hope it makes you ask more questions, I love a good debate now and then, some of us will agree and many
will disagree but that’s OK. Thanks Anjuan for getting it started. Anjuan, you are on the right track, but remember, Social Media
is about giving up control and embracing ambiguity and sharing. Social Media is also the new CRM (Customer Relations Management). A seperate Policy for Social Media will be confusing and overlap the above mentioned Policy’s.
So, should CIO’s own the corporate Social Media Policy? My answer is….No.
There are two questions that come up in almost every conversation I have on the topic of Social Media here in my local community, not online but offline. It never fails, these are the most asked questions I face.
1.) How Do I make or Implement Social Media in my Business?
2.) How do I make money and get the appropriate ROI using Social Media?
That’s more than two questions and alot to unpack, but that’s how they end up coming to me.
Keep in mind, I live in Canada and we typically are not early adopters on most things, we are at least 6 – 18 months behind our neighboring domestic USA. But that’s another story. We tend to be behind on what these new technology tools and movements are, what they mean and how to integrate them into our businesses and lives. So when the questions come from the executives the department leaders don’t have the right answer and worse yet they try to figure it out on their own, using old metrics and methods to generate some kind of understanding.
These two questions are hard to answer over a coffee or even in a board room, bringing in someone who has an understanding and is actually involved or an early adopter having success with Social Media to walk through some very important questions. Success doesn’t have to mean they are making millions, it means they have done many things right putting them in a position to monetize their passion or existing business.
There is many a debate on where Social Media fits in an organization, the Marketing / PR Department, HR, IT Department and so on. I would suggest to you it fits into all three. The Marketing / PR Department will most likely be the message creator for consistency purposes and also would hand off the Social Media chores to the Online Community Communications person. The HR Department would be involved for NDA purposes and orientation of new and existing staff, this would include the Internet Policy that the I.T. Department most likely helped develop. I.T. supports and ensures up time for all aspects of Information Technology needs.
I am assuming here that Information Technology was implemented properly in the organization, which means, I.T. is in line with business needs and processes for the purpose of obtaining the goals of the organizations business plan. As you can see there is much that needs to be discussed before you venture out into this environment without building a team to discuss how you will proceed. The key is to bring someone in your area that is in the know and can help your team by ensuring the right questions are being asked and that they are getting answered. This person is much like a Project Manager with a difference, he/she is a lighthouse, a beacon and a sounding board. In the end it is up to the organization to decide what and how they want to proceed.
The point of this article is not lay out what you have to do step by step, but to prompt you to bring in someone who is knowledgeable, who is respected and recognized as someone in Social Media circles that can truly assist your organization. Someone with a strong background in technology and online marketing. This person can help you build the appropriate team, that will go a long way to ensuring success in developing your Social Media Strategy.
If you are in need of help, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org