With a multitude of platforms, tools and apps to choose from, a broad range of brands is clearly lost on how to do communications effectively. Looking closer, the steering of their communication machine is scattered all over their organogram.
PR departments, a marketing group, advertising studio, internal comms, the digital wizards, the social media team, customer relations, the crisis preparedness group … in most organizations communications is spread so broad over the place it is not even funny. More intriguing and worrying is the fact that most of these separate communications cells are not even linked to one another, and are not even working along the same strategic lines. Multichannel communications, with multiple strategies, and no central red line is clearly asking for trouble.
Successful organizations found a way of getting communications out of the highly siloed approach by kicking in internal walls. In these connected times, where communication messages get out at the speed of an angry crowd, the only way to think about comms is in an integrated way. None of the old bubbles can be successful on their own any more.
Online communication and offline communications need to be aligned, and integrated in an overall strategic battle plan. Ditto for internal and external communications. For the broad audience, it does not matter if a message comes from marketing or comms: it’s a brand message, so it better be consistent. If not it will just fuel confusion.
Integrated communications is one of the big topics this year at #SXSW. It requires internal transparency and focus from all communicators within a company. Once an integrated approach exists, the roll out can be done through a plethora of platforms, vehicles and shiny tools.
“Communications starts with strategy,” I heard Brian Solis say today. And he is right. Start with the strategy, forge an integrated way of thinking. Then, only then choose your delivery vehicle.
A communication campaign never starts with an application.