I spend a lot of time engaged with technology. Much of my work with clients is over the internet. Digital communication is always considered and included in the communications plans and strategies I develop. I also connect with friends and family through email, text and social media daily.
I am, in the common parlance, "extremely online." So why, when I work with organizations and clients, do I put such an emphasis on connecting with communities, customers and constituencies offline? In our hyperconnected culture, why do I prioritize strategies that have a heavy "real world" component?
Simply put, it is because the core of effective communication is connection. We connect best when we are rooted in our humanness. That humanness cannot be duplicated or achieved even with the most sophisticated technological advances.
I have, in my many years of professional communications work, seen too many organizations and agencies invest in a new app or widget or platform to "improve engagement." These tools are remarkable. They are vibrant and incredibly useful, but they require a base of established trust and communication. In other words, they are great at improving engagement, but they cannot create engagement. What many of these organizations haven't realized is that the foundation on which they lay technology is not strong enough to support it. We must first build the base upon which more robust and effective connections can rest. You, and your team, need to be approaching your constituencies first and foremost as people. This kind of honest, human connection can be incredibly difficult. Behind a computer, we can hide our emotions or shield ourselves from seeing the people with whom we are not connecting. That cannot be avoided when we move into the "real world." Nonetheless, the real world is where we best create relationships, which in turn build trust, which in turn drive engaged communications.
I will never tell you that your organization will not benefit from a new technological tool. But I will also never tell you that the tools available to you will be enough on their own. There is simply no scenario wherein your community or your organization benefit from a robust technological portfolio and a weak interpersonal strategy. If you are thinking about or are already investing in technology, you owe it to yourself, your organization and your constituents to also invest in the structure that will support that technology. If you have a tool that you thought would revolutionize your process but is collecting dust, you may only need to back up and look at where you can improve the framework of your human interactions.
I want you to thrive. Let me take a look and help you develop the strategies and policies that will make your organization an engagement and communications powerhouse. Get in touch.