Winning the battle for digital
Are you fighting to convince your organisation to improve its digital presence? Are you winning?
We brought an unassuming Digital Champion and an Internet of Things (IoT) evangelist together in front of an invited online audience to talk honestly on how they are winning their respective digital battles. We were delighted to welcome attendees that included a prestigious university, a leading scientific publisher, a large housing organisation, and a number of government departments.
Our Digital Champion works in the communications department at a military organisation; the IoT evangelist in a scientific instrumentation company. Despite our speakers’ contrasting responsibilities, styles and work environments they have one key thing in common – they are both winning the battle for digital.
How are they winning?
The event took place under ‘Chatham House’ rules so we aren’t publishing full details, but they both had some incredibly useful advice to share.
They tell stories
“If you’ve got a story to tell and you want to tell the world, then you’ve got to get into the digital age”
Both our guests talked about the importance of telling stories; by choosing the right content and sharing it through the right channels, or by using data to create compelling narratives.
One launched a successful podcast at the beginning of the year – a perfect channel to share the powerful stories people in the organisation had to tell. The other successfully harnessed a sea of data to make it understandable and valuable both internally and externally too.
They agreed that targeting was important; recognising that you can’t be everything to everyone, but also thinking about how you set yourself apart and focus on where you can add value.
They build the digital case
Our speakers had different, but successful approaches. Our IoT evangelist felt that it wasn’t true in their case to say ‘if you build it [a digital project], they will come’. That’s not enough. His advice is to build it, work with your team, do it on trust, and then bring people in – taking your work externally, giving people a good experience and building relationships.
Our Digital Champion had a consensus approach. Play a slow game as culture can take decades to change. He also recommended making sure managers are clear about the need to keep internal and external messages separate, and using the appropriate channels for key audiences.
Our IoT evangelist admitted it can be a tough journey, and you will face the people who say “what’s the point?” These will be the same people that in a few years will also ask “Why you didn’t do it earlier?”
If he was starting his journey again, he would keep other people on the journey and remember that not everyone ‘gets it’. Like the debate over office versus home working, there are a wide range of views from people in different circumstances – just like digital. Thankfully, having rowed back to fix that, he is now paddling forwards again.
“Listen. Don’t just push out messages” says our Digital Champion
As well as engaging internally to build support for what you are working on, our Digital Champion recommended investing in engagement. He spends around three hours per evening answering questions sent in to his organisation’s social media accounts. He accepted this wasn’t sustainable long-term for him to do, but is determined to find a way to keep it up because of the massive value it adds.
Our online audience had plenty of questions, which we’ll share along with the answers in our next post. We’d love to hear about your digital journeys too – the challenges you are facing and if we or our connections can help.
Get in touch.