Armando Liussi

Social networking laboratory

Strategic solutions in digital communications

Monday, September 21st, 2009
Networks ´Fabada´

Let´s see an exotic recipe:

  • Select a country from a G8 club.
  • It is imperative that their ingredients must be top social-networkers.
  • Let us add “mobile technology lovers” and “highly addicted to sending SMS”.
  • Add a valid network, I & M vitamin zed (Mobile & Internet).
  • Add salt to the stew with blogs, gadgets and techies.
  • Expected results: a professional enterprise field, widely adapted to web 2.0

However, when we talk about Spain, considered the first country in Europe and second in the world after Brazil in percentage of Internet users participating in social networks (as reflected in the study ‘The Network Society 2008’ ‘La Sociedad en Red 2008‘ National Observatory Telecommunications), where six of every ten Spanish are connected to the Internet, where the sending of SMS is at the forefront of Europe (GSMA 2008), where the ICT industry’s turnover grew 1.5% in excess of € 114,000 million, where the development of blogs and gadgets is spread over the peninsula, we find that the finished dish is rather poor: 95% of Spanish companies have not adapted to digital media.

This study shows us a tangible reality: only a few companies have been able to successfully deal with a concrete strategy of communication directed to digital media and moreover, to digital communities.

There are many reasons for this recurrent failure, although we found that all of them have deep roots in strategic planning specifically, or the lack of it. Countless times I have experienced companies that have wanted to establish non-related communication-actions without having a valid structure nor a corporate pipeline to enable these actions to flow, in order that these actions can be measured, analyzed and recycled according to the company’s strategic objectives.

More than once -as I said in a previous post– I have seen that awareness of a given event (let´s call it a crisis, a pandemic stage or a leaderless event) hastens the demand for contingency planning. That´s the equivalent of contracting fire insurance after seeing your house turn into ashes. However, the story does not end there. It is usual that once made this sovereign Contingency Plan, be kept safely under lock and key.

Well, nobody’s going to read the Fire Manual when the house is burning.

Behold, in strategic communication, we find a reality mirror. Just as the sheer fact of having a corporate website doesn´t turn “digital” an enterprise, having employees operating in blogs, using Facebook or Skype doesn´t grant the company a “web 2.0” license.

Ultimately, the only way to be a “web 2.0” company is through business development, focusing on the external and internal clients (hey, they are digitals!), and understanding communications as an exercise in corporate growth and implementing -thru professional companionship- the necessary cultural change.

Or we will have a very distant technological ´casserole´ for our consumers to taste.

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