Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Give staff a voice! (Part 1 of 10)

Your staff, ALL of your staff, are potential advocates for your cause and have real expertise and experiences to share. However, the fear of writing and using online tools are real. Even with social media, smart phones and online activity taking over so much of our lives, your staff may hesitate to act as the voice of your cause online.

SO what do you do?

I have presented a session about Enabling Program Staff to be Digital Editors a few times now, but want to share my thoughts in a 10 post series. So here I go.

Gradually shifting the culture is the key to enabling digital editors. This is not a quick win, but there are quick wins to be had.

Gradually Shift the Culture
1.Publish Metrics
2.Establish Structure and Accountability
3.Remove Barriers
4.Regular Training and Resources
5.Enable Individuals while Maintaining the Brand

A deliberate effort is needed to build the voice of your organization to support and impact your cause. And the first step is to have a plan, which is pretty much always true.  The plan does not have to be a 200 line, detailed, gantt chart with pretty colors, load balanced, fully funded, leadership endorsed behemoth. It just has to be a plan that you will actually be able to act on. Don't create a plan bigger than your capacity.

Then pick a place and get started. Even though I numbered the steps above, you can go in whatever order your org needs. In fact, you may even need to add your own steps. I have had others indicate that they needed to consider some other steps like:
  • Fixing all of the tech - make it easy to use the tools to update website, email, social media, etc.
  • Get leadership support - either go direct and build a case with your leadership OR do some pilot efforts to show success, then keep getting those efforts approved. We learned the hard way that getting a strategy approved CAN be HARDER than getting a small pilot approved.
  • Get some expertise or a partner - if your org lacks the expertise to get this rolling, then look for a volunteer, partner or vendor to help. Don't forget all of the awesome resources from communities like www.nten.org or sites like www.socialbrite.org, www.idealware.org or www.techsoup.org.
Anyway, I  think you get the idea. Hope to talk to you in the next post where we jump into how to use metrics to enable program staff as digital editors. Thanks!

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