I’ve almost reached the 1-year mark at my new job! It’s been a whirlwind of events, a huge corporate-culture learning curve and an all-around valuable experience from both a personal and professional stand point.
When I first started in this position, it was very much a hit-the-ground-running scenario. Annual reports had to be written, creative collateral had to be developed and press releases needed to be distributed for upcoming events. As a result, my job became much more tactical and reactionary, rather than strategic and proactive.
Now that I’m no longer the newbie at the office (phew!), I’ve been called upon to do more research, observation, reflection and strategic planning. How should we be talking about our organization? What are other non-profits doing from a social media, web and PR perspective? I need to be a one-woman think tank! This is an interesting, new phase at my job – I’m strategizing more than I’m doing – and this phase has taught me a lot:
Being tactically-oriented only gets you so far.
We can get so caught up in the “doing” we lose sight of the bigger picture.
I can think that I know what I’m doing when it comes to communications and social media, but it isn’t until you stop doing and start reading, researching, exploring, learning, observing, charting and planning that your communication and engagement with stakeholders is maximized. I’m not sure what the perfect formula is yet, but I’m certain that the time you spend planning should far outweigh the time you spend doing.
It’s one thing to tweet, post messages on Facebook, or pin ’til your heart’s content, but WHY are you doing it? What are your goals and objectives? What are the tweets and posts accomplishing? Are they even worth it? What are your competitors saying and doing on their social media platforms? What are their key messages and calls to action? Is it working for them?
How can you start doing more by doing less?
- Follow Twitter accounts and subscribe to blogs that relate to your industry. I follow a lot of individuals and organizations that are talking about social media for non-profits. It’s amazing what I’ve learned! There are so many online and mobile fundraising opportunities to explore. Not everything I’ve learned is applicable to my organization, but the filtering process is all part of being strategic. Not everything that works for one company will work for yours, but it’s important to know what’s out there.
- Attend seminars, conferences and webinars that relate to your industry. I recently attended ArtezInteraction 2012 Conference and am signed up for Non-Profit Tech 2.0′s Facebook webinar at the end of this month. This will expose you to the most innovative ideas out there, allow you to learn best practices, and will also allow you to network with professionals in your field – and we all know how I feel about networking.
- Invite experts in your field out for coffee. Pick their brain and find out what they’re doing, what they’re learning and what tactics have given them the greatest ROI.
Since taking a step back from the tactical, I’ve noticed a drastic improvement in the ROI on my social media engagement. Being strategic with each tweet, post, photo gallery, link or press release has resulted in better media pick up and fan/donor recognition. I’m doing less work and seeing bigger results!
My “accomplish more by doing less” philosophy isn’t only relevant to PR and communications. It’s relevant to many, and maybe any, industry. If you’re in marketing, the answer to increasing sales isn’t always to buy a billboard, make a TV ad, or hire an A-list celebrity spokesperson. If you’re on the hunt for your dream gig, the answer isn’t always to send out more resumes and job applications.
As a 2013 New Years Resolution, take the time to evaluate your situation – your company, cause, industry and competitors – and analyze what tactics will work best for you. Stop throwing darts at a target in an attempt to hit the bullseye. Start reading, researching, exploring, learning, observing, charting and planning.
Be deliberate and intentional with every tactic you choose to implement.
I’d love to hear how you or your company accomplishes more by doing less in 2013!