People first

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groundswell.jpgAll these new channels - blogs, Twitter, YouTube, whatever - require some exploration to fully understand. And so begins the romancing. As we see the unique qualities of a particular tool or channel, we swoon, and become a hammer-pounder for it. Every problem gets solved with a blog, or the tool du jour.

What's a hammer pounder? You know the old maxim, "Give a kid a hammer and everything looks like a nail."

This is why basic training in strategic communication is so important. It helps you focus on achieving long-term objectives. It keeps you from being seduced by tactics. So you don't become a hammer pounder.

Take a look at this article by Josh Bernoff, co-author of the excellent book Groundswell. He advocates the POST method:

  • People: assess your customers' social activities
  • Objectives: decide what you want to accomplish
  • Strategy: plan for how relationships with customers will change
  • Technology: decide which social technologies to use
Traditional communication training may use the term "audience." But "people" is better. An audience is an aggregate, faceless, unknowable. But people are knowable. Since we're engaging one person at time in unique communication transactions with social media, let's embrace "people." 

So remember, if you ever get lost in a morass of technologies and don't know how to proceed with a communication problem, slow down. Take a breath. And remember, people first.

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This page contains a single entry by David Kamerer published on June 29, 2008 8:02 AM.

Good design: more than making things pretty was the previous entry in this blog.

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