The brain-trust over at Edelman does it again, does it regularly. Here are some thoughts on the emerging landscape and how traditional business models, and needs fit into the mix. While not all together new, the placement of public relations as a function in the context of the online space is part of a compelling debate that D. Armano (among others) provides insight to, here’s more on that….
Digital Embassies: A Blueprint For Community Engagement
View more presentations from Edelman Digital.
Engaging your community. So Call this a blueprint if you will for how you and your organization can think about building and managing multiple embassies in a hyper-connected world
Community management is not a new discipline and aspects of it can be traced back to traditional message boards and online forums. These dynamics are evolving and mutating into mainstream activities as powered by large and niche social platforms as well as social “layers” added to digital properties. Community engagement is often limited to moderation which is the minimal form of the activity and the least proactive. The most proactive community engagement combines the activities of “ambassadors” with technology. Best Buy’s Twelpforce, for example combines employee ambassadors with a home-grown management system that tracks employee participation and content creation
Advocacy is one of the end goals of community engagement—it’s the only way to scale it as hiring an endless supply of community managers is not the answer. A disciplined team leveraging the right technology can influence opinions and attitudes of stakeholders resulting in their advocating on behalf of the organization. This is one of the core goals of community engagement and why it’s worth implementing.
5 Steps Toward Community Engagement
1. Assess Community Needs & Interests
2. Develop Rules For Engagement
3. Identify The Right Managers For Your Community
4. Establish Internal & External Process
5. Step 5, Train Equip & Deploy (T.E.D.)
Where Does Community Engagement Live In Your Organization?
The philosophical answer is everywhere. But if your organization decides to invest in community engagement, it has to fall within the structure somewhere.
As with any organizational initiative, KPI’s (key performance indicators) and forms of measurement must be put in place. This topic can stand on its own for an entirely separate article, but at a macro level it’s worth noting that measurement should be looked at from a dual purpose. Some metrics are based around a behavioral change. For example, a community manager engaging an unhappy community member who was leaving a stream of negative comments and changing that stream to positive is a behavioral change. Crisis avoidance can have economic implications in the form of cost savings (projecting how much it would have cost the company if the crisis escalated to mainstream media). Advocacy can play a role in both these scenarios. Measurement frameworks for community engagement can start here.
In addition, leveraging tactics such as training and deploying community managers outside of original forums is a natural extension of how the Web is evolving and emulating the physical world.Read more at darmano.typepad.com