When we talk about New Work and the transformation of the working world through digitalisation, it is important to also be aware of the possible difficulties. A good example is the digitalisation of communication. After all, many business units now communicate with their stakeholders primarily digitally – via industry platforms, forums, professional and social networks. And even if you are not on the move here (which would surprise me), it is still not impossible that people are talking about you and your company, including your performance as an employer. In the past, it used to be said: “What I don’t know won’t hurt me!” – but those days are over. In the worst case scenario, a veritable shitstorm will brew over you without you even noticing…
Now I am a management consultant and not a communications expert. Nevertheless, I advise my clients to deal with the sunny and dark sides of the digital transformation of communication and to have a well-developed strategy in the drawer just in case.
Don’t dance at all weddings
In consultations, which I also conduct together with suitable experts, I often observe that marketing, sales and HR like to emphasise only the positive aspects of digital communication: Intensive contact with stakeholders, contact with people with whom one would not have come into contact via classic media, etc. pp. All well and good, but what many companies underestimate is the time required and the associated burden on employees. And, of course, that qualified staff is urgently needed to ensure that in extreme cases – such as a shitstorm – everything does not get out of hand.
Strategy and sound advice
Whatever you tackle in the course of your company’s digital communication – think carefully about which stakeholders get the highest priority. Also, check how much time your employees have to spend on the various platforms and to keep an eye on them regularly, and set priorities. Because the fact is: it is not enough to assign one or more interns. Your presence should be consistent – both linguistically and visually – with your corporate identity. This also applies in the event that something gets out of control.
New work, digitalisation, transformation: make use of specialist knowledge!
As a strategy consultant, I primarily support the management. For the tactical implementation of your corporate strategy, I recommend bringing additional specialists on board who have a special view of the opportunities and risks of digital transformation communication in the various corporate divisions.
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