I’ve been at the Ark Group’s conference on internal communications (today I run a workshop on the social business). Yesterday my IABC colleague Tracey Sen from NSW Department of Education and Communities gave a stirring talk about what she has instigated at DEC and what she sees as the ‘must now know’ requirements of a corporate communicator.
As Tracey sees it—and I fully agree with her—it is no longer enough to know how to communicate with text. Now a communicator must know how to communicate through audio and video channels, too.
That doesn’t mean, for example, undertaking hours of training in videography and editing affairs; it *does* mean knowing how to pick up a Flip camera, or your smart phone’s movie camera app) and edit in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (both of which are excellent products and FREE!).
Tracey also pointed out that today’s in-demand communicators also know (even if just a passing glance) about technologies and processes like Agile, plus the underpinning platforms of your clients’ or organisation’s intranet technology. You need to know, for example, what Sharepoint can and can’t do and what alternatives exist. Not at a techie’s level of knowledge, but so that you can have informed conversations with the IT folk.
Tracey concluded her presentation with a wonderful soundbite:
“Mobile is now where social media was two years ago”
‘Social media’ as a topic of discussion is now dead; leading organisations are already there. The conversations that more advanced communicators need to have are now around mobile technologies—how can we take what we have on our intranet and our public-facing website and make it available for smart phones?
Australia’s leading intranet specialists, StepTwo Designs, have a plethora of examples of organisations doing really cool and clever stuff with mobile apps; freeing up the data and freeing up the employee or customer to be able to engage even more with the organisation.
Along with Tracey, I urge you as a serious communicator to move on from the social media conversation (‘shall we, shan’t we?"’ – the world has moved on; social is an essential part of the communication matrix) and begin having discussions about how a ‘mobile’ set of tactics can and should be a part of your overall comms strategy.
And ask your IT folk what platforms your intranet and internet sites run on.