Who do you think you are talking to?

Dan Charobee

Dan Charobee

A client of mine is undergoing a transition. With a tight budget, is they have to stop printing and distributing a booklet that has been a mainstay in their educational program. At a recent meeting of nonprofits and video media specialists the issue was raised about traditional media embedded in the organization and the mindset of the board. How your organization talks to its stakeholders – knowing who they are and how they communicate – is a valuable part of your technology strategy.  

Considering that each generation communicates in a different way, the entry of Millenials, who brought more technology into organizations, is now being followed by the Digital Generation. The Millenials earned their place by being the generation that said “no problem” when Y2K panicked the globe. The youngest is 20 years old and they are the ones marked the most by the “Great Recession”. The oldest of the Digitals is 19, entering the workforce during a re-structuring and re-growth period; is using digital communications from their earliest social interactions. 

A technology strategy keeps your organization effective by focusing on your mission and objectives while managing the influences of mega tech ad campaigns; day-to-day “we could use an I-This, a Tweet That, a Face What”; and legacy communications methods. Here is how to begin your technology strategy:

  1. Take a position and tie it into your mission and objectives. Will you be a technology innovator, leader, authority, advanced user, user, follower, or traditionalist?
  2. Formulate your strategy: “We will utilize technology that is proven and effective for meeting our objectives”.
  3. Address technology factors in your communications activities: faster deployment, faster and quantified response, and easier pass-along vs. longer life, quality image, and traditional audience.
  4. Don’t forget the “Old Coke, New Coke” rule. If you forget to address those that rely on traditional communications, you may lose your most valuable stakeholders.

You will find it easier to manage the technology wave by having a technology strategy and even get some nice surprises. The client that is dropping the print work is able to focus more on integrating their enrollment process and program display. And yes, they figured out a way to communicate with their traditionalists as well.

 Author:  Dan Charobee,  Executive Coaches of Orange County,  www.ECofOC.org

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