The Pain of Digital Communications to Practitioners
Corporate communication can be fun or complicated, leaving PR practitioners emotionally drained. It is easier for the communication teams that work for authentic organizations because all they need to do is identify their target audience and tell their story. However, even for them, the scatteredness syndrome occasioned by endless digital inventions is always a challenge to contend with. It is harder for communication practitioners who have to invent stories about non-existent activities and events in their organization for brand sustenance, it ends up as an energy-sucking activity for the communications experts.
Storytelling is a technique that requires communication skills, but the starting point is a real story about a real event or activity. One of the easiest ways to gauge the authenticity of your stories is the internal stakeholders’ feedback and word of mouth. If your internal stakeholders struggle to relate to your communication products, it is time to rethink your organizational storytelling techniques and more significantly your events, activities, and the desired impact.
The Scatteredness Syndrome
I define Scatteredness syndrome as organizational communication that is all over the place like a toddler learning to walk. Digital Communication which is supposed to make communication efficient is the main cause of scatteredness. Scattered communication increases digital fatigue on the communications personnel and sadly, to the consumer. Should an organization always chase the wind in trying to have content on all social media platforms? Previously, when Facebook and Twitter were the only widely used social media platforms, Integrated marketing techniques which combine all marketing efforts and communication channels by an organization to provide the consumer with a seamless online experience were adequate.
First, Integrated marketing techniques gave control to the PR departments because there was total coordination of marketing communication in the organization. It left little or no room for brand misrepresentation because the process combined and transformed tangible resources such as brand identity into direct and indirect performance outcomes (Gordon-Isasi et al., 2022).
Secondly, integrated communication allowed the company to integrate campaigns and messages across platforms and devices. The firm was then able to analyse the customers’ demographic and behavioural characteristics. The data obtained from the analysis could be used to segment the company’s market and draw specific strategies targeting each segment based on consumer characteristics, increasing customer value. This strategy ensures a maximum return on investment. It also enables the evaluation possible based on the return on investment anchored on the consumer-related performance (Suay-Pérez et al., 2022).
Focus on a few channels identified through research
Artificial Intelligence has come in handy in collecting and analysing data for better experiences, but the big question is whether the audience is ready for this spread. To complicate the situation further, most firms do not have the time and resources to custom-make content that suits each of the social media platforms. Integrated communication is more than getting an application that cross-posts content on all social media platforms. Practitioners who have viewed integrated communication as a cross-posting tool have ended up using unsuitable content designs on some platforms hence lowering the quality of the user experience.
It is easier for established brands to build an audience on new platforms. They can also afford personnel to design content for each of the platforms a luxury not affordable to many. Without dismissing the idea of running all possible social media platforms, I suggest that Communication Practitioners carefully select two or three major communication channels to start with through research. Secondly, they should focus on designing proper communication outputs that are supported by respective digital platforms because there will not be an end to the invention of new communication platforms, especially social media platforms.
Gordon-Isasi, J., Narvaiza, L., & Gibaja, J. J. (2022). An exploratory approach of the association between integrated marketing communication and business performance in higher education institutions. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/08841241.2022.2070938
Suay-Pérez, F., Penagos-Londoño, G. I., Porcu, L., & Ruiz-Moreno, F. (2022). Customer perceived integrated marketing communications: A segmentation of the soda market. Journal of Marketing Communications, 28(4), 448–464. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2021.1915853