Are your digital efforts a strategy or a hobby?

Greater Media’s Peter Smyth riffed in a recent blog about the potential for social media to pull focus away from station goals. Smyth asks a crucial question: is it a hobby, or a business. He asserts “If we keep adding [new social media tools] without specific goals or focus, we end up with a patchwork of gizmos… [as] staffers pursue their individual passions and hobbies but lose track of the station’s goals.”

Peter’s point was excellent then, and it’s becoming even more critical now as companies are struggle with allocation of very limited dollars, and perhaps more important, very limited time. The signficance of social media has made it all the more vital to have strategic plan that provides a road map for the organization as well as a decision framework to help guide the day-to-day choices. Without that, you’re left with hobbies, gizmos, and individual  interests.

From a digital strategy perspective, there are several firms offering tools and services. However, one firm clearly positions itself as a strategic partner – Emmis Interactive (EI). EI has developed an unmatched strategic curriculum, a unique and comprehensive set of tools, and powerful and integrated underlying platform. That strategic emphasis and holistic, integrated approach is the reason dmr established a partnership with EI.

Underscoring the success EI is having with stations, Arbitron recently invited EI Co-President Deb Esayian to present at its annual sales meeting. Arbitron’s goal was to learn about how its customers were employing Emmis Interactive to develop a sustainable and self-sufficient digital strategy.

If you’re already employing a digital strategy, yet contining to struggle with resource allocations and focus — especially with the slippery slope of social media, Forrester Research has recently introduced a wonderful tool they call HEROs (Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives). It’s in beta at the moment, but you can access it here.

HERO is designed to help you evaluate your employee-led digital and social media projects. It provides a series of questions and guideposts to help you determine how valuable it is to you versus the effort it takes to complete.

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