Digital integration is a necessary approach to all business communications, but the best place to begin incorporating Web strategies is inside the organization. But just because it's the right (and only) thing to do to remain competitive, challenges still abound. Saurabh Wahi, senior vice president for DialogueMedia at MWW Group, offers these caveats to consider before beginning the process of digital integration:
Manage your expectations. "Don't expect overwhelming participation from day one. Instead, plan on proactively merchandising the benefits and successes of an internal platform consistently for several weeks before employees truly embrace the value of the system."
Protect your assets. "Anytime information is aggregated in one central space, it is important to identify the security risks associated with the platform," Wahi says. "Also be sure to develop a clear and concise set of guidelines regarding what employees can and cannot do with shared information. Employees must be made aware of these guidelines so that they are comfortable participating in a digital channel and feel secure about sharing their information."
Don't apply pressure. "Lead by example and incentivize participation instead of forcing it," Wahi advises. "When beginning the process of digital integration, companies should encourage internal use rather than requiring it. If vice presidents and managers are actively using digital channels to communicate, others at the organization will feel more encouraged to participate. On the contrary, if no one at the senior level is embracing digital platforms, employees may see them as useless and not aligned to the organization's goals."
For more on Digital Integration, see the January 19, 2009 issue of PR News.