In the constantly changing world of social and digital media, corporate communicators must rethink how they communicate with key stakeholders. And those that think they have figured it out are dangerously close to falling behind. The book on social media is still being written and finding the right balance of traditional communications with newer social and digital content and analytics is critical to success.
So what kind of structure works and what is the right dynamic to achieve success? It begins with listening. Understanding what your audience is interested in and how they want to interact with your brand. Stories, news and conversations are living entities that require two-way engagement, listening and active participation. Only then can you begin to share storylines and narratives that promote the value of your company to stakeholders.
MasterCard Communications revolves around this cultural belief and is structured to ensure all team members around the world have the tools, skills and technologies to effectively and efficiently communicate our stories.
A center piece of our function is our just launched newsroom and blog. The reimagined newsroom dubbed The Engagement Bureau and the redesigned Cashless Pioneers Blog make up a MasterCard conversation and publishing ecosystem that helps people engage with the brand, discover amazing and sharable content and immerse themselves in a discussion around the benefits of digital payments.
Our goal was simple. Lead a conversation that allows us to inform, engage and demonstrate the value that MasterCard is bringing to the media, bloggers and our stakeholders without simply shouting messages from a soapbox. This effort is all about bringing a point of view to life through engagement, visual storytelling, conversation and rich digital content that can be created, shared and published real time.
From a design perspective, the content is engaging, designed for interactions and rich with content and perspective that comes from the company and curated from around the web and social. It’s about bringing a point of view to life through visual storytelling, video, conversation streams and info-graphics and sharing information and ideas in real time. Most importantly, it is about being relevant to the people you are engaged with and at a local level. The best way to achieve this is let your brand step back from the spotlight and have 3rd parties, industry observers, happy customers and people tell their story and how you have empowered them - –that’s when engagement begins to take off.
My philosophy is simple. The traditional channels for storytelling may have changed and are certain to change more, but what remains constant is the power of listening, of earning your way into a conversation, and respect for your audience. This is the foundation for a new communications contract between businesses and stakeholders that’s based on genuine engagement.
Take a look and let me know what you think. I’ll be talking more about these topics at the Social Shake Up this Monday so follow the conversation at #ssilistening and #socialshakeup and share how you are reimaging digital storytelling.