I suspect that most people reading this will be familiar with the idea of crowd sourcing, that is drawing on the help of other willing souls to solve a problem.
It occurred to me recently that I had a digital communications problem, well two, that the crowd might be able to help with. So what were the problems?
1) Well, as ever, resources. No matter how optimistic I am I will never have the resources I think that I should have for digital communications. I suspect that every team feels the same?
2) My other problem (lets call it a challenge) again a common one is to get more internal engagement with digital communications.
The two birds, one stone thinking started to occur. What if I could combine the two problems and create a solution that fixes both issues? I know I am a dreamer.
This is what I did.
I put a slightly cryptic note on the intranet asking if colleagues wanted to be Digital Ambassadors? This was along the lines of would they be interested in helping out our team and at the same time giving us their ideas about what we could do differently.
More in desperation than hope I posted the item. Within two days I had seven colleagues from a range of grades come back and say that they would be interested. Now that was a very pleasant surprise.
So I have started to go through the list and talk to my colleagues one by one to see what they know about digital and what they might be able to help with.
As a result I now have a colleague Marie who is helping with the corporate Twitter account.
When there is a standard Retweet of one of our messages she now thanks the Tweeter in her own name. Its a nice personal touch. Last week two of her messages were made favourites. Its as simple as that to retain the personal touch on a corporate Twitter account that it getting close to 30,000 followers. Once this process has settled down we will see what else Marie can help with on our account.
Marie mentioned that she has a personal blog. This gave me the idea to run a workshop called Boost your blog so that other colleagues with blogs like her can share ideas. You can see where this is going … they transfer knowledge between each other, including NAO bloggers … and its another chance to find colleagues interested in digital…
Last week I met another audit colleague and we discussed some potential ideas. It turns out that before he came to the NAO he had helped with a web content tidy up project. Just by chance I am about to run a similar project. Bingo. Its a bit like digital matchmaking.
All in all an experiment that certainly was worth trying and has a lot of potential.