By John Simpson, Engagement Consultant
What should go into your digital engagement strategy can be a complex and organizationally challenging question. The specifics of your own strategy are usually discovered with some internal “soul searching” and by nailing down exactly what public engagement is for you and your leadership. Yet, there are a few basic components that anyone can leverage when beginning to develop the framework for their digital engagement strategy or evaluate an existing one:
- Understand your organization’s business goals
- Craft a holistic and intentional content plan
- Measure and analyze the results of your outreach for key metrics and patterns
- Tell a story about people and the real world impact of your work on the lives citizens
This blog series will explore each of these basics, which we reviewed in our webinar,Best Practices in Stakeholder Engagement in Federal Government, to provide some next steps you can take to improve your agency’s digital engagement strategy.
Start by understanding your business goals
While revisiting your organization’s business goals may seem like an overly simplistic step, it is key in understanding how to build a lasting and effective digital engagement strategy. Often an office may only have an existential understanding of the department’s business goals and colleagues could have very different expectations for the practical effects of those goals. Everything, from your content to your outreach tools, needs to map back to achieving your business objectives. Too often, organizations overburden their public communications with too many photos, links, or calls to action without evaluating how each piece fits into their larger strategy.
When laying the foundation for your digital strategy, be sure you are able to answer these basic questions:
- Why are you reaching out?
- Who are you reaching out to?
- What outcomes do you want?
- How do you want your audience to act?
Whatever your goals may be, it is imperative to keep them in mind when you are reaching out to the public. Creating the right content and choosing the best communication tool will depend on your answer. Unless you know your organization’s business goals, you will not be able to improve your organization’s digital engagement or effectively connect with your audience.
What questions do you ask when determining business goals? Do you have other best practices to suggest? Let us know in the comments below.