Today a friend contacted me with great news. She was recently hired as a communications manager for an event center. She has reinventing herself. So at the outset of this she asked what advice I could offer as she ventures out into this new space.
Not wanting to overwhelm, I decided to keep the first steps really simple. So I shared these three principles: Listen first, engage, and most of all promote others. Yes, it is much more complex than that. What I see too often is communications made too complex. So here is how I broke those three down for her.
Listen: Gather all the interested parties that exist in your business world (customers, collaborator/partners, vendors, champions, friends and colleagues. Never discount anyone as the contact database and scope is developed. It is hard to gauge who will be a valuable contact. Sometimes the most unlikely ones will be the best. Hangout where the community gathers, both on and off line. Really learn about the community before you jump in. Use tools like Rapportive to gather all the outposts they use.
Engage: Once you have a feel for the community, begin to engage and add value. Be sincere and open. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Some things will work and other won’t. Only trying will tell. Don’t assume that a tool like twitter is the one to use. Fill the toolbox with what the community already uses. Most of all give them a place to gather; preferably your home base (like a blog) where the attention gained can easily be guided to the things you want to offer.
Promote Others: Luckily this principle is a staple in the event business. Other than just being a good practice because it is the right thing to do, you will become known for someone of value, someone to be connected to.
Please add more since this is an ongoing conversation. I am so excited to see where she goes with it.