The entire communications world places huge importance on the concept of relevance, and tailored media packages satisfy consumer needs and allow for better targeted advertising, theoretically generating greater revenue.
And yet ‘browsing’ – and the consequent discovery of some news or interest that you didn’t know you wanted to read about until you saw it – is also more prevalent than ever amongst these people through social media.
People still get sent to stories they wouldn’t otherwise have seen, pictures, links, music they weren’t aware of, through Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and the rest.
For organisations trying to engage with this group, and as this group grows, potentially it raises an interesting thought.
One way to engage is the ‘traditional’ method – create compelling content and disseminate it through the relevant media channels, hoping for a viral effect somewhere along the line.
Alternatively, however, organisations will increasingly move away from producing the content.
Rather they will use their employees, their supporters, their members – which ever – to live their values online, spreading their own content and messaging among their own followers and friends in their own, personal networks.
This grassroots approach to engagement wouldn’t work if it is a fake, Astroturf approach – but is powerful if it is genuine. But to achieve that an organisation needs to stand for something, be able to articulate it and be confident that its employees share its vision.
This isn’t about training employees to tweet and putting rules in place – but developing such a strong identity about what your organisation is and what its values are that this happens naturally once you give your people free reign to publish as themselves.
Potentially, then, the role of internal communications will change and its importance (and I don’t mean to say it’s not important now) will grow exponentially.
I think we’re closer to this point than many organisations realise. What is saying more about you at this moment – your press releases, or what your people are saying on their blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages?