Setting up for the match
Part 1 of a 3 post series. Full disclosure: I’m a very upset Azzuri fan at the moment.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been enjoying the Euro 2012 Tournament. It concluded yesterday with Spain’s domination of Italy. Futbol has a grace and elegance to it not present in all sports. It also tends to be a very emotional on the part of the players, coaches and fans.
It is far from the individualistic sports of tennis and golf. In a match, you have 11 people needing to read, talk and feel together to be successful. It sounds and looks hard. Yet, teams like Spain, make it look effortless. Teams like Italy make it look like a theatrical performance (not always in a good way). And teams like England make it look really, really hard. And ugly.
Futbol is a global sport. It’s played at all levels from pick up games to world championships. Anyone can do it. All you need is a ball. But doing it well is the trick.
This is true of the Internet too. It’s a global thing. And as long as you have an Internet connection (easier said than done), you can be online – as an individual, as an organization, as a dog that has it’s own Facebook page. You name it. And again, doing it well takes so much more planning that just doing it (despite what Nike might tell you).
Here at Visceral we want to make our clients look and feel like the Spanish futbol team (not the Spanish economy), but in the context of the online space.
What does that mean? Indulge my analogy for the next few posts.
First, it means helping you assemble a team and set up a strategy for how you’re going to win the match.
So, how do we do that?
Assemble your team
The first few things we say to our clients when we start to work on a project is:
- This is exciting! Thanks for choosing us. It’s true. We’re like a kid in a candy store for the first time. Every time. Or like a dog that can’t wipe that smile off its face. In short, we’re happy to be here because we love what we do and we’re glad you’ve chosen to run onto the field.
- This is going to be hard. It will be a journey and you’ll need to be there every step of the way. Are you ready for that?
- Who is in? Who will be on your team (except us of course)?
Diving into a digital communications project, whether it be the strategic development phase or the implementation phase of the project (read: defining your goals, creating social media channels, re-designing your website, figuring out what the heck Pinterest is and if you need it, wanting one of those responsive site things), requires fielding the right team to tackle the project.
On your team, you’ll need members who have the following qualities (this list is not exhaustive):
- Coach, decision maker – Understand the field and can make decisions
- Goalie, gate keeper – Have a view of the entire field, play the gate keeper to protect the goals of your organization
- Attackers, implementers - Get down and dirty with writing content, assessing internal existing channels, interviewing people and more
- Mid-fielders shuttling back and forth, project managers – Stay organized
- Defenders, stakeholders – Keep priorities in check
Everyone on your team does not need to know everything, but together they need to compose a group that can execute the plan. This is what winning teams do.
This team will have many components and can be mixed and matched between internal organization members from different areas (marketing, communications, technology) or it can be internal and external with an agency or maybe it can be team of 1. You.
Either way, you can be sure that the effort will require playing different positions, and executing against different roles and responsibilities. After you have your team, you get to dive into creating your playbook. Check in tomorrow for part 2.
- Solve Together, Execute Apart
- Forget Content, Story Trumps Everything
- Content Strategy, Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory of Omission
- Five Steps Toward Reaching the Obvious
- An Amendment to Strunk & White for the Digital Age