A few musings on our role as communicators and what we create as living history.
For many, this summer will feel like a celebration after a long literal and metaphorical winter. As vaccination rates rise and restrictions lift, there's a sense that what was once our 'new reality' begins to find its place in history.
The back-to-school feeling of September will be stronger than ever as we navigate a post-pandemic workforce, be that hybrid, front-line or office-based. As a result, business and department leaders of all types must ask themselves, what do we make a must, how, and most importantly, why?
This passing of time and so-called 'settling of dust' has me reflecting on our role as communicators and the content we create. Like the lessons of the last how-ever-many-months, we must reflect on what we bring forward and how it informs the future. Too true with communication and knowledge management. With a clear strategy as to how time-bound communication informs evergreen resources, communicators help make their digital workplace a must. Here are some things to think about.
What it is: When you're looking something up on the internet, news sources deliver time-sensitive information and content contextualized to the current events. An excellent think piece or beautiful journalism will be looked back on, linked to, and may see bursts of views over time if someone shares in social. But it exists within the timeline of world events, business, or the digital space.
In your Digital Workplace: Think Blogs and Microblogs. This content is the news, announcements, changes, and live experience of your business's digital home. Here’s a best practice on when to use each: When to communicate using a Blog versus a Microblog
Consider auditing Subscription settings quarterly to ensure members and groups get the correct information at the right time. If limiting Subscriptions, find other ways to bring news front-and-center and bring members into the site. A blog channel three layers deep without subscriptions is content members may not know to find.
What it is: Sites like IMDB (for movies) and Wikipedia (for what can seem like most everything else) are ongoing resources and areas of knowledge that are updated as events occur. Entertainment blogs and critics promote and comment on a new movie; IMDB acts as the information source to look back on after when you ask, "who was that actor? What was that thing?". It is updated as new information is available from the time-bound. That's the connection point and ongoing role of a digital workplace manager.
In your Digital Workplace: Think Wiki articles and often Documents. This content is what members come back to time and time again. The version may change, but the content is kept up to date for the current time, within the context of its evergreen purpose. Here’s a best practice on when to use each: When to use a Wiki article versus an uploaded document (BP)
Consider implementing a steering committee and archiving practices to ensure content is up to date. Find opportunities to use Wiki Read Tracking and a yearly reset with a reminder to ensure compliance to crucial business policies.
What we create in the moment and how we react and inform change creates our evergreen content. Our thoughts shape our words, our words our reality, the reality, our history. And the cycle continues as our history informs how we react once more. Communications (time-bound) and Knowledge Management (evergreen) with the right information design can transform businesses. What will you make a must in your digital workplace and post-pandemic life?