Photo by atlnav, Flickr.
University of Oregon’s web team is smart, because they’ve become strategic. Their Celebrating Champions program, turns attention from big-time college athletics into a year-around narrative of university excellence.
Strategic communications means you have a plan, says Zack Barnett. Plans include goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. It also helps you fend off the “dumb plans” that pop up which don’t fit into your institution’s goals.
Goal: the ideal
Align your goal with your university’s overall goal. (And if you don’t have an overall goal; be subversive. Assess what your institution needs and write your own goal.)
Objectives: set the bar
Your goals don’t have to be fancy, but they should be there. When you tie your webwork to the overall mission of the University, you gain power. Use analytics to plan and track your successes. “Spin analytics in your favor. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN,” says Barnett. “VPs and AVPs don’t understand analytics — SPIN IT!”
Strategies: specific directions or choices
Are you using print, web, facebook? More likely a combination of many platforms.
Tactics = actions
Tactics are assignments your team members will leave the room with. WARNING! Be sure your tactics follow your goals and objectives! Don’t shoehorn your goals/objectives into your tactics.
To move from tactical to strategic communications, Web Communications at the University of Oregon:
- Doubled the size of their staff
- Built an alliance with IT
- Rebuilt their home site, allowing the team to move from tactics to strategies.
Are you an army of one? One person shops have a hard time being strategic because they’re focused on tactics all the time. (If you’re an army of one, you already know this.) But the less time you have the more strategic you have to be, and if you can show that your strategies pay off, you have more leverage with the higher-ups to get the additional resources you need.