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The 4 Gears of Digital

Reputation matters more than ever before. Protecting it has to be put front and centre of your communication efforts. This requires combining the traditional skills of strategy and messaging with a fresh approach to engagement and transparency.

We at Portland have developed a model, called “The 4 Gears of Digital” to help you organise your thinking.

It should start with strategy and the development of an overall narrative and message.  The approach to digital is to bring the business goals and values to life and then engage around it.  Proper strategic thinking comes before tactics which then allow you to use a variety of formats to deliver the message.

People expect every organisation, corporate and government, to engage around the messaging, to explain and respond. It doesn’t matter whether there’s any legal imperative for an organisation to respond, audiences now expect it.

How do you then deliver the message? For this you’ll need an understanding of different formats, different social media platforms, as well as SEO and writing for the web. Socialising of the content is likely to involve an approach to devolved and shared responsibility within the organisation. Underlying all of this is an understanding what platforms your audience uses and the type of content that engages them.

In this new era of transparency, the notion of corporate and government privacy is dissolving. People expect data, expect to see behind the scenes and expect to hear direct from the CEO. There’s an assumption that a much bigger array of tools will be used to deliver a far more detailed and nuanced picture.The 4 Gears of Digital

This is very much about a process that helps you organise digital within your business. However, underlying all of this is the really crucial part – understanding what your audience wants and expects and where you can reach them.
Mark Flanagan is Portland’s Partner for Digital. Mark tweets at @markflanagan_

Written By

Mark Flanagan