We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

May 18th, 2010

Content Planning: Choosing the Platform

Once the goals of a content publishing program have been established and buy-in received from all key stakeholders, the time comes to decide what platform or platforms the program winds up living on. In my first post I steadfastly avoided pigeonholing what was being discussed by avoiding identifying it as being a corporate blog program. While a blog might be the primary platform people think of when discussing publishing plans it’s far from the only option. Programs such as these can be run solely on social/status networks, within the comments on third-party blogs or elsewhere. They can also be solely internal-facing and happen on intranets, corporate wikis or even plain old fashion inter-office email.

It’s here where returning to the goals laid out in step one comes in handy since that’s going to influence the decision of what platforms are used.

Let’s take “reaching industry influencers” as an example of one of the goals a program is designed to achieve. There are likely multiple ways to do this but there are also two questions that need to be asked before anything is decided upon:

  1. What platforms are those people who have been identified as influentials using themselves?
  2. What sorts of conversations are they already having there?

After finding those answers the platform decision comes even more clearly into focus, but not necessarily in the expected ways. If the conversations are happening almost solely on social networks, then participation there may (note: may) simply become clutter and a blog may be able to position itself as a new and important hub and news source. Again, it comes back to making sure the platforms chosen are going to be the right ones to accomplish program goals.

Part of that conversation also has to be around the resources necessary for creating the best possible presentation on the platform. As we often tell clients, while some people may believe social media platforms can be developed quickly and cheaply the results aren’t going to present the message in a manner worthy of the company. So there need to be resources (such as the top-shelf web development team we have at Voce) available to make sure the platforms decided upon are up to a quality standard.

Finding the sweet spot where program goals, audience reach and available resources is the trick in this stage. But taking the time to make sure that the platform that’s decided upon is the one that’s going to be most effective is much better than throwing a lot of time and energy into something that’s not well researched and therefore isn’t going to have the impact it needs to.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

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