Two articles on time management and the ability to focus recently caught our interest. While Tony Schwartz’s blog post
in Harvard Business Review and Melinda Beck’s article
in the Wall Street Journal center on an individual’s ability to focus, there are lessons that can be learned about how your organization directs its energy, specifically in communication strategy.Both writers discuss the value of focusing on what is important. In an era of limited staff time and resources, it is often hard to leverage all of your communication channels. If you have limited time, decide which channels provide the greatest short-term and long-term impact. If you find that you are unable to consistently message on a social media platform, consider leaving that service all together. An unattended or under-utilized Twitter, Vimeo, or YouTube account reflects poorly on your organization and shows a lack of focus.
Beck and Schwartz also discuss the importance of blocking out time for specific tasks. It can be easy to relegate social media content production to times when your brain is otherwise occupied, such as during meetings or at the end of the day. But if dazzling content & social media is the goal, then it is important to dedicate attention to these tasks. By blocking out time and minimizing distractions, you’ll see stronger content and better results from your volunteers.Social media and eCommunication campaigns are an opportunity for your volunteers to be heard and you need to ensure that you’re able to reply to their questions, concerns, and thoughts quickly. If you are unable to give your full attention at a certain time, such as leading up to a special event or during annual audits, be sure to communicate that. It is better to let everyone know that you’re not available then let someone feel that their message isn’t being responded to.
Above all else, your focus should be on engagement and communication with your constituents. Take the time to craft thoughtful, personal content, and be sure to align these strategies with your overall organizational goals. You have the ability to focus your efforts, efforts that will ultimately help you increase your community impact.