Every other week on Tuesdays from 3-4:30 p.m. EDT, ProfNet editors interview one professional to jumpstart dialogue about an industry topic. You can follow the conversation by checking out the #ConnectChat hashtag on Twitter. If you're interested in being a featured guest, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this week's #ConnectChat on Tuesday, June 5, we featured marketing and PR expert Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich) who discussed "How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era." The chat featured information on the advantages of moving away from the "silo" model, how to incentivize employees and executives to do so, where social media belongs in an integrated marketing campaign, and more.
Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She also recently co-authored a book with Geoff Livingston, published last month, called "Marketing in the Round," which discusses integrative marketing techniques in finer detail.
@ProfNet: Welcome to #ConnectChat! This is Grace Lavigne, taking over @ProfNet for our chat today with Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich).
ProfNet: Feel free to jump in with questions and comments. Just remember to include the #ConnectChat hashtag so we can all see your input!
ProfNet: Today, Gini will discuss why the traditional "silo" model (each dept. focusing on its own tasks) doesn't work in the digital era.
@ginidietrich: Hey everyone!
ProfNet: Gini, what do you see as the differences between advertising vs. marketing vs. branding vs. PR?
Dietrich: We're in a strange world right now. The lines between all marketing disciplines are blurring. We look at it four ways: the first is direct to the consumer, the second is a top-down approach, the third is the groundswell and the fourth is flanking.
Dietrich: In direct, you have trade shows, private events, telemarketing, networking events, and even social media. the groundswell is what we know as social media, WOM, brand ambassadors, etc. And flanking is advertising, guerilla marketing, event marketing, some media relations.
@flemingsean: How should one combat resistance to a non-siloed approach in an organization that has an anti-change culture?
Dietrich: It's so hard. It's not an easy thing to do. It's complete culture change. And people hate change. The first thing that has to happen is corner office buy-in. Then make it part of people's incentive programs.
ProfNet: How do companies become siloed? What are the advantages of moving away from the silo model?
Dietrich: In silos, people work independently and not for the benefit of the organization. Silos make it hard to react quickly, particularly as fast as technology is changing the way we do things. If you move away from silos, you begin to work toward a common goal and as a team. A non-siloed organization makes it very easy to react to customer's needs in today's real-time world.
@theshepTSG: Read that in a great book :) RT @ginidietrich: If you move away from silos, you begin to work toward a common goal and as a team.
Dietrich: @theshepTSG: Ha! I wonder which one!?!? Hm...
@jeffespo: Silos suck
Dietrich: LOL! Yes, they do!
@TerryFlynn: IMHO silo-ized thinking and acting is born in business schools where future management leaders are taught in academic silos.
Dietrich: @TerryFlynn Really great point. It's pretty indicative of all American education.
@TerryFlynn: and Canadian business education as well.
Dietrich: Perhaps just education overall.
ProfNet: Are there any companies where the silo model does work?
Dietrich: Most of America's organizations are siloed. So yes, they're able to run and even grow. But technology is changing so much more quickly than ever before it's hard to be siloed and be responsive.
@TheModernElixir: So what do you do for your employees to incentivize working out of the silo?
Dietrich: It depends on the employee. Some people want money while others want more time off. Know your team.
@JimmyOrr: Best examples of organizations that have de-siloed and have seen great results?
Dietrich: We worked with Vistage to do this. They did a really good job with it. Dell is another example. They did this in early 2000s when they consolidated their agencies.
ProfNet: Why aren't most companies using the silo approach?
Dietrich: It's hard to break down silos. People want to control their own budgets and their own campaigns. Lack of control is scary.
@alanbr82: Yet everyone will say that they are great "team players."
Dietrich: @alanbr82. Weird. I was JUST thinking about you. And yes, you're right.
@TerryFlynn: The key to breaking down the barriers between communications disciplines is to disperse accountability and responsibility.
Dietrich: @TerryFlynn Exactly! I could hug you for that.
@gomezdm: Regarding getting employee buy-in, it seems like incentives wouldn't last. What about "it makes your job easier moving away from silos"?
Dietrich: If the incentives are right, they last. You have to make sure, though, they're individualized. Otherwise it's a no-go.
@InfinitiSol: What about a hybrid silo approach with frequent collaboration and communication between the silo groups?
Dietrich: That's kind of what we advocate in "Marketing in the Round." Creating a team of people from every discipline.
ProfNet: Gini, you mentioned how to convince employees, but how do you convince executives specifically to integrate marketing?
Dietrich: Results, results, results. If you can show an executive (or client) how your efforts are tied to business goals, you win every time.
Dietrich: It's really important to get executive buy-in. This is definitely a top-down approach.
Dietrich: Then get them to constantly communicate the why. People want to know what's in it for them. Tell them… over and over again. You can even provide the messages, schedule the all-staff meetings, get the CEO out and about. Just make sure he or she is constantly communicating the why.
@JimmyOrr: This is applicable to effecting any change: MT @ginidietrich "constantly communicate the why. Tell them… over and over again."
Dietrich: @JimmyOrr: Yes. Yes it is!
@TerryFlynn: Create communications departments that are driven and rewarded by enterprise objectives. Ensure that pro com members are convergent thinkers.
Dietrich: @TerryFlynn Yes!
ProfNet: So what IS in it for executives integrating marketing?
Dietrich: What's in it for them really depends on the organization. It could be bigger bonuses or more time off. Just depends.
ProfNet: How do you manage clients or executives who don't understand the work you do?
Dietrich: When you get questions about the work you're doing, you're not effectively showing your results.
@rachelcw: Some clients seem open to change, then comfortable only following old patterns. Thoughts?
Dietrich: One of my favorites is when a client (still) asks for media impressions. Unfortunately we have to keep educating.
@alanbr82: That kills me too. I am always preaching conversions and landing pages.
Dietrich: Sometimes we do a hybrid -- some of the stuff they're comfortable doing and some of the new.
@rachelcw: Exhausting process. I wonder if we need to start building in the education to billable hours.
Dietrich: @rachelcw Ha! Isn't that the truth?! Maybe it could go under account management?
@rachelcw: Brave new billing process!
Dietrich: When I worked for a big agency, they billed for all of that stuff. Kind of nuts.
@rachelcw: I've noticed that as well. I've found that when it's my name/my reputation, I work even harder on being ethical.
Dietrich: Isn't that funny? I'm the same way.
ProfNet: "Results, results, results." What kind of results do you measure to prove value to executives?
Dietrich: I have a for-profit background, so I'll answer from my perspective: increased revenue, shortened sales cycle, improved margin. If you can tie results to one of those three things, you'll win.
@TerryFlynn: Measure: Relationships + Reputation + Results = Value. Measure strength of the first two and tie to communications results.
ProfNet: What is the first thing PR pros should consider when creating an integrated campaign?
Dietrich: It really comes down to the organization's goals. How can your efforts help achieve them? That's the first way to choose.
Dietrich: On Page 77 in "Marketing in the Round," @geoffliving and I have an exercise to determine where you should start. Thing such as, where do your current strengths lie and where are your resources best spent? And, whether or not you're willing to experiment or what your competition does.
@TerryFlynn: At the end of the day, organizations want to increase positive supportive behavior among key stakeholder groups. Professional communicators need to demonstrate how relationship and reputation activities increase positive supportive behavior.
@higginbomb: First thing: Goals. You can't plan a campaign if you don't know where it leads.
Dietrich: @higginbomb: Yes!!
@RebeccaAmyTodd: @higginbomb Well said sir!
ProfNet: How do you answer the PR vs. publicity question? (What is that question?)
Dietrich: Ahhh. My favorite. I love it when prospects call and say, "I want to be in the NY Times!" Um...OK?
Dietrich: PR is not just publicity (or media relations). We have to do a better job, as an industry, of educating business leaders.
@joseph_davis: Golden quote. RT @ginidietrich: PR is not just publicity. We have to do a better job, as an industry, of educating business leaders.
@KamaTimbrell: So true. I'm a publicist and am shocked when people say publicity = PR.
@eclecticLarry: [So true] RT @ginidietrich: PR is not just publicity (or media relations). We have to do better job of educating business leaders.
ProfNet: Do you think social media belongs to PR?
Dietrich: I'm going to get hate mail for this, but no. I think social media belongs to everyone. Social media is quickly becoming a way we all communicate. It's going to continue to grow. That's why it's not a discipline.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: Agreed! I am technically in sales, but love to connect with my customers in a non-sales way. I try to find, read, comment and share upon the blogs of my customers.
@_SoloDovePR: Yes, you have to integrate.
Dietrich: @_SoloDovePR Yes!
@OGPR: Social media is a team effort, for sure.
Dietrich: God bless you.
@TerryFlynn: @ginidietrich: I agree it belongs to everyone -- but who has responsibility and accountability for it? Need one group to coordinate.
Dietrich: @TerryFlynn: I think that depends on the organization and who they have inside. Sometimes it'll be PR, sometimes marketing, sometimes advertising.
@dianeschwartz: Yes! But it's nice to share with marketing.
@KamaTimbrell: Social has to be something that *everyone* is a part of. It's social, after all. Make social one person's or department's sole responsibility if you enjoy watching people burn out and quit.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: Where do you see sales in the traditional PR/marketing silos?
Dietrich: In the traditional silos, it doesn't exist. Sales + PR = naughty word. But that's changing.
ProfNet: So should each department have their own social accounts, or does everyone share one, or something else?
Dietrich: Everyone will have their own personal accounts from which they communicate. Social will spread across everyone. Just like we used to have typists, now everyone types. Soon we won't have social media experts. Just communications experts. Using social just makes communicating easier and more efficient.
@TerryFlynn: Social is a way of doing and thinking. RT @ginidietrich: Using social just makes communicating easier and more efficient.
@josefrivera: Yeah, but then if everyone communicates, then it still comes down to good people skills and listening skills.
Dietrich: @josefrivera: Sure. But everyone uses email. Why is social different?
@josefrivera: Email goes to one and is less threatening. Social is out there, and some may not be ready to make that leap!
@johnheaney: Do you think organizations will require employees to tweet just from company-owned twitter accounts?
Dietrich: I hope not! That defeats the purpose. I think social will be like email -- you have company and personal accounts
@johnheaney: Companies own your business email account, but not necessarily your Twitter account, unless they plan for it. If only to protect IP and to keep Twitter accounts from leaving with former employees, they may require use of business accounts.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: We just had this debate about our LinkedIn accounts!
@johnheaney: @RebeccaAmyTodd: LinkedIn and Facebook make it explicit that the individual is sole owner of personal account, not Twitter.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: @johnheaney: Excellent point! Thank you sir.
@KamaTimbrell: @johnheaney: I don't think a company can ever *own* an employee's Twitter account.
Dietrich: @KamaTimbrell: No kidding!
Dietrich: @johnheaney: I know some organizations that require a business account and that it's closed when you leave.
@johnheaney: @KamaTimbrell: Sure they can. @BillatDell is owned by Dell. If Bill leaves, his Twitter account stays. No reason a business Twitter account can't be renamed and transferred to new employee to keep tweeting.
@KamaTimbrell: @johnheaney: Okay, but that's not an employee's Twitter account. That's a CSR account. CSR likely doesn't tweet cute cat pics.
Dietrich: @johnheaney: You could do that, but renaming your account is never advisable. Your personality and tweet history are gone.
@KamaTimbrell: business =/= personal.
@johnheaney: @KamaTimbrell: Doesn't have to be CSR; would apply to any employee who tweets for organization and builds network.
@johnheaney: @ginidietrich: There is a downside, but less so than discarding the account and starting over with a new employee in same position.
@KamaTimbrell: @johnheaney: Under a brand name? Still not a personal account. Overly broad social media policies are being slapped down. Claiming ownership of employee's personal accounts is ill advised.
@johnheaney: @KamaTimbrell: It's not claiming ownership of their accounts, but setting up new corporate accounts for business use with the employee name attached
@KamaTimbrell: @johnheaney: That's not a personal account, which is what I was responding to (i.e., "unless they plan for it").
ProfNet: If social belongs to PR, how do we determine when to bring in other disciplines to help?
Dietrich: *IF* PR is leading social, it has to be someone who understands the value of the other disciplines in order to integrate.
@CorrieKerr: Project management software? Effective mini-meetings? Building a team from collaborative-minded people?
@CorrieKerr: What are some keys to destroying silos?
@RebeccaAmyTodd: I think it takes a very, very strong leader.
@TerryFlynn: Leadership, responsibility and accountability.
Dietrich: Yes, all of the above! We talk about a marketing round -- a team of people from each discipline. It definitely takes a very strong leader -- someone who knows when to push and when not.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: Yes, I think it needs a pressure and support piece. Change in results precedes change in attitude.
ProfNet: How do we measure our results on social media?
Dietrich: Measuring results on social is just like anything else. What is it going to do to help the organization's goals? When you know WHY you're using social media and how it helps the organization, you'll know how to measure.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: That's GOLD!
@WakemanAgency: Great point! We were just pondering that this morning! Perfect timing :)
Dietrich: We always go back to those three places: increased revenue, shortened sales cycle and improved margins.
ProfNet: How do you prove increased revenue, for example, with social media?
Dietrich: This is why integration is so important. You should tie social to something you can measure: email, inbound, content. Create unique URLs or landing pages to discover where people are coming from to measure conversion.
@janbarstad: Had to take a look at #ConnectChat. Maybe some learning for ROI, checking it out.
ProfNet: What is the No. 1 thing PR pros need to be thinking about as the industry continues to evolve?
Dietrich: Results, results, results! (Did I say that already?) We have to learn some marketing skills and measure our efforts. The lines are blurring and the ones who survive are those who can show real value for what they're doing. No more impressions and AVEs and numbers of fans and followers. Now you have to show business results. Learn how a company makes money, make friends with someone in accounting, analyze data, go back to school if you have to -- just learn how to measure your efforts.
@johnheaney: @ginidietrich: Could not agree more. Follower, fans and retweets do not define success. Ask your banker.
@JohnDobbin: Whatever you do, don't speak to someone in accounting!!!
@higginbomb: Keep up with new tools. PR mission stays the same, but we need to stay where the audience is.
@TopherJRyan: Communicate directly in mediums that feign intimacy to eliminate interpretation from the process. Straightforward approach. The best piece of advice I ever received but don't always use: if you have a great idea, say it. Or it'll never see the light. Learn to put the "useless" to use. (It's not all valuation.) Clear communication is privy to business apps numbers cannot achieve.
ProfNet: Who are some PR bloggers you recommend people read?
Dietrich: Check out @dbreakenridge, @shonali, @prcog, @markraganceo, @kensviews, @soulati, @prtini, @nateriggs and @steveology
ProfNet: Any final questions or comments?
@rachelcw: Incidentally, even if you're not a PR pro, today's #ConnectChat with @ginidietrich hosted by @ProfNet has a wealth of info.
@rachelcw: It's a joy to tune into this #ConnectChat. Well done @ProfNet.
@rachelcw: I'm developing a professional girl crush on @ginidietrich. Sometimes it just happens that way. And I promise, no more RTs.
@RebeccaAmyTodd: @rachelcw: Join the club!
@TerryFlynn: Thanks. Enjoyed the opportunity to participate.
@HerzogIND: Her thread on Twitter is always invaluable, but never more than today. Go read @ginidietrich's comments on #ConnectChat regardless of organization.
@EMjennielle: @HerzogIND: Thank you for pointing me towards @ginidietrich feed and #ConnectChat… Great stuff!
@PatrickHayslett: Wow. Looks like some really good stuff coming from @ginidietrich in #ConnectChat.
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