You Can’t Beat Them, So Join Them

You Can’t Beat Them, So Join Them

I just got back from a great conference designed to help graphic designers hone their technical skills and people who run creative agencies (like me) hone their businesses. It was soooo inspirational, I felt almost giddy being there. To my curious, ambitious, and introspective self, it was five days of pure bliss: Traveling with a pack of creatives, hopping from one 45-minute session to the next, learning how to, among other things, apply better process to our practice, design our best lives, and “shut our monkeys” (e.g., quiet that inner voice that says you can’t …).

I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was so excited, that after each session, I wanted, no, I NEEDED to talk about it. But when I looked for someone close by to say, “Wow, wasn’t that awesome??” I was met with this:

We just listened to the genius futurist on the stage predict that, in the not-too-distant future,  graphic designers will be designing human tissue instead of websites. Who wants to discuss? Anyone?

Despite my incredibly focused staring or twitching leg, nobody on either side of me EVER looked up. I was starting to feel very alone until I reminded myself of what I tell clients every day – that burying your face in your smart phone is more than just accepted protocol; nowadays, it’s the way of the world. And not just for employees in retail or manufacturing environments, who don’t sit behind a computer. But, apparently, also for people who are sitting practically on top of you in a cramped conference hall.

The bottom line? We all better get used to it and adjust our communications strategies accordingly.

More mobile—that’s the takeaway. If your communications strategy does not holistically include this approach (along with other media, of course), you’re missing the mark. In the quest to meet employees where they are, know that, by all accounts, they’re on their phones and tablets. So you must be there as well.

There are lots of ways to do it:

  • Develop a mobile-optimized benefits website
  • Push out content and reminders via text
  • Podcast
  • Create a simple video using a cloud-based platform like Brainshark that’s easily accessible from any device, anywhere

Options like these are worth exploring. Because if you’re waiting for them to look up and pay attention to your traditional communications, you may be waiting for a while. You know what they say: “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

For my part, I took my own advice. By day two I had stopped feeling sorry for myself and started texting with a colleague who was also at the conference. Sure, it wasn’t the same as huddling with the strangers around me—or even meeting someone new—but it did the trick just the same.

Jill Sherer Murray

Written by Jill Sherer Murray

As practice leader, Jill has built an award-winning communications practice inside a global consulting firm, and continues to grow the business and the team. She oversees the strategic vision and day-to-day activities in developing employee benefits education and engagement strategies.

Trion Communications jill.murray@trion-mma.com