Strength in Numbers: The Power of Integrated Communications

By • November 5, 2012

By Dana Plotke

I stumbled upon Ann Meany’s blog
the other day from the Content Marketing Institute that explained how
fighting zombies can make you a better marketer. I was intrigued and secretly hopeful
that this might shed some light on the whole zombie craze. I’m quite amused by
it, but I’m not sure I get it.

Basically, it’s
pretty easy to take one zombie out. They don’t move very quickly, and they’re
easily distracted. However, zombies in groups are intimidating, harder to fight
off and harder to outrun.

How does that
relate to content? Meany says if you write just one blog post or tweet, some
people may read it, but then it could be forgotten quickly amid the rush of new
content that’s created every day. However, you can get more impact by spreading
your message via multiple channels and linking it all together into a single social media
. Your message will build on itself, creating a conversation
that will cast a wider net than just a single post.

Meany makes some good points, such as how integrating your online
content and messaging through multiple types of social media is a surefire way
of getting your message heard. And, why
it’s OK to repurpose content. Both true.


  • Marketing has become the job of the entire
  • Content is the key to engagement, but it is only
    one aspect to a well-integrated communications program.
  • It’s your job to market the benefits of
    developing a strong brand.


Taking it a step further, can you imagine the positive
impact that your communications would have if you expanded your thinking
outside of content and social media, and looked at integration in a more
holistic way? We can, because our 2011
Benchmarking Survey
data addresses this very topic.

In an Association
article posted earlier this year on Branding
and Integration
, it is noted that organizations with integrated
communications programs were much more likely to rate themselves as having
above average communications, believe that their communication efforts have
improved significantly over the past three years and note other positive
impacts as seen in the chart below.



What does integrated
communication really mean?

By our way of thinking, integrated communications means that each communication
vehicle an association uses has a clearly defined content owner, with a clearly
defined audience, frequency and purpose that is not being duplicated by another
group within the same organization.
silos that so many of us work in come down, and the entire organization
participates, or at least stays well-informed, as to how or what is being
communicated to current and prospective members.

The benefits are clear, so why aren’t more associations
doing it? Put simply: Change is hard, time is finite and associations don’t
always have the knowledge – or in many cases, the discipline – to make change happen.

Our advice: Keep looking for ways to kill those zombies, but
when it comes to finding ways to become better marketers and communicators, turn
to the folks around you and to your leadership. Are they well-informed about
what it takes to develop a leadership brand? If not, help educate them. It will
be time well spent.

READER NOTE: Neither Naylor, LLC, nor Association Adviser enews
has a commercial relationship with any of the vendors and suppliers
mentioned in this article. Inclusion in this article should not imply an
endorsement of the products or services of the companies mentioned


Dana Plotke has worked in B2B marketing and communications for
more than 15 years, with a focus on association media and events since 2002.
She leads the marketing efforts of Naylor, LLC.

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