By Suzanne Turner, President, turner4D, and Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D., Partner, turner4D
With the myriad of social media channels and tools, news outlets, websites (yours and theirs), influencers and policymakers out there it is easy to get lost in the weeds; to focus so much on tactics that we lose our strategic way. Good strategic vision is the cornerstone of any effort to make the world a better place. That is why, first and foremost, turner4D works with our clients to develop their vision and create the right strategy for achieving it. Yes, we help our clients build out their enterprise-level capacity to implement these strategies. And yes, we help our clients identify which implementation tactics are best done in-house and which are best outsourced to experts (like us). But in the final analysis, none of these subsequent activities and decisions should be pursued without a developing a clear strategic vision first.
When it comes to developing our clients’ vision and strategy, we pursue a rigorous, research-grounded approach that not only allows us to better understand our clients’ needs, but also helps our clients better understand their own needs. Using a combination of brainstorming workshops, staff and stakeholder interviews, audience/market surveys, social media content analysis and other deep-dive research efforts, we are able to identify the information we need to develop comprehensive strategic plans for an entire organization, a single division within the organization or a specific campaign.
Once we have a strategic plan in hand, we work with our clients to identify their staffing and skills needs gaps. Then we help them add staff as needed and train everyone to have the skills needed to implement the strategic plan. Once our client in in position to implement the plan, we provide ongoing coaching and mentoring to ensure their continued success.
We also recognize that some high-level implementation will be best served by our expert team doing the work. This is especially true when it comes to work that depends on our elite media contacts and our extensive social media experience and network. We also know that, as architects of strategic plans, our team has a unique ability to analyze our clients’ performance metrics in order to make course corrections to the strategy and tactics.
Take for example the work we recently completed with a big advocacy group that had been around for a very long time, but was in a new phase of reconceptualizing its mission, brand and strategy. When we started working with them, they had just lost their entire communications team. When we finished the project they had a new team in place, a strategy mapped out and the capacity to succeed.
Obviously, for a project like this, we could never be successful without the hard work, know-how, vision and commitment of our client. But even with all those factors on the client’s side, turner4D played a vital role in helping the group get from point A to point B.
In the first couple months of our engagement, we stepped in to provide daily support to implement the communications needs of the organization. At the same time, we started the process of learning from our client what they wanted to accomplish, what resources they already had, what resources they were planning to acquire and what resources they would need to succeed. With this information, we developed a full communications strategy that also addressed their advocacy and fundraising needs. And along the way, we helped our client find new staff to fill out the communications team and trained them to implement the strategic plan. After a year, they had a full team in place and were ready to change the world, again. We stepped back and stand at the ready to help them with new projects down the road, as they need it.
This experience encapsulates a lot of what we do at turner4D. In addition to developing a comprehensive strategic plan, we helped place key articles for the client, trained the staff and members to use social media for advocacy, wrote speeches for the CEO and provided ongoing strategic and tactical planning and brainstorming for several annual campaigns and breaking news opportunities.
Does this sound like a suite of services that would help your organization reach its goals? Why not schedule a meeting with us and find out.