Building a Strategic Web Communications Plan



January 20, 2009

OpenConcept has been working with our clients since 1999 to ensure that their content is positioned well.  There have been a lot of changes over the past decade and we have been involved in many organizational efforts to understand the web. 

We have only recently started offering strategic planning workshops for organizations who want to come to a greater understanding of how to make better use of the Internet.  Involving both technical and senior communications staff we can walk through issues that all national organizations are struggling with.  The web moves quickly and it is critical that those people who can make decisions are aware and onboard with changes that can be made to improve the organization's effectiveness. Websites are highly political tools and offer opportunities for many different types of communication to a variety of audiences.  Knowing how to build the community you want around your website takes a long term strategic approach.

We customize workshops for each organization and so the number of sessions can vary depending on the level of consensus that the organization is seeking and the number of changes that are required to build and reach their communications goals. 

Example workshop topics include:

  • Your Online History - Tracking the organizations use of networking, email & web technologies to communicate.  How did we get where we are today.
  • Leaders in the Field - What related organizations are doing which could be a source of inspiration and direction?  Who is doing now what we'd like to be doing in the near future.
  • Long Term Visions - What new technologies are picking up speed and should your organization be aware of?  Social networking especially is a rapidly changing field that is still in its infancy.
  • Focus on Specific Problems - Membership management is a persistent problem in many organizations, particularly and greater impact can be made by collecting members' email, cell phone, blog or social networking profiles.  What tools are available to start extending your organizations electronic reach to your members.
  • Planning the Next Phase - In many cases we're brought in to get an organization's website up quickly, whether it is for a convention or some other milestone.  We can explore what a new Drupal site is capable of quite easily, but often there is work to be done in understanding the impact on organizational workflow and adoption by the member community.

Does your organization have a plan for the web?  Does it fully consider the organizaitonal workflow that you have and the impact that adding new technology will have on that?  Would you like to get some consideration of what technologies could benefit your organization the most and which you can let slide? 

Let us know if you want more information.


About The Author

Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.