A Pair Of Ruby Slippers

January 10, 2008

Faffing About

Filed under: MACMP — author @ 8:29 pm


This was our major project on the MA. Sadly I faffed around for most of the summer trying to decide what I wanted to study. Actually, that’s rubbish, I had a lovely summer not thinking at all about what I wanted to study, which was probably part of the problem – although I like to think that the break was what I needed (well no one else was going to say it). After much faffing at the start of the unit (true this time) I settled on the future of corporate sites AGAIN as whilst I had studied the history of such sites, I hadn’t really looked to the future. Then I decided that was boring and changed to look at social media for corporates, then I decided that that was too broad so narrowed it down to corporate blogging, but then decided that wouldn’t work so went back to corporate sites (faffing… see?).

After starting to study the future for our corporate site it then struck me that we were going about things in the wrong way, the cart was firmly in before the horse. It was one of those realizations that you try to ignore but they haunt you in the night. So I made a final about turn and changed to consider the case for creating a digital comms strategy at Munchkin Land to inform the decisions taken in the future about the direction of digital comms within the business. This final change was a wrench as I had started the assignment. I hurt with every word I had to delete.

My son’s teacher tells me he has joined up thinking; I felt we should employ some of that wisdom to our situation. We have, until now, created websites in a vacuum, we have not engaged appropriately with the rest of the business to see how best to exploit the opportunities we have. This results in sites that look great but quickly become obsolete. At the other end of things, we have no involvement when functions spend 50K on a crap, internal website by a wobbler and dumpbin agency for about 100 sales reps. (I have checked the usage stats and they are getting a massive 15 visits a month. So if it lasts a year, that is a snip at 278 a visit. They had better be selling a load of pop). We need a fresh approach, one that embeds digital comms in all areas of planning across the board – that’s not to say that it should be involved in everything but it should be considered. Time for Munchkin Land to accept it as just one more form of communication rather than a bolt on accessory.

After completing my project I can see why such a strategy has not yet been implemented. It’s tricky stuff, it involves several people, creates a load of work and necessitates the answering of some tough questions…. Should we have our own brand, should we share sites with our brand owners or the other franchisees? It involves (gulp) change.

There is some headway however, the new cheese for this area is pretty savvy, and she has been here before. I can see her tempering my enthusiasm with some good common sense and business acumen, no bad thing so far. In fact the opposite, she is trying to make changes in this direction, scary really as now I will need to follow through. She told me “be careful what you wish for”, perhaps I should have listened? Nah!

So for now, our digital comms is at an exciting junction. I felt initial reticence from my new team at our joining them (they could sense extra work coming their way I think) but after some frank discussions, I believe they are warming to us and I am realising that I will broaden my skills by learning from them. They are, afterall, communication experts. The marriage of their expertise and mine and my colleagues should be a very strong one indeed.

As for the unit 5 show count, I was clearly in denial as I didn’t buy any for myself but the kids both got a new pair.


1 Comment »

  1. Monday morning I turn up to work, check my lottery numbers (just to see if I still need to be here) and then get my head down to the usual grind. As a fellow munchkin following ‘crazy shoes’ on this journey to add a few more letters to her name, i decide this morning is the time to catch up with the latest posts, I have to say my brain now hurts, too much thinking for this time of the day…

    One thing our former team never got to grips with our was our purpose/remit. For me ‘joined up thinking on digital coms’ would have a been a great aspiration and reaped some great benefits, if not savings (50k wobbler and dumpbin agency type projects). Difficult questions yes but nobody said this change lark was easy. That is not to say there have not been individual great pieces of work. Good luck!

    I absolutely agree with Mr Farmers comments ‘Change here is all about external pressures and influences from across the pond’ the only addition I would that to that is commercial Risk, maybe thats the same as external pressures. Ever the optimist, with new On Higher muchkins joining our merry GB and Corporate IT band i have hope.

    Reflective thinking is something I certainly don’t find the time to do in a work context and can only hope our ‘events’ driven leaders find more time than me.

    Theorists – Well for a time there i thought you were going to don a blue suit and join one of the know all consultancies.

    MA in Creative Media Practice… in parts its felt more like a course in life skills – thanks for the journey

    Comment by james — January 16, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Reply

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