Many associations, societies, institutes, government agencies, industry bodies and other public good organisations have a need to deliver greater value to their members (both individual and corporate) in a modernised format. The issue is that audiences are typically time poor and under pressure at their work. Increasingly staff are not being allowed to take time off for face-to-face events and instead are looking online for information resources, which are easily available but disorganised and of questionable quality.
To avoid declining membership, associations are under pressure to adapt the way they deliver services. There is a need to deliver trusted knowledge in short bursts where staff don't need to leave their desk. Many organisations have been experimenting with different approaches including eLearning, webinar programs and the like. The challenge is to coordinate and integrate efforts in a structured way that is seen to be delivering real value and practically useful outcomes for the target audiences.
One way to do this is to create online communities that are focused on developing outputs of practical use to members. Outputs may include white papers, technology briefings, case studies, practice notes, summaries of regulations/industry trends/drivers and the like, all of which eventually form a Body of Knowledge (BOK) around the subject being discussed.
The approach InDepth has developed is to design a regular (e.g. weekly/monthly) webinar program around an agreed BOK(s). The methodology includes selecting and directing expert speakers to talk on topics where there are gaps in the BOK or it is under-developed. The webinar is then edited into a format suitable for the BOK, which is normally an online Wiki. The recorded webinars can also be edited and form the basis of an eLearning environment. The advantage of this approach is that it gives focus and direction to otherwise adhoc experiments in new media that give encouraging signs but may not deliver on the outcomes members really want.
While the above concept and underlying technology is relatively simple, the actual execution is still challenging because it takes a lot of “behind the scenes” work to gain momentum and attract participation (the services below give a sense of what’s involved). InDepth has streamlined the processes to make it all work in a cost effective manner.
The facilitation services that InDepth provides include:
- Brainstorming facilitation and mind-mapping of the scope of a community and its BOK
- Preparation of business cases and prioritisation process for individual community proposals (where an organisation runs multiple communities)
- Licencing, creation /configuring, integration and branding of any online platforms required – wiki, calendar, eLearning, newsletter, subdomains, including liaison with internal staff/ IT contractors
- Sourcing speakers and providing thought leadership/presentation coaching.
- Creating marketing materials and calendar content to promote each webinar
- Scheduling and facilitating webinars in a variety of formats to keep audience interest high
- Creating and facilitating sponsorship options, including branding options through to commercial webinars
- Uploading and video editing of webinar recordings
- Transcribing and editing webinar content to wiki format
- Uploading wiki content and maintaining all cross-referencing
- Creation and management of online resources including case studies, practice notes, tools and expertise directories, etc
- Instructional design of eLearning modules and creation of learning materials
- Creation of electronic newsletters for community members
- Creation of social media marketing content, using past webinar content to promote future webinars
- Creation of downloadable content to capture contact details to help grow your contact database.
- Organisation of periodic (e.g. quarterly) face-to-face sessions, connected nationally via video conferencing.
- Process mapping and procedures for community governance and operations
- Training of key stakeholders and community leaders in online community principles
The above services are offered at three levels, depending on how independently the organisation want to operate the online community, as follows:
- Setup only: This covers establishment/configuration of the platform, brainstorming the wiki and training of internal service deliverers. This includes the "design" of an online community to ensure it stands the best chance of success.
- Integrated support: Delivering any of the above services your organisation wants to outsource, and integrating with your internal team, as well as any face-to-face events and other service offerings.
- Full service: Delivering all of the above services using a cloud-based community platform branded to appear as your organisation using a subdomain of your URL.
We also offer a free Knowledge SWOT to help you assess the value proposition of your services to members from a knowledge point of view. This one hour session helps assess the strength of your current offerings and identify options for improvement.
Please contact us to discuss the above further.