In this new media strategy series, I explore ways to develop an effective new media plan that considers available resources, integrates existing services, and uses the right tools for the job. Part I of this series discussed identifying audiences and needs. Part II discussed using an appropriate technology approach to select your new media tools.
Part III: Create Once, Repurpose Often
New media allows us to repurpose existing content, make it available in different forms, and reach our audiences through multiple channels. We can summarize a webinar as a blog post, make it available in an RSS feed or email feed , cross-post it to our Facebook and MySpace pages, and Tweet about it. The slide presentation can be uploaded to SlideShare . We can record the webinar and make it available as a streaming audio or downloadable audio file, along with a text transcript of the webinar. We can read a blog post about the event aloud and include it in a podcast feed . There is a wealth of opportunities to repurpose content created from a single event, potentially reaching a wider audience than we would through one channel.
You can also take all this information to create a newsletter. You can embed the text in the body of an e-newsletter or you can email it as an attachment and provide it as a downloadable PDF. Field offices can, in turn, print out the PDF and it make available for clients to pick up and read at each location — or even include it in mailings to those without an Internet connection, giving them access to some of the same content available online.
This brings up an important point — new media works best when it is integrated with traditional media as part of a comprehensive communication strategy. In many ways, talking about a “new media strategy” is misleading — new media offers new tools, but the underlying communication and outreach needs remain the same. New media, used effectively, provides ways to reach broader audiences, usually at a lower cost, using fewer resources. (For general information about various new media tools, please refer to our New Media Toolkit one-pagers.) It’s also important to get to know the different tools that you use and see how you can make small changes to tailor the content to that tool (even though the core content and message might be the same). This can have a big impact on how messages are shared. You can also track who consumes your content in different ways in order to tailor messages more for those audiences.
A number of organizations in the HIV community are repurposing, and not only using new media as part of their communications and outreach, but also to communicate in new, multidirectional ways. The Howard Brown Clinic in Chicago uses video to enhance their website , and posts the videos and other content to their YouTube channel and Facebook page . They have also used Facebook to communicate with and get feedback from their community. Whitman Walker Clinic in DC has taken a similar approach — using Facebook , Flickr , YouTube and Twitter to repurpose content. The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is using a number of different platforms to share information about next week’s U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA) , ranging from more traditional e-newsletters to a Facebook event (be sure check out last week’s post on what we’ll be doing at USCA!).
How do you get the most out of your content? Have you found that a particular audience prefers information delivered one way versus another? Have you come across opportunities to engage your audiences by making the same content available in multiple ways? We’d love to know!