By: Barbara C. Higgens, PMI Executive Director
Already in these early months of 2013, PMI has undergone some significant changes. While strategically we are focusing on enhancing the core value we provide to our members, the tactics we are using to get there represent quite a step forward for our organization.
Thanks to Dawn Robinson, our new Communications Manager, we are aggressively tweeting and posting and linking-in. We are promoting our good deeds and visibility. We are diligently working to get the credit this industry deserves for advances in public health and safety, as well as product efficiency and performance. We are continuing industry outreach and networking to raise our voice. The Advocacy/Outreach Committee continues to attract new members and the excitement level is high. The January meeting of this committee at PMI headquarters generated a number of action items which are currently underway. Last month the CEO Forum also focused on PMI’s communication outreach content and strategy.
Now, through Dawn’s efforts, we are regularly updating our websites and reaching out via electronic newsletters to our constituents. At the suggestion of some of our members, Len Swatkowski, PMI Technical Director, has started using ‘video’ to enhance the weekly Tech Talk conference calls. The technology will be used on future monthly conference calls of the PMI Board of Directors, lobbyists and the Advocacy/Outreach team.
In the midst of all of this activity, here at PMI headquarters we have just completed the move of our data from the traditional server hardware to the “cloud.” As I have learned, this system provides unmatched stability and redundancy, both of which are critical to a business like PMI’s which is so reliant on information to dictate events of the day.
Thanks to the reach and speed of electronic media, we are able to engage nearly instantly with our global counterparts to ensure that we are up-to-date with the latest trends and news. The efficiency, especially with our modest PMI budget, is nothing less than amazing. We are able to exponentially multiply our effectiveness and reach audiences that we never could have using conventional means.
That said, we must not lose sight of the purpose for all of this new-fangled technology. We, in fact, experienced an eye opening revelation during the February 5 CEO Forum. Stacked on the reception desk was the January issue of PMI News. Several of our top executives eagerly grabbed the newsletter saying: “Great! PMI News – I haven’t seen this for months.”
It has been over a year since we abandoned the printed version of the newsletter for the online and downloadable PDF versions. How much good information and hard work has evaporated into cyber space because the intended recipients don’t follow through by linking, downloading or otherwise retrieving the data that we have deemed important to them? The visual in my brain is the forlorn message-in-a-bottle bobbing on the ocean. Or the information-packed newspaper tossed on the roof by an over-zealous news carrier. PMI is in the information business. It is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the recipient, to make sure that the messages sent are received. It’s not enough to push “send” and hope for the best. Our job is not done until the loop is closed.
So we have come full circle, right back to the theme, focusing on the basics. The message cannot be compromised or lost due to the medium. Communications is a never ending and sometimes thankless task. But is it essential in holding our world together. Dawn Robinson—you have a big job ahead of you! But we are all here to help!!