Transforming the way mining communicates with the world is not an easy task. After all, the industry has many moving parts. From exploration geology, to production, to distribution networks, it is a very difficult industry for an average person to stay informed. Thisdoes not, however, make it less important.
Through countless conversations, I have heard from many leaders and decision makers that mining needs to communicate better. Even mining's communicators and external relations professionals have told me there is a lot of groundwork to be done for their organizations to meet the current demands of the online communications market.
Corporate governance requires leadership to approve and sign-off on any new communications strategy. And on the other hand, it is the communications team which is required to show effectiveness in those new tactics. Since mining leadership is typically more unfamiliar with social media and online dialogue than other industries, success is sometimes ill-defined or misunderstood.
Let's break down a few key items and trends mining leaders and decision-makers need to know about the current state of communications and information sharing. If they want their mining organization to do a better job of promoting mining online or even just share community news, these are items you must consider.
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1. We are in a Cultural Shift of Communications
Thesmartphone has changed almost everything. Because of this technology, the entire world is now in a culture shift and communication is the foundation. We can now receive, share, produce and edit almost any information, in any medium, anywhere we go. Three days ago, I was participating on a webinar, reading twitter and receiving text messages from my mother all at the same time. Never before was that possible. These tools allow mining to share its information to specific people at specific times.
2. Social Media Dominates All Internet Traffic
Social Media, according to Gary Vaynerchuck, a New York-based entrepreneur, is slang for the status of the internet. Social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, dominate all internet traffic. Social media accounts have become the personal homepage of each individual using those networks. This is where people read news, share information, check in on friends and everything in between. Because of this, if mining is to begin establishing a better brand and reputation, participating in these networks is a must. Doing so is not difficult, it just requires some strategy.
3. People Want Experiences and Moments
Because people are inundated with information online, companies that share moments and experiences are going to prevail in their tactics rather than those that only share dry information. Think of it this way; if good business is built on good relationships, and good relationships are built on trust, trust is now created online through valuable and meaningful moments of information. Mining can provide incredible experiences. Anyone working in mining can attest to this. Use those stories to leverage your brand and value.
4. Press Releases are Obsolete
By using Twitter and other social networks, sharing your press release is now cheaper and arguably more effective. Let's face it, creating a press release is timely and expensive. By taking that same information and creating a blog, rather than a press release, and then promoting that page on social networks, you can save a lot of money, time and headache.
5. Your Younger Employees and Your Communications Teams are Ambassadors of Sustainable Strategies.
If you spend more time working with communications and outreach teams, you will probably find that they are the greatest ambassadors of your operations. They are extremely passionate about what they do, the stories they tell and the content they create. They provide a creative avenue to sharing technical information in a way most technical professionals do not. And, frankly, I have never met one communicator in the mining industry who does not absolutely love what they do. Listen to their ideas and their knowledge on how to best approach new strategies. If you are open to new ideas, you will certainly be impressed with what they have to say.
6. Be Seen, Not Read-only!
The opportunity for stunning and intriguing visuals from a mining operation are grossly underestimated. People love trucks, geology, science, engineering and the people involved. Be sure to capture these moments and experiences through a lens, either photo or video. Visual content, overall, does a much better job of sharing your story and engaging with a broader audience.
7. People want to Engage with Content which Matters
If you have heard me speak before, I have continued to say that if the mining industry is proud about what they do and how they make money, they should be proud to share that information as well. We know our work in mining matters on many different levels. Not only to we supply goods for manufacturers to produce market products, but we also create jobs and help develop local communities. Unfortunately, too often are we mostly seen as money-makers with highest priorities to our stakeholders. If we tweak that a bit and share information of our value to an audience outside our direct stakeholders, reputation and industry information will begin to build.
8. Patience and Relevancy will Win
Perhaps the most important aspect of current communications trends any decision-maker or leader in the mining industry must realize is this: there is no immediate ROI with this stuff. Mining is getting into the online social media game late enough that there is far more ground to be made up first. But once you get there, your patience will pay off and your organization will be a base of relevant information many depend on when searching for mining information. If you are honest, transparent, diligent and patient with this, there is no doubt that in the future when somebody Google's "Best Mining Company" you might compete in that space. And that is an incredible ROI if you ask any digital marketer.
If you need help with change transformation within your communications strategies, please do reach out to Clear Creek Digital. We pride ourselves to being the leaders of mining's new generation in external communications. Like you, we believe our work matters. Let us show you why!