Blog post

OpenTent Out Loud: A New Communications Strategy

Samuel Adiv
July 30, 2020

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As we approach our five year anniversary, we’re thinking carefully about how we reach out and let people know what we do and how we can support them. We know we can do better than typical b2b email marketing. With JOY as our North Star, we are setting out to model for our clients how online presence can be built - and measured.

All of our communications and marketing efforts fall under the strategy we’re calling OpenTent Out Loud. OpenTent Out Loud will be our way to share our work, our conversations and our learning with the world.

As part of this strategy, we won’t engage in ‘marketing’ or ‘communications’ as a distinct effort or department. The OpenTent Out Loud strategy is to simply collect, amplify and share internal conversations, ideas and learning in a public way. We will all adopt the mindset of the reporter, the sleuth and the storyteller: scanning for interesting or shareable bits of wisdom and then extracting them for development and publication.

These conversations, ideas and learning emerge everywhere, but especially in places like:

  • Friday Hikes, our biweekly team learning time
  • Release Notes, the team update we share every week, modeled after Salesforce’s Release Notes for new releases. Given how fast we move, learn, and grow, it can feel like we’ve got a new version of something every week!
  • Guru cards, where we track internal knowledge and approaches
  • Project plans, to transparently track our work
  • Miro boards, where we collaborate and create
  • Slack threads, where we talk about everything from skincare to pets to troubleshooting
  • Zoom screenshots, because we freeze in funny ways sometimes 

With our OpenTent Out Loud strategy, we are adopting a company-wide, platform-based, modular approach to knowledge management and the public sharing of that knowledge.

  • Each piece of communication is crafted and customized for the receiver.
  • We will never send out "email blasts" to an entire list. 
  • Our goal is not to “generate content” just for the sake of "online presence" or "thought leadership." Our goal is to send targeted communication based on living relationships with curated recipient segments.
  • “Content” simply refers to things worth sharing or developing: ideas, graphics, and other media which can be shared independently of each other. 
  • We will maintain a running backlog of modular pieces of content that emerge in the course of our day to day work and conversations.
  • We will maintain and curate our backlog, like we would with our consulting work. 
  • Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in the development of published work, whether by highlighting something interesting, submitting ideas or prompts, commenting on or editing works in progress or writing something directly.
  • On a weekly basis, we determine when each piece should be published, and which channel it is best suited for. 
  • Channels include: email to an audience segment, a blog post on our site as well as posts on Instagram and LinkedIn. Perhaps some things are even printed and mailed to some of our audience.
  • Every single piece we publish should have an appropriate success metric that goes with it. 

The OpenTent Out Loud strategy will serve as a model for our clients when they ask us about communications strategy. We'll be able to show them how we operationalize it with Salesforce, customize and segment it, and track impact for continuous improvement.

With OpenTent Out Loud, we’re following our own advice to take advantage of our tools and the significant investment of brainpower we already make in how we run our business, support our team, and drive success with clients. We’re so excited to shine our beacon about what we’re learning, how we can help, and how we do our work.

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