Ready, Fire, Aim – why it works with social media

We have all heard that the only way to have things work right is Ready, Aim, and Fire and I have supported this for years whenever I do strategic planning for organizations. However, we are in a new and different world these days and for once I can say Ready, Fire, Aim is a worthwhile approach when you use social media.

The reason the new approach of Ready, Fire, Aim works is because of the “AIM” part of the equation. Social media is best when it is fresh, authentic, real, and customer focused. This means that today it is more important to have something in front of your audience quickly (and even first) rather than spend hours, days, and months “polishing” it up for release. Your audience wants expediency ahead of polish in the new world. Just ask yourself, would you rather know about something going on right now that is a little rough around the edges or hear about it when it is “old news” but have it all polished up? Pretty obvious if you ask me.

But there are issues with this approach…

  • The internal process of most organizations has taken multiple steps for the past number of years to ensure they make decisions and release information in the Ready, Aim, Fire approach so now we are asking them to go against what they have perfected – not well received.
  • Most people inside the organization have lost their “spontaneity” and are basically afraid of being fired or reprimanded if they put something out that isn’t polished. This mentality in an organization causes people to miss the immediate opportunities and focus on the more stable, less controversial, and less fresh approach to sharing information.
  • The groups inside your organization generally responsible for communicating this information are your marketing group, communications group, and PR group. By definition they have all been “trained” and have years of experience in “polishing” the message – “fresh” and “authentic” has not been part of their vocabulary.

These are just some of the issues that plague most organizations and why they are either stymied by social media or they are using it in the wrong way. Is there any question why most organizations are hung up on “promoting” and “telling” instead of “helping” and “sharing” in a real time mode? I don’t think so – it just isn’t in their DNA. If you want to be successful, find someone to help train your leaders how to integrate READY, FIRE, AIM into their vocabulary and the way they operate. This is one of the areas I spend a great deal of time helping leaders and organizations overcome but when they do, look out, it is very exciting!!

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