It's been two months since I joined Newlogic, Inc a Boston based management consultancy to R&D organizations for innovation management. In that time I've been running agile marketing sprints and scrums to manage our projects. The techniques have really been producing results, not least of which it’s been easier to communicate with executives and team members; and build rapport more quickly because we are in regular communication.
Agile's focus on the job in hand and the constant updates means you are always focusing on what's most relevant.
However, for me where things have slowed down is when I haven’t done a good job of describing what exactly what it is I want to achieve. Now, I’m not suggesting a return to waterfall methods, but it is useful to use the technique of writing creative briefs to really understand what it is that you want. I then break up such briefs into tasks for a sprint.
In my career where things have slowed down it’s always been when I haven’t sat down to think about what I want to do next. Spending more time on marketing planning is always difficult, especially when you are in the midst of a project. But instead of thinking of the exercise as planning, think of such thinking as getting to what’s most relevant in the tasks you need to fulfill, and the goals you need to achieve.
It’s been a few years now since I started using agile techniques in my work and while agile marketing seems like an obvious step now. I wonder if we should be thinking about agile PR. Though agile is something most PR people do because of the nature of media. You have to change on the dime to meet crisis, or the opportunity to respond to breaking news.
David Meerman Scott has written a great book on Agile Digital techniques called Real Time Marketing & PR. I’m working my way through the book. However, my work at Newlogic in the field of innovation management has not left me much time for David’s great book recently. But I hope to return to the book as I get up to speed with Newlogic. David was also kind enough to give an interview to Frank Days and I over at the Agile Marketing Blog a few months ago. And his thinking and writing really addresses some of the current issues for marketing and communications departments at companies. We live in a faster paced world, and it’s tougher to judge what will work and what will not. You need management techniques that allow you to focus on what’s most relevant, plus, plan and do work iteratively learning as you publish and create campaigns.
I imagine Agile PR is already something many communications professionals are doing, but it would be helpful to look at some of the techniques of agile development and agile marketing and see how they cross over to PR.