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Media Managers Working with IT
Information and technology aren’t dirty words but if you say these two little letters together (IT) to a media manager you may see a grimace that will say otherwise. There is no way around the fact that media managers need IT to accomplish the goals within their departments. Recently, we attended a CMMA regional conference in Atlanta titled “The Value of Partnerships for Media Managers”. One of the topics discussed throughout the meeting was how media professionals can work more effectively with their company’s IT departments.
CMMA (Communications Media Managers Association) is an organization that is dedicated to professional development for communications media managers. CMMA provides relevant content, peer discussions, and vendor solutions to current challenges that corporate and in-house communication professionals face. CMMA members facilitate internal and external communications for organizations all around the globe with core competencies in finance, insurance, education, consulting, retail, transportation, energy, defense, and more.
Here are the five key tips to ensure a good working relationship that IT managers and media managers shared at the CMMA southeast regional conference.
FIVE: Maybe an attitude adjustment is in order. It can be a hard realization that we need to assign a new mental space for IT. Repeat this phrase three times “IT is an ally, partner, and friend”. Media managers who made the decision to foster a healthy respect for their company’s IT departments received the most benefit.
FOUR: Learn their language. When IT professionals start talking bytes and bandwidth your eyes might roll back into your head as you hear a dull ringing in your ears. During the conference we heard many examples of department meetings where it appeared that IT was onboard with new communications initiatives but projects were halted after the meetings because participates did not understand each others project parameters. Recognizing that IT might not be familiar with communication vernacular is important, likewise having a working knowledge of IT infrastructure served media managers best when implementing new types of communications within their organization.
THREE: Schedule regular face to face meetings. The most productive organizations that attended the conference have a solid relationship with IT management. In some cases IT professionals are assigned to the in-house media departments and they literally sit side-by-side with media professionals all day, every day. Whether or not your corporation can house an IT professional within the media department, conference participants universally recognized the need to forge solid relationships with IT to stay relevant.
TWO: Find the money. It was said at the meeting if you have “C” level approval then everything will fall into place. When new communication initiatives are requested from the top getting IT on board is relatively easy. What do media managers do when they recognize a growth potential for video but the request didn’t generate from a “C”? One organization that attended expounded on the need to pitch new communication ideas to the “C” level first, get them on board, and IT will follow suit. Once the initiative is labeled as “funded” the IT professionals see the new projects as a priority for their organization.
ONE: Talk early and talk often. The IT professionals who attended the conference pointed out that IT serves the entire company and is often taxed with the current workload never mind the strain that video has on infrastructure and IT employees. Scheduling a regular meeting with an IT manager to discuss potential projects down the road was shared as a best practice. Developing a matter of fact space to discuss ideas and inviting the IT team to participate in the early stages of new communication projects weld the best end results.
The five points stated above are really easy to say and much harder to put into practice. The benefit of an organization like CMMA for enterprise video professionals is that you can hear real life solutions from peers who have the same challenges and collaborate solutions.