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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

3 Big Communications Challenges in A Digital World

Many of us feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff coming at us in a constant stream all day every day. It has never been easier to reach out and touch someone. Not only that, but often, we are judged by how we respond or don’t respond when people reach out to us digitally. It’s relentless in its attempt to get your attention.

One thing we have to realize is more and more, our online presence is a major part of our professional and personal brand. In the middle of all this, it’s really difficult for companies to establish what is important and what is not. More often than not, it’s left up to individuals to decide what’s best. Here are at least a couple of challenges we face:

1. Always having to be “on.”

There are so many platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and others we could name. The chatter is constant. Digital communication is supposed to be a tool to help us get our work done, but more often than not, it does the opposite and gets in the way. Getting the balance right for this is difficult, just as it is for all aspects of our life. We work and live in a 24/7 world. Many of the people we interact with and serve work all of those hours, just like you, it’s hard for them to turn it off. We start to expect others to behave in the same way we do. In addition, we are connected in ways that make the world smaller than in previous generations. In this way, the connection is positive, but anything overdone becomes a constraint.

2. Managing the online workload. 

We recommend that our clients sometimes take a “digital fast”, a “digital holiday” or a “technology fast” for a few days or at least one day every now and then. Sometimes, it can be easier to do this personally than it can in a work context. Again, it depends on the expectations of your co-workers and clients. When all of this is streaming toward you in abundance, it can be hard to figure out what to allow, what to let through and what to respond to. There’s an increasing pressure to have an effective online presence and you can be judged harshly if you don’t do it correctly or seem half-hearted in your attempts.

3. Being “in the public” constantly.

Some people shrink from the responsibility of being public constantly while others thrive on it. Again, even though you may not be actively actually engaged doing the digital media, you are actually “out there” all the time from the things you have previously published. Public digital communications are just that—public. When you are posting messages and communications online, you have to bear in mind both cultural and generational considerations. You’ve got to ask yourself, “would I be ok with everybody and anybody seeing this?”

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