Using Information as a Strategic Asset

Dority & Associates works with for-profit and nonprofit organizations to help them create an information strategy that aligns with and drives their strategic goals. Working with key stakeholders in the organization, we help identify answers to the following questions:

What are your organization’s strategic goals? For example, are you trying to recruit new members or increase donor contributions? Is this year’s goal to develop new markets, or increase revenue from existing clients? Is the board pushing for greater visibility and credibility among thought leaders, scholars, the media? Or is more effectively disseminating information to the public for broader impact the most pressing mandate?

If you’re a college or university, are you trying to increase your recruiting success and/or conversion rates? Improve your retention and graduation numbers? Provide greater support for graduates’ job-hunting efforts and improve your placement metrics? Find measurable ways to increase alumni engagement?

These are only some of the goals that compelling, targeted print and/or online content can help you reach.

What information content will help achieve those goals? For example, if your goal is to increase visibility among thought leaders, scholars, and the media, one option might be to do a monthly interview/column with industry influentials and academic scholars to be posted at the website, then create an annual compilation of key quotes, trends, and ideas to circulate to the media for story ideas.

For colleges and universities, webinars on topics such as tactics for building a career platform while still in college, building a professional brand as a student, and how to use LinkedIn for networking and job-hunting may be especially valuable. Positive trends, statistics, and similar information about specific career paths embedded in follow-up recruiting e-mails can help document a given degree’s potential benefit. And online how-to tutorials on topics such as finding “invisible jobs,” crafting cover letters and resumes, acing an interview, and job-hunting etiquette not only provide invaluable information for your students, but also help you boost your key metrics.

What information content does your organization already have? Many organizations have been creating information content for decades. This can include publications, video and audio pieces, oral histories, conference proceedings, training materials, archival photographs and memorabilia, and similar sorts of materials. Often this can be repackaged and repurposed to provide membership incentives, additional revenue streams, or reference materials of value to scholars, researchers, and the media, among other options.

For colleges and universities, what alumni profiles have you created over the years that could provide motivation/inspiration for potential or existing students? What jobs have alumni landed that could point to cool new career paths of potential interest to prospective/existing students or newly graduated job-hunters?

What other information content needs to be created, licensed, aggregated, or otherwise acquired? Would a research guide on how to find industry statistics be useful to researchers and the media? Would an online tutorial on how to be an effective online learner help potential students sign up for your degree program? Would a members-only column by a best-selling expert on personal finance cause people to join your investment club? Would a directory of clinicians specializing in disability rehabilitation draw users to you site, and thus increase advertising revenue?

Based on the answers to these and other exploratory questions, Dority & Associates will help you develop and execute a project plan that incorporates all of the actions necessary to help achieve the goals of greatest importance to your organization. Sometimes this is a phased plan, with priorities set over a 6- or 12- or even 18-month period; others times it may entail a rapid turnaround in order to meet a website launch date.

What’s next? Depending on the goals of your organization, Dority & Associates will help you determine the best, most cost-effective ways to maintain and update your content elements, and consider additional ways that information content can help your organization continue to expand its opportunities with current or new constituencies.