Sunday, February 19, 2006

Web Managers – Check Your Image

To be effective in your job, you have to be part of the management process. You can’t just sit back and wait to be asked for your opinion. You have to make your place at the table. You have to be viewed as a management asset – an idea person who adds real value in planning sessions...someone who comprehends management problems and offers possibile solutions…someone who is ready and able to jump in and explain your ideas in terms that executives understand.

If you are going to lead your agency to use the web in new and better ways, you have to cause executives to make you part of their management team. Your image – how you are perceived by executives – is critical to your success. So, Web Manager – take a look at yourself.

  • Do you look like someone who could walk into the office of the agency head and make a presentation? Do you look like someone who your agency head would want to take with him/her to a public meeting to talk about your website?
  • Can you talk to executives in their language? Do you know what your executives want to achieve? Can you demonstrate that you understand the issues and challenges they face? Are you credible?
  • Can you articulate what you do - or can do - to help them, in ways that mean something to executives? Most executives don't know what Web Managers do, other than post content that other people give you. They don’t know you are a consultant and analyst and designer and teacher and editor and marketer and innovator. They don’t know that you have important information about their customers that could help them. Do you sell yourself and your capabilities?
  • Do you find ways to get in the door? Do you ask to meet with executives regularly to brief them on where the web is now and where it’s going? Do you ask them what they’re working on and offer web-related ways to accomplish it? Do you share “good news” – tidbits about increases in web use, positive feedback from customers, or facts to show how much more work is getting done because of the web? Do you walk up and introduce yourself to executives and take advantage of opportunities to slip in your ideas? Do you show them that you’re a go-getter and a team player?

Perception is everything. If you want agency executives to think of you as someone who is smart, savvy, dedicated, effective, and capable – someone they want to have on their teams - you’ve got to walk the walk and talk the talk. Are you this person? If not, you’d better get busy and fix your image.

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