Originally Published PR Week, May 14, 2010

In my last column, we looked at seven internal changes that can help prepare your organization to become an “engaged enterprise” (def: a corporate business model that achieves an authentic, dynamic relationship between the company and its various stakeholders in which conversation and business ideas are shared up, down, and sideways).

As promised, this column focuses on the nine external moves necessary to achieve full engagement:

1. Recognize that media relationships have migrated. The communications group should have knowledge of and strong relationships with the top 10 digital influencers in each business segment of your company. The concept is not that different than the old days of media relationships, but not knowing these influencers is as wrong as not knowing your top-tier journalists.

2. Engage with customers for product innovation. Engaged enterprises regularly tap into their customers for product design and innovation. Regular use of crowdsourcing techniques makes such broad-based insight easy – and powerful. Check out Dell's IdeaStorm for a good example. Great opportunity for communication executives to add real value across corporate functions.

Read more