David Almacy is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches digital communications strategy and social media classes. He was recently featured as a panelist at our dinner event in March in Washington D.C.
How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
Digital strategy is the practice of crafting a specific plan to achieve a desired result through the use of digital tools such as optimized content, social media outlets, creative design, e-mail communications, multimedia, advertising, mobile platforms and online community engagement. Ideally, your strategy, messaging and activities both online and offline will be consistent, integrated and aligned with your overall project objective.
What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
When on the go locally, my iPhone 6s is always within reach. On longer trips, especially for airplane travel, my iPad mini is essential. Besides the prerequisite use of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook social media apps for the digital set, I rely pretty heavily on apps for Starbucks, Netflix, ESPN, Parkmobile and Waze.
What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?
Personally, I think it’s great that many are now recognizing the importance that digital plays in modern communications by specifically identifying an individual to lead those efforts. However, in order optimize success, I still believe that integrated communications both internally and externally is the most effective approach. In other words, everyone in the organization should be invested and digitally engaged at some level, not just the digital division or leadership.
What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
Some of the best advice I ever received was from Pam Edstrom, co-founder of WE Communications. She always advised to clearly identify the business objective before embarking on any project. What is the challenge you are trying to solve? Then, once defined, devise a measureable strategy and begin with the end in mind. I will add that while it is crucial to be curious and open to experimenting with new digital tools and tactics, don’t lose focus on proven, data-driven activities that are optimized to yield the best results.
What three publications – in any format – do you read regularly?
Only three? Impossible! Living in the Washington, DC area, I am avid reader of POLITICO, The Hill, Daily Caller, ClotureClub and FamousDC. I also try to keep pace with PR, tech trends and entertainment via Huffington Post, PRWeek, WIRED, Mashable, USA TODAY and BuzzFeed.