Integration Tops List of 2010 Words

Each year a list comes out about the top words.

For 2010, Merriam Webster’s year of the word was “austerity.” For me, the word was “integration.”

It was about not working in silos. Public relations, marketing, social media, messaging are distinct, but are so much stronger when integrated with the others. “If you actually mash them up and get them to play off each other it is going to be so much greater, said Scott Monty, who handles social media for Ford. He had been discussing Ford’s efforts in an interview with the Social Media Examiner.

And he’s right. Today, it’s truly about integrated marketing and communications. Ford knows the value of social media and doesn’t consider it a one-off.

The best companies have integrated social media not only into their marketing efforts, but also into their customer service and product development efforts. For many, it’s now part of the overall business model. Examples include PepsiCo, United Healthcare and Dell.

Even higher-ed institutions understand that communications and marketing efforts must be integrated. Degrees are now offered in integrated marketing. In fact, I hired someone with a master’s in that degree because I knew the person would be able and willing to work across all platforms.

Integration also works for the individual. For example, I include the URL for my blog on my email signature and my personal business card. The blog also is integrated with the NFPW website, my LinkedIn account and my Facebook page. By integrating the blog across these platforms, I am more likely to expand my audience.

What are you doing to integrate?