By AlexAnndra Ontra, Co-Founder of Shufflrr and Author of Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content
Thanks in large part to advancements in modern technology, companies are evolving at breakneck speed, but it’s no surprise that business growth invites new challenges. One specific pain point that growing companies face is maintaining company-wide compliance for all business content – in particular, presentation content.
While many associate compliance with highly-regulated industries, like finance and pharma, all businesses have to deal with compliance on some level. Yes, pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions face heavy fines if they’re not compliant, but a tech or travel company that is not consistent with its brand messaging – that is not brand compliant – can come off as inaccurate and sloppy. And that can have a negative effect on the bottom line.
Often overlooked, it is important that both regulated and non-regulated businesses are always maintaining their brand, meaning all logos, colors, fonts, typography, messaging and taglines are consistent throughout all forms of company communication. Companies will go to great lengths to ensure brand compliance on major projects, like a company website or a PR campaign. But one communications tool that gets used across the board every day, that is overlooked – especially at fast-growing companies – is presentations. Companies fail to keep compliant messaging in their presentations. This is ironic given that presentations are where deals are made, where knowledge is shared, where people are motivated to act. Essentially presentations are where business happens.
Whether it’s sales decks, research results, or earnings reports, presentations contain vital company information that is often meant to drive business results. Unfortunately as a company grows in revenue, its presentation management strategy doesn’t always follow (that is, if there is a presentation management strategy in the first place). When your company grows from scrappy startup to a money-making enterprise, you can’t let employees string together one-off presentations from old slides they found on their desktops or buried in emails. They risk presenting old, even wrong, information to clients and partners. That’s just bad for business. To better control the company message, more growing organizations are implementing a presentation management strategy, made up of:
- Slide Library: Presentation management starts with a central library where all files – PowerPoint, video, audio, images, PDFs, Word, Excel, you name it – are easy to find with advanced search features, and visualized so an employee can see, read and select the file or not in three seconds. All files should be formatted as a slide and therefore ready to present. A slide library is an active repository of content that is ready to use, on demand, whether you are at your own desk or in a client’s conference room across the country.
- Forced Content: Regulated industries are obligated by law to include disclosure statements when presenting certain information, and failure to do so can result in fines and lawsuits – a very expensive risk. From a branding and marketing standpoint, forced content also ensures that your employees are telling the entire story by including all details about the new product update or promoting the right brand image by using the latest design elements. Forced content guarantees that everyone is brand compliant.
- Controlled Permissions: Permissions work on two levels: content and function. Content permissionsplace the right content in front of the intended person, so an entry-level sales associate doesn’t accidentally leak confidential product design plans. Functional permissions determine what the recipient can do with the content – meaning view it, download it, edit it, present it, or whatever is needed.
- Organization Wide Updates: Presentations don’t die, they evolve. Marketers are continually updating content until it’s proven to drive results, but what good is it if employees in the field cannot find the most up to date information? By pushing company-wide updates, you can prevent your employees from presenting outdated or wrong information. Furthermore, when employees can easily access the latest and most useful content, the old habit of grabbing an outdated slide from their desktop or some email chain will fade.
Fast growing companies are juggling a myriad of new departments and initiatives. Presentation management is nota new initiative that will tax limited resources. Rather, you are already making presentations, spending hours and even weeks, developing the right messaging and designing slides for various meetings. Presentation management will streamline that effort (that you are already expanding) and leverage it across your organization. With a few protocols and checks put in place, a presentation management strategy will help everyone in your company give better, branded and more accurate presentations – presentations that will drive the results your business needs to get to the next level.