Google

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at the Met Office Digital Academy. My specialist subject? A 50min talk on the How to Create Audience Personas. Aside from getting another opportunity to put my public speaking skills into practice, the gig gave me a fantastic insight into what a digital academy is and how it's helped the Met Office achieve such an effective digital transformation. 

Digital Academies - beautifully simple + beautifully effective

The Met Office Digital Academy is spearheaded by an incredible chap by the name of Simon Swan. Over the last few years Simon's been instrumental at managing the digital transformation of the Met Office. 

One element of the much larger digital transformation project is the Digital Academy, a fortnightly lunchtime session which brings in outside experts covering a wide range of digital topics which all align to the Met Offices's purpose. Every session is open to the entire Met Office. Yes, that means it's open to everyone, mixing scientists with SEO's to create something extraordinary.

That benefits of a digital academy like this are..

  • Both non-marketers and marketers alike get a chance to learn something new - applying their learning to their own roles or riffing on the ideas to create something entirely unexpected.  
  • People meet from other departments - breaking down the bureaucratic silos which emerge in large organisations, helping people to meet, chat and collaborate.
  • You can demonstrate the value of marketing - far from being 'the bods in marketing' it gives a name and face to the marketing team. This helps marketers build connections with the wider organisation - always useful when you need to call in a favour.
  • The positive feedback from the academy helps to explain and justify marketing to senior management. 

The concept of setting a digital academy is a beautifully simple one, and one which I'm keen to introduce to a number of my other clients who have similar challenges. If you're keen to know more on how to get an organisation to take marketing more seriously then I highly recommend having a read of Simon Swan's work on digital transformation. There's a great slideshare here to start you off.