Globalization has raised the bar where many governments find themselves competing far more intensely for foreign investors, joint venture business partners, philanthropic donors, and consumers for their nation’s products and infrastructure. Equally on a local level they are challenged with engaging and exciting a more and more youthful public citizenry along with exceedingly disheartened private businesses and entrepreneurs.

Government marketing expenditures are on the rise, yet traditional public relations and media approaches are yielding increasingly poorer results. The fact is that many strategic initiatives including well-sponsored, well-constructed economic development programs underachieve or remain stagnant.

It is time to think beyond traditional means. Today the public image upper hand is based on one's ability to influence. By influencing we mean your capacity to help people to understand, add to, accept, and act on your point of view. Which people? The people with influence power across an array of social, cultural, political, scientific, commercial, religious, and financial circles. And yes, they’re all online!

So what does this mean? Success in the digital era will require leaders to provide the foundation for people to make connections and to choose to support vs. being commanded to follow.

With the right digital platform you can reach these people within their social networks to support your programs in energizing public opinion and promoting your voice in the global media. A platform implies new possibilities and new capabilities; strategic capabilities to manage public sentiment, attract and win investors, educate consumers, build international brands, facilitate tangible business matchmaking and trade, broker joint ventures, and engage the local entrepreneur community to get involved and improve capacity.

These platforms can provide astonishing level of acceleration and activism for your strategic initiatives, however a new leadership style is required – one based upon open two-way conversations and collaboration to inspire and motivate individual stakeholders so they feel important and valued with more emphasis on one-to-one contact.