When it comes to the executive table, each company should save a seat for the Records Information Manager (RIM).

These professionals drive critical governance programs, mitigating risk, enabling compliance, fighting information “bloat” and lowering costs. In developing and enforcing these programs, organizations run more effectively and comply with regulatory standards.

It can be a challenge balancing “back office” governance programs with the “front office” of the business. Yet the truth is that such programs not only present a big-picture view of your data, but better organize, access and leverage it. RIMs are known for providing the regulatory and compliance perspectives, now is the time to provide the business perspectives.

Why RIMs must have a voice

When an RIM can add input to senior management decisions, he or she can drive organizational adoption of key policies that support ECMs and, in turn, necessitate the budget to make them a reality. ECM programs aren’t just new technology systems to adopt; in creating and implementing these programs, it can save the company from costly penalties and a tarnished image in the event that data is not properly managed, or falls into the wrong hands.

Equipping RIMs to sell solutions

It is not only the executive level that may not save a seat for the RIM; sometimes the individual does not not feel equipped to approach the leadership team and present a case for programs.

RIMs must market their programs internally, from developing an elevator pitch to present them, and selling the benefits—not just technical features—of their programs.

Customizing a message to forge consensus

The quickest way to be invited to the table, speak the language of the audience. Instead of presenting a problem for another stakeholder group to solve, approach that group with a RIM solution for their problem. Anyone can scope a problem, what differentiates people in an organization is presenting solutions to those problems.

The way an RIM delivers a presentation to the legal department can differ largely than he or she would present to the IT department. Each audience would want to hear about the values and direct benefits to their team, specifically. For example, Legal may not be interested in records management, but an opportunity to demonstrate lowering costly production and review during eDiscovery would find an audience. IT infrastructure teams know to budget additional storage acquisition annually, finding a way to reduce the storage spend (and backup and FTEs to support that storage) by programmatically deleting non-compliant documents would be a welcome solution. Instead of failing to win over the front office with presentations on non-compliance with records management programs, presentations on increased retrieval of key information required to boost productivity would go much further in achieving the goals of not only the RIM professional, but the entire organization.

In addition to customizing the message, articulating it well is crucial in order to build consensus. Once an RIM is prepared, it doesn’t matter whether a pitch is delivered to a team of colleagues over coffee or a team of shareholders in three-piece suits…the presentation will be effective in helping the organization to deploy a much-needed program.

How has your organization presented these offerings to decision-makers?

A Field Guide to Enterprise Records Management