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Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I shall begin…

We read a lot about the changing communications landscape and the (allegedly) new challenges of engaging with new audiences and securing new business wins. We’re not completely convinced about this here at Firework. Yes, there are new channels in which people can communicate and the need to adapt and ensure these are part of your communications strategy is important. However, is it really more difficult to engage with audiences and secure new business?

Our belief is that the challenge remains constant. It’s always been difficult to engage with audiences. There have always been, and will continue to be, a raft of distractions that ensure the people you’re trying to reach might not listen to you. We believe it’s about attracting attention. Hasn’t this always been the case? Has there ever been a time where people who fall into the trap of lazy leadership or marketing succeed, where there is an expectation that communications full of corporate-speak will get listened to and acted upon? Perhaps when a product or service is truly ground-breaking or unique, it has the ability to cut through the noise and grab the news agenda, without the need for engaging communications. We’d question how often this really happens, and surely you still need to tell the story well?

In most cases, making sure your company story is compelling enough and told in the right way to attract the attention of the audience you’re trying to reach remains at the heart of the communications challenge. Tom Peter’s turn of phrase was always: “There’s no such thing as a great leader who communicates poorly” and this is something that we wholeheartedly agree with. Companies need leaders who can speak in engaging ways, who can communicate meaningfully about their product, or service, or vision. Our conviction is that this can be achieved through effective story telling.

Stories bring alive organizations in compelling ways that ensure people listen. Naturally, they still have to be told at the right time, and through the right channels, to ensure they are heard – another part of any successful communications strategy. Fundamentally however, if the story isn’t engaging, doesn’t relate to the target customer in a meaningful way and resonate with the challenges they are concerned about, audiences will remain distracted.

Think about the last time you heard a story that made you listen; what worked for you? Can you paint pictures about your company through a series of well-formulated and interesting stories? A good PR consultant should help create persuasive stories, ones with interesting angles that make your target customers sit up and listen. Consider whether your PR has created and tells your best company stories?

Andrea Hounsham,
Director of Firework PR

Follow Firework PR @fireworkpr

Posted: 24 September 2013

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