The marketing industry is currently battling with such an unprecedented influx of content that we’re in danger of going into over-drive. This also comes at a time when the world has fallen foul of ‘fake’ news. So how does one decide what to read, what to believe and where to be influenced? Add the pressures on time that most people face and the need to take hard calls on where to spend ‘free’ time, what news and content resonates enough to grab a reader or viewer’s attention?
These are the questions at the top of our PR minds as we help organisations reach, engage and persuade target audiences (prospective customers usually) to take or change actions in their favour. Whether it’s persuading consumers to increase their donations to charities, drive sports fans to buy (more) tickets and merchandise or encourage business decision makers to invest in (more) digital technologies, we remain convinced that getting the message right lies right at the heart of it.
But we’re recognising more and more that individuals, teams and businesses need help making that message resonate in an impactful way. Many understand and buy into the need to ensure the message right, but then often go back to working as they’ve always done. So the (right) message is in danger of getting lost.
So how do you get to the big (important) stuff – the game-changing communications or activities that make the difference? Here are a few questions from Firework, that might make you re-think the way you do things:-
Do you get to the thought-leadership activity?
Most impactful messages deliver an aspirational view of your business – where you are going into the future, which is based on your expertise thought leadership views? Ask yourself how much of your day-to-day communications talk about this important stuff…
Do you tier your activity?
How much of your day-to-day communications and marketing is focused on the tier one – whether it’s media, bloggers, industry bodies and influencers, analysts? Do you know the key people you want to engage with?
How do you measure the impact of your messages?
Do you have a measurement process in place to determine if your message is getting across? Do you track which coverage says what you want it to say, which sales presentations include the key company messages, which customers re-iterate your messages in videos and case studies, and which spokespeople are getting quoted – saying the right message? What about tracking who reads your content and if it has driven the sales pipeline to convert prospects along the conversion process?
Do you have a plan of action for the low impact requests?
If you manage PR and content in-house, you’ll know getting impactful messages (and the associated activity) across to the tier one targets takes time. How do you manage the norm – the day-to-day stuff? Are you empowered to just dump it – recognising it adds less value to the business – or do you require additional resource to handle the big stuff, or the usual stuff, to get to the big stuff?
Does your CEO/MD/leadership team get involved in PR?
This is the killer question. If your PR and communications is getting to the important stuff, the senior people in your business should be involved, because it should be business critical. Ask yourself, does anyone senior want to see press releases before they are issued. Apparently, Steve Jobs read every press release from Apple, before being issued externally. That says a lot.
Focusing on getting across high value and impact messages should shake up the way you do PR, change the way communications is perceived. Fundamentally it should disrupt your business; focusing on the big stuff should build your brand and raise awareness of your organisation.
If you think your PR efforts aren’t cutting through and frankly making the grade, for whatever reason, get in touch – we might be able to help, be it re-focusing your in-house efforts, or getting buy-in from your leadership team. We can certainly share with you how we have helped other organisations take the message mission to drive business value from their communications.
Andrea Hounsham, co-founder and director