A lot of companies back off on their communications activities during the summer months. It’s hot out, people are on vacation and it’s hard to grab attention. But Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer is rapidly approaching, which means that if you have kicked back on your communications efforts over the last few weeks, it’s time to get in gear again.
Following are a few lessons we’ve learned at JConnelly about business communications over the last 15 years.
Today Everything’s a Brand
At one time brand-building was solely the purview of advertising firms or pure-play marketers and referred only to a product or the company behind it. Now brand representatives include the company CEO and everyone who ever comes in contact with a customer or the general public. As a result communications executives are now also stewards of the brand and ensure that the media not only gets the quote right, but that they understand what a brand believes.
Authenticity is still the best differentiator for a person or a brand. The number one reason people don’t want to hear your story is that they don’t believe you. Audiences are very discerning, and they don’t want to waste what’s left of their attention spans being lied to.
You Have to Stand for Something
What you do is just part of the equation. What you believe, coupled with what you do, makes up your brand. Increasingly, people make decisions on products and services based on how brands align with their own values. Understanding those values, and evangelizing, makes for the most effective marketing.
There’s Digital and Then Everything Else
Sure, newspapers are still printed daily. News is broadcast on television and radio all day, every day. But all of those media channels rely on digital for audience growth. Some people love to hold a newspaper or magazine in their hands, but above all people love consuming information on phones. Digital is the confluence of all media.
Social Posts Rule
Financial companies, in particular, continue to shy from social, for compliance reasons. But that has to change. The discussions on social media reflect what’s important to clients and lead to decisions, whether that be a service to buy or a vote to cast. Social media is now the mainstream media. Use it wisely.
Show as Well as Tell
A visual element, whether video, infographic, art or a combination of them, tells the story so much more effectively than plain words on a page. Video production is key to effective PR.
Good is Better Than Plenty
Just because you are getting a lot of media hits doesn’t mean you’re converting to customers. As measurement has improved, we’ve learned that being targeted and getting in front of the right audiences is always preferable to broad exposure.
Time was, PR was about media hits only. But the impact of those opportunities was difficult to measure. In fact, even today, some PR firms continue to avoid real metrics to measure success. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and success today is driven by data.