Your stakeholders – humans just like you and me – want to be part of a movement, not part of a marketing moment. That statement rang true to the hundreds of attendees at PR News’ Platinum PR Awards gala held Oct. 19 in NYC. That morsel of wisdom, shared by one of the award winners, was in great company with other bits of sound advice offered by communication leaders from corporations, nonprofits and agencies who took home their coveted prize.
You’re having a non-work-related party at your home Saturday night. Invited are neighbors, relatives, friends, including me, a journalist by day, to enjoy drinks, an elegant diner and a terrific view of the city from your high rise. It’s a perfect night until I, a journalist, overhear two of your guests talking about something that could be a big story.
It’s a given that b2b leadership is focused on sales. You can use that to your advantage if you’re trying to win C-suite approval at a b2b company for investing resources in an ongoing series of Facebook Live broadcasts. Define your ideas for Facebook Live streams in terms of lead-generation and sales potential. This will also help give weight and meaning your Facebook Live metrics.
It’s imperative that as communicators we showcase our good work, we prove our worth, we take integrated communications seriously and we don’t squander the leadership position in content marketing and social media. To get there, we need to brush up on measurement, data and analytics.
Your first inclination when hearing the story about Mylan and its EpiPen is to categorize it. Put it in a place alongside similar tales. That’s normal. It’s what the human brain does to make sense of incoming stimuli. The EpiPen saga seems like an easy one to handle. We who follow news of brands, particularly in the pharmaceutical space, have seen it before.
There’s a science to waiting, to delaying a behavior. Think about dating and travel sites where the customer stares at a screen anticipating the “perfect match” or “best price” on a flight. You want the site to take its time, not rush into something important that could change your social life or save you money. If the match popped up on the screen too soon, you’d think it were a generic algorithm and you’d dismiss the recommendation.
If it’s your job to create and share content on behalf of a brand, then you know the feeling of shooting in the dark. You’re constantly asking yourself if a content idea will resonate with your audience. In the search for great content that inspires engagement, we so often forget to look in the most obvious place.
Say What? Item 1: Who knew? The fact that you’re not sure whether you are loyal to Lady or the Trump influences how much Starbucks’ coffee you drink. It’s true. Starbucks got creative July 21 in explaining a sales-target miss, its third consecutive whiff. Starbucks’s officials said the quarter was an “anomaly,” owing to terror concerns around the world (sadly relevant), civil unrest (ditto) and political uncertainty in the U.S. (see, I told you—a presidential election reduces the American penchant for caffeinated libations).
Polarization is deeply embedded in the American psyche, a reality brands must accept and deal with. It affects them beyond the hot-button political issues of the day—immigration, race, gender identity, climate change, for instance—that they have to either tiptoe around or address head-on. The polarization affects the way our minds now function and speaks to the question of how to convince the undecided of anything when, for so many of us, our minds are already made up.
Ah, the joys of summer. It’s enough to make you forget what’s going on back at the office. It’s also a good time to unlearn bad habits. Re-energized from your vacation, you might be ready to wash away these misconceptions that have become woven into the communications fabric.