In a world seemingly full of experts, there’s no shortage of advice on how organisations should conduct their PR and marketing communication campaigns in the year ahead. But, as far as I can see, all the collected wisdom boils down to three key ideas – and these form the nucleus of the message I shall be taking to clients in 2016.
Key number one – compelling content
Whether you’re selling a product or a service – or simply conveying information – your website and/or printed literature must appeal to the people you are seeking to attract … and hold their attention long enough for them to respond positively to your call to action. Educate and inform your customers, focus on the benefits they can expect from your product or service. But always keep your messages as short and to the point as possible.
Key number two – engage socially
If you aren’t already exploiting the business possibilities of social media, you should be. Build a two-way network of followers, and get out there often. Social media activity helps to boost your profile, enables you to engage with customers and influencers and, most importantly, drives people to your website. Remember that channels such as Twitter are already big news channels in their own right: use them wisely to spread your headlines … with that all-important link to the full story on your site.
Key number three – face up to video
Wherever you sit in the A-Z of business, there’s no excuse for overlooking video as a channel for communicating with your customers. Used properly, even the low-cost filming and editing technology available via many mobile phones enables you to broadcast instant, credible clips of company news and comment. If your budget can stretch to a more professional production, so much the better, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a reasonable quality video.
So far I’ve given you a few thoughts about what you should be doing to encourage favourable perceptions of your company or products. Now for the ‘how’.
The key ring – get outside help
If you are a hard-pressed entrepreneur in a small to medium business, or the marketing head in a larger one, you cannot be everywhere all the time. The solution is to involve experienced, creative agency professionals who can tie your three ‘keys’ together in a co-ordinated campaign – and produce all the deliverables on time and on budget.
Start by contacting me. Then, look forward to a happy and PR-osperous 2016!
What are your business plans for 2016? With the time for New Year resolutions fast approaching, now’s a good time to decide between a ‘same again’ approach or a dynamic 12 months of sustained effort focused on growth.
After watching this year’s batch of The Apprentice candidates bumbling their way through the ‘interview’ episode (in which they and their business plans were ruthlessly torn to shreds), I was struck by two key thoughts:
I have resolved to devote time over the festive season to my own business plan for the year ahead. Like any good plan, it will have benchmarks and targets, under two main headings:
Now I have no immediate intentions involving either The Apprentice or any other situations where I might need to present my own business plan. However, I will still produce it in document form with concise, credible content – just in case.
A business plan is often overlooked as an essential element of an organisation’s annual communication programme. That’s because it tends to be numbers-driven, and is produced more often by ‘numbers people’ than ‘words people’. It may be designed for a different audience than the marketing and PR output, but it also helps to shape perceptions of the organisation, so it should be treated appropriately.
Business plans can be written at any stage of the year, although 1 January, the start of a tax year and company anniversaries are perhaps the three most likely dates.
One of the growth tactics that I shall be writing into my own plan for 2016 will be to place more emphasis on business plans as part of the overall communication package.
Need your business plan written or refreshed? Contact me now for details of my professional, affordable and high-impact service.
I can’t guarantee you’d get past Lord Sugar’s aides totally unscathed – but you’d certainly do better than this year’s candidates!
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.