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!
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.