Last week I threw on my cape and activated my superpowers at the “Communications Superheroes Retreat” hosted by the Public Relations Society of America Colorado Chapter. It was an action-packed day featuring some of Denver’s best and brightest communications superheroes. We came together not as competitors, but in a spirit of unity (a la the Avengers) to learn from one another and enhance our own superhero skills.
Whether you are in charge of your businesses’ communications, working with an agency, or looking to work with an agency (shameless plug alert – give us a call we’d love to discuss ways we could create a partnership), some of my key take-aways from the day are very relevant to what you are doing. So now, I invite you to dust off your superhero cape and use these tips to activate your own communications superpowers:
- It isn’t about the channel, it’s about the communications.
Knowing which marketing channels your clients prefer is a must, but of even greater importance is the knowledge of how to communicate with them. Whether you are communicating with your clients in an e-mail, over the phone, in-store, online or with a direct mail piece make sure that the communications you are sharing speaks directly to them. Also understand that customers might prefer different channels for different purposes.
No longer will you just produce a “PR” (press release) to communicate. You need to reset your way of thinking – you are no longer pushing out messaging to sell your product/service, but instead engaging in dialogue. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of the problem your product/service will solve for them and how you can communicate with them so they are aware of this. Whether you are connecting with them in-person, online or through the media it isn’t the channel that matters, but the fact that you are communicating with them effectively.
- Killer integration is key.
Your business needs to live your brand at every touch point so you have an authentic, transparent relationship with the marketplace. You need to ensure that you are using consistent brand messaging across both traditional and non-traditional marketing channels and you are using different promotional methods to reinforce each other.
What does this mean? Have consistent brand messaging that is used across all platforms that explains who you are, what you do and why your customer should care. Don’t describe your business in one way on LinkedIn, another way on your website and yet another way in your brochure. It’s confusing to the customer and it doesn’t reinforce your brand at all.
Additionally, make sure your promotions are integrated. Don’t host a promotion on Facebook and not talk about it in your blog and in-store. Make sure it all connects and builds off of one another. For example, if you are hosting a holiday promotion create a webpage detailing it on your site and drive your customers to the site through posts on your social media channels. Also be sure to share information about the promotion in-store, in email communications, and with direct mail pieces. If you are communicating consistently across various channels with one message it is much more likely your customers will actually hear what you are saying and respond.
- Connection always trumps perfection.
This is the easiest thing to remember. Don’t wait to connect until everything you are doing is perfect – it will never happen. Start now and establish authentic connections with your customers today. They will appreciate it regardless and you can adapt and improve your communications as needed over time.
What communications superpowers do you possess? How has it helped you with your business? We’d love for you to continue this conversation with us on Facebook @OrapinMarketing. If your business is looking for a communications superhero, let us know how we can save the day! We would invite the opportunity to talk with you about we could work together, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.630.9527.
Author: Michelle Ellis, Partner at Orapin Marketing + Public Relations | @Michelle_Ellis
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