Today’s communications outlets are flooded with information, constantly. As a communicator, it can be intimidating to know that you and your brand are competing against interesting and entertaining articles, videos, and social media every second. Yet we continue to devote endless hours to share information about our companies, passions, and skill sets.
I recently sat in on a news conference where a company invested time and allocated funds for a well-known spokesperson. However, when it came time to share the message, the organization failed to showcase the individual, and allowed the media to run the show. This made me realize something we are all guilty of — not effectively controlling our own communication.
Let’s consider a few ways you can get your message across and see more positive results from your brand communications.
1. Be Direct
Readers today don’t have time to read between the lines when the next article is being posted, news updates are buzzing on their phones, and emails are streaming in by the hundreds. Engage your audience in open, honest dialogue so they know what your company stands for, the product or services you offer, and understand your core values.
2. Know Your Audience
Is your intended audience internal or external? What are the demographics? Is your communication proactive or reactive? Will the media broadcast or publish the piece? All of these considerations should be weighed before you can effectively communicate. If you are unsure of your audience, you will not be able to measure the results or build trust and common ground through your communications. By understanding their interests, issues, and lifestyle, you can better recognize not only the best way to communicate, but if your products or services are relevant to that audience.
3. Develop Relationships with Key Stakeholders
Stakeholders are individuals or groups that have an interest in or may be affected by your organization. These are often the most important people to communicate with, as they have an understanding and existing relationship with the company. Keep key stakeholders in the loop with routine communication to help build trust and credibility, and let them communicate on your behalf.
4. Tell Your Story
Communication about your company should be owned by you. Of course we want customers and supporters to advocate on our behalf, but there can also be those who try to diminish our credibility. Effective communication means that our customers don’t just hear from us when there is an issue. We need to take advantage of every opportunity available to create avenues for routine communication. This not only establishes you as a leader in the industry, but allows for open, direct lines of communication with customers before an issue occurs.
5. Determine Your Call to Action
How do we measure effective communication? When we hear from customers or see direct results through increases in sales or service opportunities. Sometimes a call to action seems obvious – buy our products, vote for a candidate, Like us on Facebook. But in other instances, the call to action can be vague. No matter how small the ask, be sure to execute your communication with a definite call to action. Without the request, your audience may not be able to decipher your stance and you certainly cannot obtain results.
Now that you are armed with a few tips on ways to effectively control your communication, put it to use by building these strategies into your editorial calendar in the new year and beyond.