Just because you have a boat, a pole and a tackle box full of lures doesn’t mean you know how to fish. Likewise, just because your are cranking out content and calling it content marketing, doesn’t mean you’re actually catching customers. When it comes your content marketing strategy, ask yourself, “Am I customer fishing or just ‘content chumming?'”
People who actually catch fish know that fishing is more science than luck. Fisherman know how to find fish, which baits to use, and are agile enough to shift strategies when necessary. They know it isn’t enough to drive out, toss a line in the water and expect success.
However, that is how a lot of businesses approach content marketing strategies. They throw some content into the marketplace expecting to catch success but find their content marketing strategy is little more than “content chum,” a bunch of content bits floating in the vast marketplace. The organization may be attracting attention but not actually catching anyone. The goal of a focuses content marketing strategy is to actually land customers and establish or reinforce your organization’s brand. Continue Reading
Organizational vision statements are great, but every “corporate vision” begs the question: Are the actions of the organization and the responses of the organization’s stakeholders harmoniously working together to reach the brand vision for everyone’s benefit?
It’s a question few organizations consider and one that has everything to do with brand image. According to Businessdictionary.com, a vision statement is, “an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish…and is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.” However, no organization operates in a vacuum, especially non-profits, and needs its stakeholders to embrace the vision if the organization is going to “achieve or accomplish” its goals. In an age of corporate suspicion, organizations can’t assume buy-in or brand loyalty. If your organization wants to share ownership of its vision with its stakeholders and create brand loyalty, it has to embrace the “3Vs” that culminate in brand influence. Continue Reading
There is the perception that if your organization is not fully engaged in social media then you are losing ground to competitors, losing touch with supporters and falling woefully behind the times. To some extent that’s true. However, too many organizational leaders put the Twitter before the proverbial horse.
We do live in an age where social media is the way individuals communicate and digest news and information. On the business side there is an urgency to employ social media – and often social media experts – to drive the organization’s social engine. Many leaders know social media is important, but frankly I believe weight it too heavily in the grand scheme of things. When that happens, your organization may find itself social media rich and strategically poor from a marketing communications perspective. Continue Reading
Can you imagine a potter spending hours creating a beautiful pitcher then realizing he forgot to add a handle? The solution: slap a lump of clay on the neck and quickly finish it off. Crazy, right? But many organizations treat social media as if it is that lump of clay slapped on to the rest of their communications effort. If that’s you, here’s some advice. Put the social media down…and step away.
Many organizations are still behind the adoption curve regarding social media. In many cases it isn’t that they’ve resisted as much as they haven’t been in a position to aggressively pursue its addition to their overall marketing communications strategy. For instance, I’ve worked with some non-profits lately that simply haven’t had the resources to add personnel who can guide it, and other staff members have been too strapped for time to handle the additional responsibility–one they probably don’t fully understand. Continue Reading
Have you ever considered why railroad tracks have two rails? Probably not because the answer is obvious. Unfortunately too many organizations only lay one rail of a communications strategy yet expect it to offer a smooth ride and a destination arrival ahead of the competition.
I was talking with a prospective client and exploring what it is his company needs as it repositions itself following a couple of years of rapid growth. We talked messaging, and vision statements, and speaking points, and visual branding, and elevator pitches, and content marketing strategies; you know, the bling people see and hear. But then I asked him about the other rail. Continue Reading
A communications strategy not built on the foundational elements of an organization’s vision, mission and the actions of its leaders and employees amounts to putting lipstick on a pig.
I had a recent conversation with some organizational leaders about communications strategies and how to better tell their organization’s story. I had to manage some expectations because there was the idea that an integrated communications strategy can make everything better. And let’s face it, it can, but only if there is some substance to the organization worth communicating. Continue Reading
It’s interesting how making New Year’s Resolutions never seems passé even though only 8 percent of people actually reach their resolution goals. However, here are 10 social media resolutions that would be worth striving for in 2014.
1. Resolve to learn what each social media tool does best
Too many people and organizations still do not fully understanding the difference between social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. For instance, Facebook is great for community building and brand promotion. Twitter is great for rapid-fire conversations, plugging content on your website or Facebook page, and to pass along useful information posted by others. Each social media tool accomplishes something different. Learn the difference and use them effectively. Continue Reading
Speaking points are much in the news these days because of the fallout of the Benghazi situation. It raises the question: Are speaking points a valid and ethical communication strategy for organizations? The answer is a resounding, “YES!”
There is a video clip of CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation, interviewing senior presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer is ripping through one speaking point after another and the long-time political correspondent will have no more of it. He offers a brief history lesson to his young guest, and politely admonishes him that it would be nice if the administration would lose the speaking points and tell the truth. Continue Reading
The Boy Scouts of America finds itself in a kerfuffle with its proposed membership standards document. In a nutshell, the BSA is wrestling with dropping its ban on gay membership and in the process has created for itself an organizational communications nightmare that is bludgeoning a century of branding equity. It will take more than a compass for the BSA to navigate this crisis communications firestorm.
Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The BSA is in a five-alarm crisis communications nightmare. Very little is coming from its national headquarters in Irving, Texas, that positively positions the BSA. In fact, the organization’s leadership finds itself with few – if any – friends on either side of the debate, and has landed itself in a crossfire. Make no mistake; this is a self-inflicted crisis. Continue Reading
Social media has transformed virtually every area of our lives. That’s an understatement, I know, but it is humorous to remember way back – oh, say five years ago – when curmudgeonly corporate execs and know-it-all pundits labeled social media as a fad. Unbelievably many still do, and they are becoming as relevant as cassette tapes.
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net
However, while social media is a force, it is also true it can’t do everything. The understanding of how social media benefits organizational communications ranges broadly. Some have leveraged its power for either their for-profit or non-profit organizations while others throw in a little social media and expect miracles. Hint: Social media is not pixie dust. Continue Reading