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Posts tagged ‘publicity’

Communicate Vision: 7 Steps

If you want to stay ahead of the game, let your public know that your eye is on innovation and change. What is your vision? No, I am not speaking of a vision statement here–what you or your company would like the world to look like in some utopia. I’m talking about what you or your company is doing today to create change by being innovative. What do you and your public want? Make them understand that you not only both want the same things, but that you and your company are 100% committed to getting what you want, together. Here are some strategies to make that happen:

  1. Ask your public what they want. No, really. Ask them. Conduct focus groups, send out surveys, conduct social networking polls and discussions, get a buzz started and engage in conversations. Know your public well, develop relationships with them and find out exactly what they want. Hint: It may not be exactly what they say they want, but by knowing them you’ll learn things about them that will reveal a lot about their true vision to you. The purpose here is not just to get people to say what’s on their mind but to get them to say the things they don’t want to say, to tell you things they don’t know they know and to help you and your business reveal trends and needs that isn’t the most obvious. This can help you change a product or service in just the right way that you’re called genius, an innovator and intuitive. In fact, you will be,
  2. Listen. Yes, do listen to your public and also listen to your competitors, partners, colleagues, employees/staff, etc. Listen with a critical ear. Weed out the insults and compliments and hear solutions and opportunities for change. If you’ve always done things a certain way, don’t hesitate to examine if “that way” is really the best effective way now, today, responsive to current needs and goals. Listen to the people around you and welcome suggestions and resolutions. Discourage negativity that isn’t overwhelmingly overshadowed with solutions and forward-thinking.
  3. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Make those changes happen. Begin aligning your products and services to be responsive to what your public wants and needs. Make your vision and their vision not only a shared vision but a shared reality. Develop strategic plans, product plans and service delivery plans that answer the new vision you’ve discovered. Document how each change is responsive to the new vision and determine how you will measure this effectiveness.
  4. Pilot. If possible, try a pilot release, and measure its effectiveness against a control group of the old way of doing things. Use diverse demographics or contain it among a specific target market, but keep it manageable so that you can examine the modifications and determine if they truly are effective or if aspects can still be tweaked to increase effectiveness. If changes are needed, make them and measure again. The quicker you roll through this process, the stronger your business will be. Learning to be flexible is key here and will benefit any business in the long-run.
  5. Wide release. Let it go. Send your vision out to your public, and let them know that it is of them and for them. That while these changes are based on their feedback and ideas, you are still open to continued innovation and want to know more about their wants, needs and vision. That you are committed to being responsive to them for as long as you are in business.
  6. Communicate. Not market. Use platforms that will allow you to engage in two-way conversations. You can buy ads and organize publicity, but most important is customer service and interaction. Make certain that every human representing your company is on the same page, communicating the same messages and collecting information towards progressive change. Bring your clients and customers into your communications strategy, demonstrating that your method of communication is one-on-one. No matter how small or large your business is, you not only make time for your customers and clients, you are in business for your customers and clients and they know it.
  7. Do it. Communicate by doing. Make sure your messages and actions are mirror images of one another. Your public will pay more attention to what you do than what you say, but if you can avoid contradictions between the two, ultimately you will arrive at trust. Trust that your business and your public share the same vision. Trust is priceless.

Daphne’s List of 7 (Part 2): Values-Centered Branding

 Daphne’s List of Seven–VALUES-CENTERED BRANDING STRATEGY For Visionary professionals 

DEFINITION: Values-Centered Branding is when your brand directly and clearly reflects the values of your public. Your brand goes beyond marketing products & services–you are marketing the values of your customers–your public–by amping up the image of these values and reflecting them back to your public. Your brand is about representing and mirroring values that your public holds dear.

 

E.G. Nike doesn’t market shoesThe company markets values. Oh, and by the way, you can buy a really expensive pair of athletic shoes that show the world that you are all about those same values: “Just do it,” “Pledge your heart to the game,” all about endurance, character, commitment, perseverance, etc. McDonald’s doesn’t market hamburgers. Coca-Cola doesn’t market soda. The list goes on… These companies market experiences, emotions and VALUES.

(hint: they should be the same)

2. Who is your public–your customers/clients? What do they value? If you’re not sure, ask them. I promise, they will tell you.

3. Values match: Do your values match theirs? If not, work on this so that they do match.

(hint: sometimes a very progressive visionary company is in a position to attempt to amplify the existing values of its public, usually by increasing the visioning capacity of its public. Imagine a more compassionate, resourceful, sustainable and collaborative culture. Imagine homes, food and clothing for all. Imagine art and creativity is as valued in education as math and reading. Imagine teachers are paid their worth.)

4. Create the image: Imagine the future is already here–what does this picture look like? If the values your business represents become a large part of the culture, what will change? Define the image of that change.

(hint: This is not your logo. This is an image that can speak louder than words–can be a video, a photograph or something more creative. It is at least visual or at most multi-sensory)

5. Tie this into your communications strategies: key messages, elevator speeches, ad campaigns, media relations, blog and Twitter posts, etc.

6. Get feedback/research: Ask your public if they feel your brand is representing the targeted values well? Ask if these values are representative of the public’s values?

(hint: your overall business operations and practices must also mirror the values you promote. Your communications strategy must be woven into your business culture. In other words, you can’t claim to be a champion for valuing diverse voices and devalue the voices of some staff members. hypocrisy will be revealed sooner or later.)

7. Communicate: Respond to the individuals who took their time to give you feedback. Thank them for participating in surveys or answering questionnaires, etc. Most importantly, let them know you’re listening by taking action based on their responses. Be authentic, responsive, transparent and accountable. Think of creative ways to make sure this happens.

Want to know more? How can I help you? Please contact me daphnestreet@daphnestreet.com Web: www.daphnestreet.com

YOUR Brand = Identity

Daphne’s List of 7 (Part 1): Communications Strategies for Visionary Professionals

Daphne’s List of Seven (Part 1):

Top Seven Steps Towards a Comprehensive External Communications Strategy: For Visionary Professionals

Communicate YOU!

1. Determine one over-arching key message that defines everything you/your business does and stands for. Keep it genuine and values-centered. This message is a part of your branding and should not change unless determined that it is absolutely necessary.

2. From this, determine two – three key messages that target a specific audience, product/service you offer or initiative that you/your business is championing. This should directly branch off from the over-arching key message mentioned above and reflect the same values. These messages can change as products/services or initiatives change, launch or are emphasized, etc.

3. Media watch—pick three key topics that directly pertain to your business for you and your representatives to watch in media. This includes traditional media such as TV, newspapers, etc. and new media such as blogs and social networks.

4. Divide this media “chatter” by how your company will respond to this media content:

a) Using data from newly released reports/studies to craft your own position and statement using this data;
b) Supporting an initiative, idea, activity, etc. and including a fresh perspective or compelling story directly related to your business;
c) Denouncing an initiative, idea, activity, etc., including a fresh perspective or compelling story directly related to your business

5. Decide on the best avenue for addressing this media you’ve identified:

a) Press releases to staff writers, TV or radio
b) Query a feature story from a columnist, TV station
c) Draft a letter to the editor
d) Draft an article for a community publication
e) Submit an OpEd article as a guest columnist
f) Request TV interview
g) Request radio interview
h) New media: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

6. Offensive media tactic—at least once per month, take an offensive stance on media relations. Utilizing the strategies d in number 5, pick unique angles on a story your business is passionate about, and work to get coverage in each of these media sectors.

7. Be the news—develop citizen journalism strategies to continue to get your messages out there. Think new media implementation. Write blogs and respond to blogs. Post on Twitter and Facebook. Use pictures. Develop a Vlog on YouTube. If your story will draw a broad audience, consider utilizing OhMyNews.com or other citizen journalism sites.

Nonprofits & the arts have something very special in common: OR what is values-centered branding

Nonprofits and the arts have a need to market products, services and messages just like any other business. They need followers, champions, spokespersons, supporters and customers for them to remain relevant, successful and sustainable. Yet, nonprofits and the arts have something very unique in common when it comes to their communications strategy development. Something that sets them apart from any other type of business. They organically speak to man’s need and unique ability to imagine and create. A nonprofit imagines a world that is better and works to create that world through education, service, empowerment, advocacy and faith. Artists look at the world or imagine new worlds and create music, art, poetry, theatre, dance and other forms of expression to communicate these new worlds or new perspectives on the world with their audiences.

The result is something very intimate and profound. This intimacy and profundity is the basis for communications strategies as it pertains to nonprofits and the arts.

Identify the intimate and profound values of your creations, your dreams–what your imagination and vision tells you the world is or should be or could be or just “Wow, that’s so strange, I just can’t stop looking!”

This is your value-centered branding. This will be the foundation for your communications strategies that will speak directly to the values of your audience.

Examples of values-centered branding: hope, passion, health, liberty, commitment, pain, joy, success, community, anarchy, freedom, humor, control and never forget “cool.”

Note that not all values have to be positive. Some might seem rather benign, and you can still find an eager audience focusing on the darker side of nature. The point is, this isn’t about judgement; it’s about finding an authentic voice for your values-centered branding.

Yarn Tank: The Daily Green

Nonprofits and artists represent the human spirit directly.

The next step is finding your audience–your particular public who will find that your values mirror theirs and theirs yours. This is the foundation for deep loyalty. Not one to be taken for granted, but one that has the potential to become very intimate and steadfast. If courted and nurtured properly, your following, based on shared values, can become unbridled public champions on your behalf.

Want to know more? Contact me daphnestreet@daphnestreet.com Web: www.daphnestreet.com How can I help you?

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