Below is a list of 7 of the most effective communications tools. If used in unison–together they will complement one another and bring value to your brand.
- Website: Store current information on your website. Websites are a static, usually non-interactive, resource for people seeking information. Therefore, it is critical to maintain useful, robust and up-to-date information on your website. The better and more useful the content, the more valuable your website.
- Blog: A blog does three important things: 1) It can help you build credibility in your field. Whether you are blogging on your own expertise, guest-blogging on another reputable site or inviting respected guest bloggers on your site, you are establishing yourself and your brand as leaders–experts on your topic.; 2) Search engine optimization (SEO)–drive traffic to your website and raise your website in search engine rankings by posting many links to your website throughout the Web. Whenever you blog on your blog site or guest blog somewhere, or encourage others to repost your blog, links to your website spread throughout the web increasing your SEO; 3) Serve as a platform for citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is an increasingly credible media source, when you/the public, formerly known as the media consumer, use the media-making tools at your disposal (such as blogs) to report news, that’s citizen journalism. Traditional media (print, broadcast, radio) is suffering with fewer staff and resources, making it more difficult to solicit news coverage. Citizens can help fill this gap by reporting on news themselves, providing coverage on critical topics the public needs to know to stay informed.
- Facebook: It’s where the eyeballs are. Engage, engage, engage! On Facebook you have a captive audience bundled with useful tools such as advertisements, “like” pages, groups, etc. The most powerful feature of Facebook is its ability to actively engage target audiences. Ask questions. Respond to answers. Develop contests and on-line activities. As for feedback. Respond to feedback. Show audiences exactly how their feedback was put to use and helped foster change. Also, reciprocate–like, friend, visit and comment on and participate on others’ Facebook pages. Spread the link to your website and blog around as a resource for people to help answer their questions and meet their needs.
- Media Relations: Build relationships with key media professionals. Get exposure to their work, know the topics they cover, their style and what they like. Contact them with leads that benefit your brand or your field or just leads that could benefit the media professional. Don’t be selfish. Submit press releases that are written in accordance with journalistic style (AP) to reduce editing time needed for print media. Submit polished video press releases to broadcast media professionals. Always be available to be a valuable resource to media pros. This will benefit both of you.
- Sales: Yes, the time-honored motto of “always be closing” is as true today as it has always been. Pitch and close. The craft of sales closes deals and takes proposals and ideas to the next level towards commitment, action and profits. Without proper sales, everything is just an idea or a creation. You need sales to translate this into profits.
- Visual & Multi-meda Materials: Let me SEE what you mean. Develop compelling, clean, impactful visual and multi-media materials. Keep words to a minimum (save that for blogs, reports and white papers). Keep visuals direct and simple. Use targeted focus groups to decide upon the most effective visuals or enhance/improve materials. Post this stuff everywhere: Slideshare, YouTube, Facebook, your blog, website, etc. Get it out through traditional means–traditional media, fliers, brochures, posters, etc. Show me!
- Public Speaking: So, data indicates that many people fear speaking in public more than death! If you are fortunate enough to NOT be one of those people, and even better if you have a particular flair in front of an audience with organized thoughts and a confident presence, rock on! You are already ahead of the wolfpack. Turn that into a communication strategy. develop trainings and presentations. Give away your magic tricks and gather a following, energize a tribe. You’ll close deals and build value for your brand. Also consider recording these presentations and developing webinars and video trainings, which you can post to your multi-media sites and host on-line trainings expanding your reach and reducing barriers to the content you offer.
One last tip: ALWAYS use spellcheck and have your work proofread by someone who knows grammar and marketing-speak. This leads to credibility and how much trust and respect you will be able to build in your target markets.