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Why You Should "Date" Your Audience

Why You Should "Date" Your Audience

As Valentine’s Day approaches, conversations about love and relationships begin to appear more often. While it may not seem obvious at first, PR and marketing professionals can learn a lot from the advice of relationship experts. In fact, those who take the time to “date” their audiences are far more likely to succeed in the long run.

There are a lot of fish in the sea. Stand out.

Just like in dating, you want to stand out.  In order to do so, you must present a compelling reason why someone should pay attention to you.  What is it about you that’s unique?  How are you different from others?

Once you’ve answered that question, pay close attention to the way your audience talks about themselves and their needs. By understanding exactly how they communicate, you can articulate your value proposition in a way they’ll understand.

Finally, if words alone aren’t enough, it may be time for some sort of grandiose gesture. Just remember that while big campaigns are likely to attract attention, your focus should be on building a long-term relationship, not just trying to pique someone’s initial interest.

Continue the conversation

Congratulations! The “first date” went well and now your audience wants to hear from you again. The question is, what do you say?  How do you keep the conversation going?

Start by recognizing what attracted them to you in the first place. If it was because of your quirky sense of humor, keep being funny.  If it was your deep insight in a particular area, highlight your expertise regularly.

You should also make sure that each of your interactions is meaningful.  Content should be relevant and specific. Customer service should be timely and helpful. Product offers should be valuable.

Finally, communicate with your audience when and where they want to hear from you.  Make sure you’re using the right channels to get through to them, not just the channels you’re used to using. When it’s appropriate, you may even think about introducing them to new ones.

Work on your relationship

Just because someone is interested in you, doesn’t mean your job is over. In fact, it’s actually just beginning.

Devote real time and attention to your audience. Talk to them regularly and listen to what they’re saying in response. Create an environment where they can speak honestly and openly and where you support their ideas and feelings on an ongoing basis.

This Valentine’s Day, remember how much your relationships matter.  Treat your audiences with care and you may be on the road to a lifelong love affair.

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.

 

 

​Three Things Not To Pay Attention To In 2017

​Three Things Not To Pay Attention To In 2017

At the start of each new year, public relations and marketing professionals receive countless lists and guides, each claiming to offer critical knowledge and insight about the year ahead. We are told that if we pay close enough attention, we too can be innovative and cutting-edge. But, with so many outlooks and predictions, how do you navigate the maze and understand which trends matter most?

While we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us if artificial intelligence will really revolutionize PR and marketing or if the Internet of Things will truly change the customer journey forever, we can tell you that some things simply aren’t as important as they are made out to be.

Below is a list of the top three things NOT to pay attention to in 2017:

Don’t Feel Compelled to Master Every New Channel: Simply because something is new, it doesn’t mean it deserves our undivided attention.  

As PR and marketing professionals, it is our job to seek out, understand, and capitalize on emerging trends for our clients. We constantly see and read about new channels, each one supposedly better than the last. We spend time trying to master at least one before another wave of new options is introduced. But many of them won’t matter to us in the long-run and some may not even be around much longer. So is this really the best use of our time?  

Be judicious about how much effort, energy, and resource is spent on exploring new channels.

Take the time to learn which ones actually matter to your audience, don’t just jump on whatever is new and popular. Figure out which channels truly help impact the bottom line, rather than focusing on channels where vanity metrics look good.

Only The Data That Helps You Prove Your Point: Use data intelligently to get smart results.

There is increasingly more data available about PR and marketing campaigns. With just a click of a button, we are given access to information that used to take days or weeks to uncover. We can review audience behavior, extract valuable insights, and optimize our campaigns in less time than it takes to catch up on our favorite show.  And, perhaps most importantly, data has changed the way we approach our jobs and allowed us to directly prove the value of our efforts.

With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why we rely so heavily on data-driven decision making. But we must be careful about how we treat and interpret data. We must look at what the information is telling us, instead of just falling into common traps, such as confirmation bias, where we use data to confirm the story we want to tell. By going back to the basics, pairing qualitative and quantitative data together, looking for statistical significance, and ensuring that we have truly representative samples, we can make better short- and long-term decisions.  

Haters: Don’t pay attention to the noise.  Not everyone is going to agree with your PR and marketing strategy and you may encounter naysayers. It’s important to be thick skinned, but equally as important to listen. 

Find out what exactly it is that critics don’t like. Is there an issue with your product or service, maybe something you weren't even aware of? Is there something you can do to help improve their experience or perception?  By understanding who your audience is and listening to both positive and negative feedback, you can gain critical insight into how your brand is actually perceived and catch small issues before they become larger crises.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, it can be challenging to determine how and where to focus your energy.   In 2017, resolve to figure out what you need to pay attention to, and what might not be as important. Because if you do, you’ll have more time for what matters most. 

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.

Personal Branding Resolutions for the PR and Marketing Pro

Personal Branding Resolutions for the PR and Marketing Pro

“New Year, New You”, as the saying goes.

Though many like to set diet and fitness-focused resolutions in the New Year (and if that’s you, visit our client Furthermore’s site for some serious fitspo), PR and marketing professionals know that setting goals for a “New You” should go beyond the physical.

Our personal brand – our reputation, our image on- and offline – is something good pros manage and curate for ourselves, just as we do for our clients. And what better time of year to review and do just that.

In the spirit of “New Year, New You,” and setting new goals for 2017, here are four daily resolutions for PR and marketing professionals:

On social media: As social media platforms continue to evolve, there are even more new and shiny ways to get your message, passions, and expertise out there. Resolve to offer something insightful to your audience, no matter which platform you’re using. Try out the new capabilities of each platform, like Facebook Live or Instagram stories, when appropriate, but the content should always be meaningful to your audience.

 At the office: Whether you’re the CEO or the newest member of the team, you can still work on your personal brand. Are you known as the go-to person for crisis management, or do other teams come to you first for out-of-the-box creative ideas? Play up that go-to expertise. Then, pick one area to really focus on and improve this year, in order to offer something new to your coworkers and stretch your capabilities to the next level.

With clients and business partners: Clients expect to see their partners go the extra mile. Resolve this year to spend extra one-on-one time with your clients, attending their events with them or getting firsthand experience with their brand. Then, share your experiences with your own audience and hone your PR skills within your own sphere of influence.

 With friends and family: Influencer marketing was huge in 2016. When it comes to your personal brand, remember that your friends and family are the influencers of your life. Sharing your expertise with them creates more opportunities and a larger audience for you.