Creating strong messaging takes skill and experience. That said, the very basics of good messaging are so simple it’s surprising to me how many companies get them wrong. There are three primary things to focus on: clarity, consistency and repetition.
In my 25+year marketing communications career, I have worked with about 50 start-ups. Most have been in the technology industry and a few have been in the environmental sustainability and travel industries. There are a few things I always seem to have to emphasize at the outset and they are listed below.
Engage humanity. That is the tagline I came up with and I still love it. It was for an Australian company called Whispir that is in the communications space. I was working with them on a massive brand development project last year and worked directly with Jeromy Wells, the creative, smart and kind CEO of the company.
Conch fritters, and conch in numerous other culinary forms, can be bought at almost every restaurant in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Yet they are endangered. How can this be?I recently visited these islands and their stunningly gorgeous beaches to see firsthand what was happening with the coral reefs there. I had been there 10-15 years ago on a SCUBA diving trip and was interested in seeing if the reefs were surviving climate change, tourist bumping and the notorious lionfish infestation of the Caribbean. Instead I stumbled on the queen conch issue.
I have been interested in doing PR for robotics companies for many years. Just ask my friend Tandy Trower, former head of robotics at Microsoft and founder of Hoaloha Robotics, a company creating companion robots to enable seniors to live more active and independent lives. When I sent Tandy various media articles over the years, he delighted me with long email responses that helped educate me about the industry. I am grateful that he shared this knowledge and provided years of encouragement. In 2016, I have had the honor and privilege of working with three amazing robotics companies.
In this age of personalized media, I have often thought about the concept of each of our lives as a museum. What would yours look like? What rooms would it contain and what would be in each of those rooms? My rooms might be Exploration, Connection, Adventure, Laughter, Fun and Wisdom. It is an interesting and expansive exercise to define your life in collections like that. It also forces you to think about the things that really matter to you and all that you have done with your life.
Every marketing and public relations person, no matter how strong you are, should be watching the presidential race. Don’t get me wrong. There are many things I would rather do, like ride my bicycle or go sailing, than watch these folks duke it out. But it’s a feast of learning about what to do and not to do. These campaigns are run by some of the nation’s strongest campaign strategists, yet there are so many little mistakes and some downright major blunders. We also can spot some very smart positioning and maneuvering. Some of it so savvy and twisty it almost makes me cringe.
Our oceans are precious. And today, on World Oceans Day, we celebrate them. We all need to pause today and thank the oceans for the food that we eat; oxygen we breathe; medicines they provide (both discovered and undiscovered); the marvelous marine life that delights us; recreation in the form of surfing, diving and sailing; and their stunning, breathtaking beauty.
There is a lot marketing I do for client companies and organizations in addition to public relations. That said, below is some of the media coverage I have negotiated for clients recently with strong strategy and execution.
Seattle makes me proud. The people are top-notch, the scenery is breathtakingly spectacular and the businesses are stellar. Some of the most amazing, often world-changing, companies started here, including Microsoft Corporation, Boeing, Amazon, Expedia, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines and REI. I have used products and services from each of them, many times. Other impressive ones have, at some point, moved their headquarters here, such as Holland America Line. And new businesses are following in their footsteps—companies that focus on space, robotics, exploration and virtual reality.
Many companies are evolving to explore space. What an exciting world we live in with endless possibilities! The lure of space is sexy and fun, glamorized by fabulous movies such as “The Martian.” Who can resist following all the news about rockets, satellite launchers and possible tourist trips into space? It is a frontier that entrepreneurial spirits are going after with gusto. And who can blame them? They are all pushing our
Some media outlets are doing an excellent job. Today I want to give a shout-out to some of my favorite free daily newsletters. These are the ones I look at regularly and find interesting, intelligent and compelling. Even when I am super busy, I can’t resist taking a quick look at them.
It has always been amusing to me how many small to mid-size companies want “really, really great” media coverage, only want to pay relatively little to get it, don’t want to work too hard at it and then have absolutely no idea how to maximize their return-on-investment (ROI) once they do get it. This blog is about the last one. I have been helping companies get great media coverage for many years and below I outline how to maximize the immense value of a positive piece of coverage.
Admit it, we all want to demonstrate how smart we are and will often keep talking as long as people listen. Likewise, many (most) blog posts drone on way too long. Some merit great length. Most do not. Someone already came up with the term “blogette” and it means a small blog. Try to keep your blog posts brief, simple and clear – at least the majority of them. And make your point early. Most importantly, make sure each post meets its objective/s. Your readers will feel enlightened by the new information and/or viewpoints you have imparted and they can quickly get on with their day.
Executives in companies (large or small) often forget to develop their Personal Brand. It is more important than ever to do this. Think about your Personal Brand Attributes as they relate to your Company Brand Attributes and put them down on paper. Then make sure they are reflected in everything you do, including your work, social media, clothes and demeanor. This doesn't have to be a lengthy or costly exercise, but take time to do it. It will pay-off well for you and your company.