All the world’s a stage and each man in his time plays many parts…(to borrow loosely from Shakespeare). How’s your role-playing going? Are you like me as a business owner busy working “on” your business and including, sales, PR, event management, marketing and promotion into your juggling act? Well you have just added the title of Marketing Communications Manager to your job description.
In our work whether as an owner or CEO, we have so many roles to play and our job description is varied to say the least. But at the end of the day your role is to generate business success. Success is measured in a number of ways but usually through sales results and profit. One way to help increase sales is to create awareness of your business product or service. Because without promotion what happens? Nothing!
Messages about your product or service are delivered and received in a number of ways – hundreds of ways in fact. There's communication everywhere. We're bombarded with information from the moment we wake up, to the time we fall asleep at night, and it's getting faster, busier and crazier. Or is that just me? We not only have our traditional forms of media such as TV, print and radio sending us messages, there's brochures, billboards bus-backs and of course all the digital channels like the internet, blogs, cable TV and social media sites.
So how do we break through all this noise? How do we stand out so that ultimately people buy our product or service?
It seems most companies these days are combining or blending all the roles associated with building and maintaining relationships. These roles can include public relations, social media management, media relations, communications, marketing and advertising, and come under the umbrella of marcomms, a blend of marketing and communication. As business managers you need to ensure you have a range of this activity covered as the successful integration and application of all these strategies will ensure not only profitable results for your business but an increase in exposure, recognition and brand reputation.
Here's a brief checklist to see if you're incorporating these tactics into your role.
- Marketing – client sales calls and visits, new client development, database management, building referral networks, affiliate programs or alliance opportunities. An integral part of your business that needs to be addressed daily and one area most businesses do work at consistently. However by incorporating some other strategies you can support and maximise your marketing efforts.
- Communication – internal and external through e-News, articles, publications, annual reports, brochures, direct mail, postcards and other communication collateral. We need to communicate consistently with our existing clients to keep us “front of mind”. Yet by furthering our communication reach perhaps by submitting articles to trade or consumer magazines you will gain wider recognition for your business.
- Advertising – Advertisements in newspapers or on television, display advertising, radio, Internet and Google ads. Advertising is expensive particularly as a stand alone tool for creating awareness. However a small amount of advertising along with your other communication efforts will bring about maximum ROI.
- Event management – Trade shows, open days, networking events, seminars, speaking opportunities, client office drinks or a business lunch.
- Media Relations – Sending out media releases, publicity editorial, interviews and photo opportunities, building media relationships and media launches.
- Digital media management – Website content, website promotion, eBooks, eZines, blogs, social media network updates and search engine optimisation. Like the rest of this checklist, this is a whole communication strategy on its own! Having an online presence is mandatory these days.Take a look at my videos on YouTube.
- Promotion – Competitions, sampling and free giveaways are a good way to create further awareness.
- Business owners wear many hats – that of entrepreneur, financial controller, lawyer and salesperson. Often the one area that often gets overlooked is the communication and promotion of the company. But as the infamous promoter PT Barnum once said, “Without promotion something terrible happens…nothing!”
Read last week’s blog Build your Brand with a Personal PR Plan
Learn more about personal and professional PR by downloading this free eBook, the Power of Personal Public Relations.
Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist and director of Sue Currie Communications an agency providing an integrated strategy of personal and professional public relations solutions to help business owners boost their image, renown, brand and business. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.