Sep 18, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Tony Hardman

Many years ago, in the early days of enterprise business, there was a focus on communications. Communications executives had a seat at the table where they could influence and shape the strategy to reach potential customers. Leaders like Arthur Page, "the father of corporate public relations," actually shaped policy in their roles as chief communicators. But, somewhere along the way advertising took over and communications was no longer seen as a strategic business driver. 

Then, as time went on, the tools to measure advertising grew more sophisticated, which further cemented its place in the minds of CMOs as the most important part of the paid, owned, earned media mix. Today, paid media gets the lion's share of the marketing budget, but cracks are beginning to surface. For example, 91 percent of people say ads are more intrusive today than 2-3 years ago. This signals an opportunity for communications to once again take its rightful seat at the table. However, to be successful we need modern communicators to lead the charge. 

What does it mean to be a modern communicator? How can comms pros once again earn the confidence and trust of CMOs? Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and New York Times bestselling author will answer these questions, and explain what it means to be a modern communicator in an ongoing series of videos, which will be published every Tuesday over the next five weeks.

Check out the first video "Introducing the Modern Communicator," or read the transcript below and be sure to check back next Tuesday for the newest video. To watch the entire series, click here. 

Jay Baer: Hi I’m Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, and this is the Modern Communicators video series, from Cision.

Way back in the 1930s, communications was a keystone function of enterprise business. Communicators helped shape corporate policy, using consumer attitudinal research to craft and shape attitudes and perceptions. And then, in the 1950s and beyond….

Advertising showed up.

Promising the ability to change more minds in less time, advertising became the brand and customer acquisition darling of companies for more than 60 years. And perhaps rightfully so ... until right now.

Research I recently conducted found that consumers say advertising is now the 7th most effective way to get them to consider a purchase. Today, consumers trust each other far more than they trust owned messages from brands. And what consumers tell one another is driven most often by earned media.

This is why influencer marketing is so hot today ... because the ability to own and control the message is waning like Kanye’s career.

We are entering the era of the Modern Communicator. A new age where communications professionals are again an integral part of the overall branding, revenue generation, and customer retention landscape.

The time is right and the conditions are ideal for the rise of the Modern Communicator. But it requires communications leaders – CXOs – and communications professionals to think and act differently, using powerful new tools that enable a hyper-relevant and highly-impactful earned media program.

The Modern Communicator is all about TEAM:

T stands for targeted. No more “all coverage is good coverage.” The modern communicator cares about earned attention only in the places and among the people where it moves the needle.

E stands for evolved. No more going it alone, with communications and PR being shunted over to the side like a kooky cousin. Today’s modern communicator works side by side and cheek to jowl with brand, digital, lead gen, CX and other functions as part of a holistic approach.

A stands for agile. No more super long lead times and navel gazing. The modern communicator knows that earned attention is accrued at the speed of a tweet, and modifies his or her approach and can launch and/or modify initiatives in real-time, using advanced listening technology as a guide.

M stands for measured. This is the big one. Advertising (and more recently, digital) grabbed the preponderance of budget because it told a better measurement story in the board room. No more. The modern communicator uses advanced tracking to determine and report on exactly who is influenced by earned attention — especially online — and can demonstrate the true bottom-line impact, just like peers in other marketing and comms disciplines.

Nothing I’ve told you is impossible. In fact, 100 percent of it is doable, right now. Now is the time for the Modern Communicator to shine. It just makes sense. On one hand, consumers trust earned more than ever. On the other, technology from Cision and elsewhere makes modern comms more targeted, relevant and measurable than ever.

Want to learn more about how to be a Modern Communicator? Watch the next video, about Targeting.

I’m Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, on behalf of my friends at Cision. Thanks for watching.

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About Tony Hardman

Anthony Hardman is a senior content editor for Cision. He has more than 10 years of combined experience in broadcast news, public relations, inbound and content marketing. Connect with him on Twitter: @ahardman or LinkedIn.