3 Ways to Shift Away from Over Messaging
A common mistake with PR is an over-messaged approach to communicating. If good PR produces word of mouth for a brand, over-messaged communications is one of the fastest ways to fail. Most brands don’t have as much momentum as Apple to get away with this approach.
Why? Corporate messaging means a lot to executives and maybe employees. On the other hand, customers care little about the intricacies of a company, much less its PR team’s jargon laden approach to explaining the corporate mission and offerings.
What’s a PR team to do? After all, you need to stay on message to build brand. Refocus stakeholder communications to a more meaningful conversation. And I’m not talking about sharing what kind of burrito you had for lunch today on Twitter.
Here are three suggestions to shift up your strategic approach away from corporate messaging:
1) Inspire Stakeholders to Share Their Experience
One of the more unique campaigns out there today is REI’s 1440 Project. The thesis is that you only have 1440 minutes in a day, so how are you enjoying the outdoors?
Customers and potential customers alike can share photos on the site or via Instagram with the #1440 hashtag. REI curates them. The end result? More than 250,000 consumer photos sharing their outdoor experience.
2) Say Something
Not everyone has cool consumer products to sell like REI. But all of us are a part of one industry or another. This is particularly true of B2B communicators who are often selling to fellow professionals.
The best way to generate buzz? Well, as scary as it may be, say something interesting about your business. Empower thought leaders within your organization to be industry spokespersons. Let them speak about the industry’s larger concerns rather than just the company’s offerings.
Look no further than Larry Ellison, who made waves by announcing he would step down from his 37 year leadership role at Oracle. Ellison said lots of things, many of them controversial for the IT industry, but they made you think. Oracle’s results only validated him, and his enterprise software company.
3) Build News
Another approach is to manufacture the news. Look at how Honest Tea uses research to determine which city, gender and even hair color type is most honest. The company’s study regularly generates copious amounts of media coverage and buzz.
The Honesty Index works because it is about the customer and how they act in everyday life. It’s also a brilliant tie back to the product, using the honor system for iced tea as the means to measure honestness.
These are just three ways to move away from messaging towards more customer focused PR. What methods would you suggest?
Image: Oracle PR
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