Showing posts with label influence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label influence. Show all posts

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Key Message Is Dead: Hail Content Marketing

There is fat chance anyone is listening to your carefully crafted,
committee approved, centrally delivered key messages.  

A friend recently asked me "isn't content marketing what we've always done?"

In a way she's right.  Communicators have long practiced elements of content marketing -  messaging, knowing audiences, distributing information etc.   The difference now is social media,the mega paradigm-buster.

Social media has accelerated information delivery to breakneck speed. Everyone potentially has a publishing platform for their opinions, and all of us can precisely choose what information we let into our lives and what we block.

No one is dependent on what you say.  We are outrageously spoiled for choice when it comes to information and we can choose where we get it, when and how.

Let's say your company, not for profit or agency tells me something.  Instantly I can go online to check its accuracy or access a staggering volume of contending data, commentary or analysis.  Many hierarchical organisations particularly government bodies still find it difficult to accept that the logo on your letterhead adds little authority to their arguments. 

You can longer claim sole expertise based on who you are.  Google has made all of us experts ... or at least let us think we are.

There is a fundamental difference between old style PR and content marketing.  And it is this: unless we are prepared to provide audiences with information that is helpful, entertaining or both, we stand little chance of connecting with, let alone persuading them. 

The era of the one-way key message blasted from the hierarchical bunker is dead.  Perhaps it served us well in the past.  But today people want dialogue not monologue.  There is fat chance anyone is listening to your carefully crafted, committee approved, centrally delivered key messages.  

Listening, continuously offering valuable insights helping those we need to reach, shared conversation and letting others own your topic hold today's keys to successfully reaching customers, clients and citizens. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Media Success for Sporting Clubs

  My recent presentation to 23 sporting clubs in Australia's national capital, Canberra. The seminar was sponsored by the ACT Government's sports and recreation program.

Monday, January 2, 2012

How To Tell A Story The World Will Listen To

Have a good cause, issue or product, convert it to a simple, well told story and the world will listen.

Over Christmas I have been reading books on storytelling by former World Bank executive and Australian author, Stephen Denning.  Recently I blogged about Denning's thoughts on  corporate storytelling and change.  

So how do you construct an effective story that can stimulate people's willingness to change?

A springboard story is one designed to take listeners to a new level of understanding about a change. This type of story can be used to inform, educate or to shake the skeptics out of their complacency or hostility to your new idea. 

According to Denning an effective springboard narrative has seven  parts:

A strong idea
The change idea you communicate is clear and worthwhile aiming for.

The story is about on a real example of success
It can be from a program that tested a new idea, a successful case study from another part of your  organisation, or one from the same industry or a different but nevertheless relevant environment.

Single protagonist
Tell the story from the viewpoint of an individual the audience can relate to.

Date, time and place
Set the boundaries of your success example so people readily see your story’s authenticity.

You only need minimal detail because listeners need mental space to make the leap between what they are hearing  and their own situation.

Have a genuinely happy ending: one that illustrates success in terms of improved outcomes, team work, health, sales, production efficiency or other measures your audience relates to.

End with a visible link back to your central change idea.

Perhaps we should take a leaf from the history books and use stories, as well as the facts and figures of business logic, as we set out to encourage people to accept change.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Connect With People Who Connect With Others

Key influencers are one audience with the power to help or hinder your communications efforts particularly if you work in a not for profit organisation.   
They are the individuals others turn to for advice, information or help when it comes to making important decisions. They can boost your communications efforts by helping you to reach individuals or groups of interest and by swaying opinion and encouraging action. In previous times key influencers relied mainly on personal contacts to pass along information. However with today’s explosion in social media and on-line platforms the key influencer is often an e-influencer.
Key influencers draw their authority from their organizational status, personal qualities or any combination of both. They might be experts in their chosen field or enjoy professional respect such as doctors, teachers etc. They could lead professional associations, government agencies, businesses or community groups. Or they might get pleasure from  sharing their specialist knowledge or experience through networking. Sometimes celebrities, movie stars or sportspeople are recruited to support causes. While they might create publicity, the community can smell out paid endorsements and their value can be dubious unless they have a genuine commitment to the cause.   
Common types of key influencers for local not for profits are: 
  • Members of Parliament, funding staff in government agencies, civic or city government leaders.
  • Business leaders.
  • People the media routinely quote as authority figures.
  • Leaders of patient groups, school committees, service clubs, sporting bodies and other community groups.
  • State and national advocacy organisations.
  • Academics with expertise in an issue.
  • People recognised through national honours and awards.
 A key influencer can help a not for profit in three ways. If they believe in your cause they can give it credibility by championing it within their networks. They can “translate” information into language others can understand and are well placed to pass on information through their own organization’s online and other communications channels.   
Key influencers can also help by:
  • Referring potential clients to your services or information.
  • Encouraging people to support your cause and to attend your events.
  • Inviting you to speak at their gatherings or by appearing at your events.
  • Backing your issue in the media, on-line and in daily conversations.
 Key influencers vary from environment to environment.  For example you may be influential when it comes to advising on not for profit services.  However others would probably not seek out your advice on buying a car – unless they felt you had proven expertise in automobiles.