Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Message in a bottle

So you have a great campaign or initiative or viewpoint you want to communicate to your clients. Where do you start?

Presumably by:

  • generating relevant content, 
  • creating collateral, 
  • drawing down a target list of interested parties
  • prepare electronic mail to send to the target group
  • approaching the media to see if you can generate interest
  • maybe organise an event, 
  • put something on the website
  • by some advertising 

Then you stand back, press go and watch everything disappear into the ether.

Which is followed by the wait. Not literally of course, because you have to manage all the moving parts. But the reality is that you are now waiting for your clients and targets to read, watch, hear, search or simply trip over the relevant content. And once they have you rely on them to make the effort to come back and ask you for more.

This is the modern equivalent of communicating via a message in a bottle. Once upon a time it made sense, but it seems utterly anachronistic now. Your employees and colleagues are connected to their market in ways that simply didn't exist previously. They correspond and collaborate via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter more than they do via phone or in person.

It makes no sense to bypass your people, and their connections and networks, if you want to communicate with your targets, because that is where the relationships already exist. Where the conversations will naturally occur and where the dialogue that could build to engagement can easily begin.

In a networked world:

  1. Lobbing material over the heads of our people into the market is inefficient.
  2. Ignoring the power of existing relationships and contacts is wasteful.
  3. Expecting our clients to make the running in an engagement is fanciful.

So, if this all does sound familiar, then its time to change the music.