Do you remember, back in the day, how limited we were in the number of communication channels? Printed media, TV, radio, billboards — that was about it. It was a simple, one-way communication from brands to their audience…’we have a product, this is what it’s about, come and buy it.’
Fast forward to 2015 and it’s a very different story. A smart communications strategy should now consist of a two-way conversation between brands and consumers, made possible by an ever-increasing choice of sophisticated, and often bewildering, communication channels, both on- and off-line. And more are popping-up every day.
With the explosion of internet availability, social media, apps, publicity stunts, e-commerce and much more, companies are now able to engage their audience — and hit them with targeted messages — at every turn. Competition is fierce to get, and keep, our attention.
Every company needs to:
– market and promote itself effectively
– consistently find new customers
– retain existing customers
– maintain a good reputation
– grow the business
So how does a business achieve these goals, in the complex modern age, and make the best use of the plethora of options available?
Imagine this scenario…it’s a common one. There is a business, successful in its own way, but with a rather old-fashioned approach. There is a PR team who happily churn out press releases for the media, a junior intern who dabbles at social media, and a web content manager who does her own thing.
These people rarely talk to each other and certainly don’t co-ordinate their approach or activity. There is no integration!
This company launches a new product. The PR team issues a press release to the media, which gets a bit of coverage, but then the buzz quickly drops-off. The social media intern announces it on Twitter a few days later, and the web manager puts it on the website when she finds the time.
The result? A very fragmented approach, limited media coverage, minimal engagement with target audience and a very flat launch indeed. What is wrong with this picture?!
Here is scenario two. The same company wants to launch another product, but this time they have got their ducks in a row. The PR team, the social media manager and the web manager have a strategy meeting to maximise coverage and impact from the launch.
The PR team warms-up the press, issues a press release to target media, follows it up and engages with journalists.
At the same time, the social media manager has had early warning and is part of the PR strategy. This means that when a conversation is started about the story on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, the buzz can continue to grow every day with updates to engage an ever-growing audience. Every time the story gets media coverage, the social team are quick to react and have a plan to further the reach of the coverage and build a community of relevant followers that are more likely to click-through and read the latest news.
In addition, the web manager has posted the story online so that there is an important link for the social media activity to help re-direct people back to the website.
The result? Rather than a short peak of coverage and then nothing, there is a continuous and growing story that gathers pace, makes the coverage work for the business and drives brand awareness without allowing the excitement quickly die away.
This is the key to an integrated strategy; a seamless experience for consumers across different aspects of the marketing and communications mix. The brand’s core image and messaging are reinforced as each marketing and communication channel works together as parts of a unified whole, rather than in isolation.
So for optimum brand awareness, integrated communications is vital. Consumers are more likely to interact with brands across various forums and digital interfaces.
And as consumers spend more time on computers and mobile devices, marketers need to weave together multiple exposures to their brands using different touch points. This means companies can then view the performance of their communication tactics as a whole, instead of as fragmented pieces.
So how can you make this happen in your business? This is where Luminous PR can help. Many marketing and PR agencies offer expertise in just PR, or just social media, or just content marketing — because they are all very different disciplines. Luminous has experience of all these aspects and we know how to integrate them so they work together for you…for maximum effect.
Give us a call and see how we can help you to integrate all your messages – and really illuminate your brand!