Whether talking to the public, customers or employees, no one wants to listen to "old news" or even repeated news. If you aren't getting visits, viewers, clicks, impressions, interviews, coverage, it may be that you are not pushing information that others find useful or interesting.
Be sure you aren't relying on recycling information from other media outlets, unless you intend to be a content curator or aggregator - in which case, make your subject area and point of view very clear to your audience so they can subscribe or bookmark you as a valuable resource.
#2 Tell It With Visuals
2015 was the year that Infographics truly arrived. While they've been around for a while, using visuals, charts, photos and even video to SIMPLIFY and EXRESS a story made it to the front fold as a necessary and valuable way to communicate with all audiences in our bite-sized, short-attention-span, need-to-prioritize world. It's an indispensible part of any communications strategy.
#3 Social Responsibility*
"Social Responsibility" is not just a department. Not merely an edict. Not simply a promotional overlay. Consumers - as well as B2B companies - are demanding that the firms with which they do business maintain an ethical framework to act for the benefit of society at large. Brands that want to be relevant need to prove a higher purpose and establish a meaningful, relevant way for their company, products and services to add value beyond functionality.
Building relationships and connections with your community is the first step to adding value. While relationships can be forged almost instantly due to technology, you need to be genuine. Do not have a CSR presence just to have one. You must engage with your audience rather than relying on automated responses.
If your website isn't mobile optimized, there may not be hope for you. According to a recent ComScore report, mobile is now driving all Internet activity. You should be creating new apps and digital content and services that engage the portable small screen and multi-screen user - many today, most tomorrow. Remember more people today own a smart phone or tablet then they do a desktop computer. So, communication you create for any digital channel or screen needs to be deliberately and smartly executed to address requirements for a mobile format and audience. Go mobile!
#5 Long Form Lives
Short-form content may be here to stay, but don't underestimate the attention span of Millennials and Gen Xers who love stories and crave a deeper understanding of the subjects that captivate them. While platforms continue to evolve and social media and other short-form communications styles provide desirable and helpful information daily, the appetite for long-form communications remains.
#6 Consider Every Voice
In this democratic media environment, successful communications managers will consider spokespeople and brand representatives from both inside AND outside their organization. Think beyond the usual C Suite and subject experts. Empower, support and engage company executives, staff members as well as external influencers who represent your brand universe. Also engage your stakeholders and encourage them to share your brand message. Remember, 92 percent of people report that they trust recommendations from people they know.*
"How does it affect me?" That's what customers/clients, patients, the public all want to know. For every communiqué, clarity and the relevance of your information to your audience are key. Think first about how your message will be heard and interpreted, and change your voice as required for each audience. Speak directly to them. Draw them in. Is the information you're presenting having the desired impact?
#8 Make Sense
The next step is sustaining authenticity. People will put their trust in your brand if the voice and substance connect to ideas and actions that seem logical and meaningful. Provide clear explanations to connect the dots. And, of course, any promises you make need to be delivered on and kept.
#9 X, Y, Z
It's the alphabet of generations. Leverage your consumer and employee insights in specific ways that influence exactly how your audience wants to receive information. How are they using it (or not)? How do you want to impact their attitudes or actions? Consider asking your audience questions to engage them and find out what they find useful and interesting. From the Silent Generation to Boomers to GenZ, be sure your Comms content and channels take all generations into account -- and tweak and tailor when necessary.
Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, Inc. helps companies build reputations and differentiate in a competitive market through thought leadership, public education, issues management, content strategy, and strategic communications. To find out how ICCC can help you and your company build your reputation contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 212-399-0026 or visit www.ivycohen.com.