What Is Awareness?

Awareness is what most PR agencies sell, but here’s why it is probably not what your business needs unless it is delivering the right message to the right audience, via the right channel and at the right time.

Let’s face it, how many conversations have you ever started with a megaphone?  If your business needs tangible commercial outcomes, rather than just awareness call us on +1. 647.773.2677 or email lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca

What is ‘Brand?’

You often hear entrepreneurs talking about launching a brand. The reality is it is not something that you create and communicate to your audiences – you build it. Your brand is what your audiences say about your business when you leave the room and it’s a combination of everything you do and everything you say.

Brands take time and effort to build and are based on values, rather than features, functions or publicity. They are also very easily destroyed. When you’re thinking about building your brand – about the things you want your audiences to say about you when you’re not in the room – think about what values they will buy in to and how you and your team members can demonstrate that to them on a daily basis.

Brand is often very closely tied to an entrepreneur’s vision, but needs to be like a stick of seaside rock – the values must be consistent wherever somebody engages with it, from sales to product development, customer service to social media.

Watch  more PR Espresso episodes

What Is The Right Delivery Channel?

In this edition of the THINK PR Espresso we talk about the right delivery channel.

Social Media is touted by many as being the silver bullet for marketeers and PR people – it is a must-have tool for all organizations in order to deliver messages, content and to communicate with their audiences in real-time. It’s not true.

The truth is that there is no default delivery mechanism – social or otherwise – that will guarantee that you’re able to build mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and its audiences – it depends on your your business culture, your products and services and, most importantly, your audience. These factors, along with your message and timing will determine the best delivery mechanism.

The rule of thumb is that in order to have a conversation you need to be in the same place as your audience -whether that’s physically or virtually – and you need to understand how they use each mechanism or platform. This will enable you to develop a strategy to deliver the right message to your audience using the most appropriate platform.

I always tell people about Apple – arguably the best example of social media communications we have. And, yet they use none of the established social platforms. It always amazes me that more companies don’t follow their lead.

I’ll tell that story in more detail in a future PR espresso.

If you have any questions about any of the PR espresso so far then please drop an email to lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca or call me on +1 647.773.2677. If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future espresso then please let me know and I’ll be happy to include it.

When Is The Right Time?


Timing is often overlooked by organizations planning their PR activities.  If the timing is wrong everything else you do could be in vain.  Imagine trying to start a conversation with somebody as they exit a room or start a conversation with somebody else!

Most look at the best time for their business rather than looking at it from their audiences perspective.  Get the timing wrong and you can find you waste time and money trying to communicate with the audience only to find they are distracted, you missed the window of opportunity or are trying to compete with competitors for your audiences attention.

When you’re planning a PR activity ask yourself, is this the right time for your audience?  If not, work out when is and reschedule.

What Is The Right Message?

There are four Rs at the heart of effective PR – delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time via the right channel. The message is often misunderstood by both PR professionals and their clients.

Most PR agencies talk about the importance of creating “buzz” or “awareness” – you’ve only got to read the lede line of most press releases or the ‘about us’ section of the boiler plate [the section that comes after the end of the announcement] to see what I mean. Every product or service is either new, innovative, the only, the first, best-in-class… there has been very little work done to figure out what the target audience wants to hear.

When you’re thinking about message, don’t think about how you can impress the audience with hype. Instead, think about what outcome you want, who your audience is and what you can say to them that will either build or strengthen your relationship with them. This approach will move you closer to the desired outcome.

For more on messaging check out a post called, ‘It’s the message, stupid!’ http://thinkdifferently.ca/differently/its-the-message-stupid and before doing anything that is either PR or marketing related, establish what the 4Rs are. You’ll find your PR and marketing programs are considerably more effective as a result.

If you have specific questions you can always get in touch with +Lyndon Johnson on G+, email lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca or call me on 1 647.773.2677


Who Is The Right Audience?

Audience is the second of the 4 Rs of effective PR, but is the most important. Without a clear understanding of a defined audience it is impossible to know whether your message is right, whether you’re delivering it at the right time or via the right platform.

Before you embark on any PR activity you need to get to know your audience in detail – whether it is a handful of journalists, prospects, customers or investors. Understand how they think, how they talk, what they read and who they turn to for advice when making purchasing decisions for your product and service.

For more information about audience read, ‘How well do you know your audience?

What is effective PR?

Effective PR is the delivery of the right message to the right audience at the right time and via the right delivery mechanism in order to build a relationship. There are an increasing number of articles published in both the PR industry media and in entrepreneur magazines and websites that offer ‘X things you should do to build more’ or ‘The 7 habits of successful PR/marketing people’ and it’s all nonsense. It’s like trying to write a turn-by-turn guide for everybody to get from A to B. Depending on where they start, where they want to get to and the obstacles in their way the route will differ for every reader.

Over the next week we’ll be posting an Espresso a day on four key areas of PR:

  • the right message
  • the right audience
  • the right time
  • the right delivery mechanism

Rather than tell you what you should do, we’ll explain how you can figure out what right means to your business and how you can use them to build strong, mutually beneficial, relationships that will help you achieve your commercial, as well as communications, goals for 2014.

To catch up on previous PR espressos visit http://thinkdifferently.ca/differently/tag/pr-espresso/ at any time and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

You can contact me on twitter at @THINK_Lyndon, call me on +1 647.773.2677 or email me at lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca

What is Social Media?

Social Media isn’t what most ‘experts’ think it is. It’s not about platforms or about awareness. Not at all.

Social Media is about the real-time internet. It’s about the opportunity to share ideas and information with an audience in real time. Social Media Marketing isn’t about posting stuff to Facebook or Twitter, or any of the other platforms – it’s about marketing, using the real-time web as a two-way delivery channel.

Here’s a post I wrote a while back on why small businesses and startups should focus on PR and marketing and less on the social media http://ow.ly/ssl8A

For more information on how you can use the power of the real-time internet as part of your PR and marketing programs contact Lyndon Johnson on +1 647.773.2677 or email lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca

What is Publicity?

Publicity is what most PR agencies sell as public relations. It’s the communication of what an organization wants to tell as many people as possible.  It’s also known as promotion.

There is little consideration for the audience; often no communication of a value proposition; there’s usually no clear call to action or defined outcome. The nature of publicity means it is, largely, a one way communication.

For more information, here’s a blog post on the topic called ‘Most PR & Marketing is Promotion’ http://ow.ly/sqmPX

What is Marketing?

What is marketing? Marketing for small businesses and startups

What is marketing?  Marketing for small businesses and startups

Marketing is a term that is used widely but understood rarely.  Marketing has 4 key components – 4 Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  The majority of people that talk about marketing are only talking about promotion.

Marketing communications is the use of a variety of tools & channels, including brochures, flyers, targeted adverts, social networks and events, to communicate the 4Ps to an audience.  In recent years terms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Content have been added to the word marketing but should, more accurately have been attached to the word promotion.