We’re half way through the year and today my advice is that you take a long hard – and most importantly – honest look at your PR, marketing and publicity plans to see whether they are moving you closer to your commercial objectives for the year.
Today’s THINK PR Espresso explains a little more about how to create a plan that will enable you to see quickly and easily whether your PR, marketing and publicity is working. Tomorrow I’ll explain how to tell if your current plan is working or not.
Want to receive a daily PR Espresso in your inbox before 9am every day? Sign up
A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to meet two of marketing’s big-hitters – Joe Polish and Dean Jackson from the I LOVE Marketing website and podcast fame. Actually, that doesn’t really do them justice – they are far more celebrated than that, but it is what most people perhaps associate with them. The truth is that they are behind the successes of many businesses, without being recognized for it.
I’m primarily a PR ‘guy’, but when you work in any of the marketing communications disciplines there is a fair amount of overlap. Particularly when you work with small businesses where the internal functions are less defined and things move quickly from relationship building to trying to get people to take action – and where publicity is still often the primary goal. So, the chance to hear Joe and Dean talk in person about their take on marketing best practice was something I’ll remember for a long time.
With the focus on digital and social marketing you would, perhaps, expect the evening to have focused on either of these topics. You’d be wrong. In fact, I don’t think that social platforms were mentioned at all during the 2 hour Meetup. Joe says that he’d still default to direct marketing given the chance and Dean talks about marketing and PR leaders as friends [not to be confused with the fast friends of the social media age] that he has either worked with, or continues to work alongside.
I had the privilege to present my take on PR, marketing and publicity to the assembled group – so, no pressure with Joe and Dean in the room. I also heard their detailed advice to some of the challenges facing the entrepreneurs in the room. There was none of the generic, echo-chamber, “this is how I did it, so this is what you should do” advice that is so prevalent online these days. It was refreshing. I’ve become accustomed to hearing so-called experts talking in general terms about best practice where there is no context other than the “expert” so it was refreshing to hear advice that was specific to the person asking the question and their business. The examples and advice given was also specific enough for non-marketers to implement.
If you’ve not been to the I LOVE Marketing Toronto Meetup then I’d wholeheartedly recommend it. I’m not promising that Dean and Joe will be there every time, but you never know! They have ties to the city, so it is possible they may be there again soon.
The term ‘expert’ is now used by anybody claiming some degree of knowledge on a topic, but did you know that there is only one legal usage? If you claim to be an expert without the evidence to back it up, you could be heading for trouble.
Apple released a new video on its website today – called Better. It sets out the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and many believe it suggests Tim Cook’s vision for the company. To that point it is voiced by Cook.
Released for Earth Day the video suggests that Apple may be back in the game of value-based PR. ‘Better’ has all the hallmarks of the THINK DIFFERENT video that many see as the start of the rise the company has been on for the last 15 years and is focuses on the values – what it stands for – as it looks to continue to dominate the mobile, post-PC and media distribution industries.
I’ve written about the importance of values to the foundation of Apple’s brand during the Steve Jobs era – and how they’ve moved away from them under Cook’s tenure. ‘Better’ fits the THINK model of delivering the right message to the right audience, at the right time via the right channel – and appears to be a move in the right direction and could provide the company with a new point of differentiation over competitors like Google, Samsung and Motorola.
I hope it is the start of a trend where companies build relationships with their audiences based on values, not product specification. Apple will ultimately lose a battle based on feature and function. A battle based on values… a battle for hearts and minds, however… now that is a battle Apple could win. Easily. It is for that reason that ‘Better’ could be the most significant piece of communications the company has issued in the post Steve Jobs phase of the business.
Want to know why values are so important? This is why.
They say that theses days if you don’t upset somebody you’re doing something wrong. But haters are going to hate, right? Well, if the reaction to this song, written by Phil Mershon, Director of Events at Social Media Examiner and performed by Mary McCoy at Social Media World earlier this year is anything to go by then the song is an almost perfect. It has upset lots – and I mean LOTS – of people – most of them the socialites the song places in its ironic crosshairs.
The song sums up the current state of social media and the problems it faces – where the often self-appointed doyens of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the ilk turn on what, by the number of views, shares and comments it has received, would appear to be a perfect example of everything they evangelize. It has ticked all of the boxes of the perfect piece of social content marketing and has got people talking about it.
The only problem is that it pokes fun at the behaviour of the people that have assumed the role of the socialati [OK, I made that word up!]. Many of them – in the audience at Social Media World – were willing participants in the prank dutifully pulling out their cellphones to take ‘selfies’ at the order of Phil Mershon.
I wrote about the dark side of social media a few months ago – where those that have presumed leadership of the discipline [although it is, in reality, only the use of a collection of platforms] seek to retain their superiority by attacking those that seek to question their authority. The more that we stand up to the so-called social ‘experts’ and call them out the sooner they might understand that social media is about conversation and not about vanity metrics and superiority.