Lean Communications Playbook

Entrepreneurs: Build Your PR & Marketing Playbook

Entrepreneurs: Build Your PR & Marketing Playbook

Entrepreneurs are in a hurry.  They want to see their visions turned in to reality as quickly as possible. Sometimes that hinders their progress, rather than helping.

Entrepreneurs are like Quarterbacks trying to move their team down the field.  They can see the end zone and are looking for the shortest, fastest route to reach it. Unfortunately, their chosen route is to keep throwing Hail Mary’s in the hope that they score a touchdown.  Like Aaron Rodgers, they go long.  Unlike Aaron Rodgers for most entrepreneurs it’s often the only play in their playbook.

As a Green Bay Packer fan I held my breath as Aaron Rogers threw a 60-yard completion to Jordy Nelson against the Bears. With less than 40 seconds remaining the pass set up a game-winning field goal.  But for Rodgers, unlike most entrepreneurs, it wasn’t a fluke.  It was all part of a carefully crafted plan.

PR & marketing Hail Mary

The Hail Mary is too often the chosen pr & marketing strategy for many of the entrepreneurs I work with.  They believe that because somebody threw a completion that they can too.   In many cases it’s the only play in their PR and marketing playbook.

The reality is that the majority of these pr and marketing Hail Mary’s are incompletions.  Some are incompletions – they get to run another play. Undeterred, they try again. In some cases the result is an interception. It many of these cases it is business ending.

Aaron Rodgers is, it is argued, one of the best Quarterbacks ever to have played the game.  He’s known for the audacious long passing game.  But it’s not his only game. Mike McCarthy wanted to run out the clock, but Aaron Rodgers decided to run the post-route play. It was designed to give them the best chance of either a touchdown or a game-winning or field goal. An incomplete pass would give them one final snap.

The pass was unlikely to be intercepted because it was thrown high and long.  If Nelson didn’t catch it it would be because he couldn’t get down the field quickly enough. In the event the pass was intercepted there was very little time left on the clock for the Bears to score.

A completion would likely result in a touchdown or field-goal attempt.

Every football team has a playbook. A series of offensive and defensive plays as well as special team plays. Each is designed to achieve a specific goal. The play-caller – a role assigned to either GM, offensive or defensive co-ordinator or the quarterback – decides, given the on-field situation, what play the side runs.

Short-term and long-term goals

The short-term goal is to move the ball 10 yards. 6 points is the overall goal. The first 10 plays are often set. After that, each play is decided based on the position of the ball and the yards remaining to successfully achieve a first down. It is rare that the short-term goal is a touchdown – unless the ball is in the Red Zone.

Rather than trying to throw Hail Mary’s, entrepreneurs need to run plays designed to get them to the next market milestone. They need to focus on pr and marketing plays that move the business towards the end zone, rather than trying to throw risky long passes.