The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently published an article about an in-home nonmedical care provider that had greatly improved results of sales calls after the
owner started bringing a therapy dog to medical offices.
The presence of the dog warmed office staff to talking to the owner, who was then in a better position to discuss his business and leave marketing materials.
The moral of this story is simple: Businesses have to connect
before they can effectively communicate.
A business can have the most unique product in the world and the most powerful messages ever consumed by the human race; but if it can't connect with those who matter, it's as good as the proverbial tree falling in the forest.
When planning a PR and marketing strategy, here
are tips on how to make that all-important connection before communication about a business can begin:
Offer something of interest. In the case above, it was a cute little dog in a service vest. Develop creative ways to attract the attention of your audiences.
Find common ground. Identifying common interests can enable authentic communication that develops real relationships with target audiences. (Think businesses that use social media to generate conversation and collaboration, not to solely sell products and services.)
Be helpful. Offering information and education is not only helpful to others, but also positions a business and its leaders as experts in their fields. (For example, offering complimentary first consultations, serving as a guest speaker for business or community groups, authoring guest columns, being available for news media interviews, and offering exceptional customer service are all valuable possibilities.)
Be genuine. At the end of the day, businesses are comprised of people who are selling to other people. From an individual and mass-communications standpoint, taking an approach and conveying messages that focus more on helping others find solutions to their problems and less on simply hitting sales goals will be more effective - and profitable - in the long-run.
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