Remember that scene in Jerry Maguire when Jerry pleads with Rod, “Help me help you!” There’s a bit of that in this post. With that in mind, here are three New Year’s resolutions I hope PR clients – with Greenough or otherwise – will make for 2010.
1. Be a Social Butterfly
No, social media is not for everyone. BUT: it is, without a doubt, one of the dominant forces changing the way business is conducted today. As Forrester analyst James Kobielus recently wrote in a blog post, "Social networks are the future of online life, whether we like it or not. Before the end of the coming decade, relationships with everyone –including family, friends, colleagues, employers, merchants, suppliers, and government agencies—will hinge on your access to these parties, and they to you, through online communities of all shapes and sizes."
For 2010, I hope companies resolve to at least consider social media with an open mind. Dig a little. Listen. Explore. Dell recently reported being able to trace $6.5 million in revenue to Twitter. As Vice President, Social Media and Community, Manesh Mehta explained in an article on The Huffington Post, social media can give you insights into your business that you can’t find anywhere else.
"Today's corporate leaders are struggling to figure out how to use social media to further their business strategy. At Dell, we believe this is backwards thinking. Social media isn't a means to further a corporation's strategy, it's a means to help determine it."
Even if social media doesn’t make it into the marketing plan for 2010, you should know why it’s not there, why it’s not right for your business. Times are changing, and chances are, if social’s not right for you today, it might be tomorrow. Be ready.
2. Think Like A Leader
A thought leader is a person respected by his/her peers and widely known for innovative ideas, thoughtful analysis and fresh insights on a particular topic or industry. A PR agency is best suited to help you with the first part of that sentence: well respected and widely known. I’m impressed by the creativity and quality of thought my co-workers display on a daily basis, and a few of us could be considered thought leaders in our own right. And while we pride ourselves in our ability to immerse ourselves in our clients’ businesses and our experience in the clean/consumer/information tech industries, you know your market best. What do you think?
Your PR team can help you strategize about the best way to communicate an idea – how to say it, when to say it, where to say it, whom to say it to – but that idea, that “it,” should start with you. If you want to be a thought leader in 2010 (and we want you to be one!), don’t be afraid to think like one.
3. Share the Love
Jen in HR is already on Twitter? Matt the software developer has his own blog? You published a new white paper on your Web site? Is the sales team kicking off a new promotion? Tell your PR team! Every year, in our client satisfaction survey Greenough asks clients to evaluate teams on “understanding of my business.” If your PR firm isn’t a perfect ten in this area, is there anything you can do to help? The more you share with us, the more we can be a true extension of the marketing team, and the better we’ll be able to tell your company’s story.
Contributed by Catharine Morgan. Follow her @c_morgan