In our last blog post, we introduced our philosophy for Public Relations, what we call Winning the Moment. Moments that are critical to a business happen all the time, and to be able to take advantage of them isn’t just about serendipity. Yes, at the time, it can seem like a stroke of good fortune when an industry publication chooses to write a feature story on your company, or a conference organizer agrees to have your CEO speak at a prestigious event, but more often than not, the hard work of planning and implementing a strategy are the keys to success.
Like the best chess players who can see several moves ahead, taking advantage of an opportunity and winning the moment requires the ability to see the future and position yourself or your company so that you’re in the right place at the right time. Think of it this way: Good companies make plans in advance to attend a highly important trade show; great companies make plans in advance to have their executives influence the narrative at the trade show.
When we speak about a moment it’s easy to think of it only as a concept related to time. At Indicate Media, we think of it from a broader perspective, evaluating such things as context, audience and most importantly, ideal outcomes.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is in still thinking the moment is about them. They view opportunities through the prism of how they will benefit. It’s our belief that the people and brands that consistently succeed are those that recognize the moment isn’t about them, but rather about the audience. More specifically, about what the audience expects and needs in a particular context. When you understand what a reporter and her audience needs, you can shape your message accordingly. When you recognize that an audience member’s take-aways from your speech are more important to winning the moment than the volume of applause you receive, you’re on your way. When you can make others feel as though they have won by investing in your company or buying your product, that’s a great example of winning. That insight is critical to developing a communications strategy that gets people to take notice.
While your audience is a component of the context, it’s worth breaking this out further. Many brands traditionally have chosen to focus on their products and/or their messaging, while putting their customers wants and needs on the back burner. Then they scratch their heads when a presentation falls flat or their Twitter account fails to generate proper engagement. Winning the moment is about creating messages or content that make the audience feel better for having engaged with you. That’s not about touting product features, that’s about solving a consumer’s problems and answering the needs and questions of customers, investors, etc.
If you’ve taken the time to understand the context of the moment, and you’ve put your audience’s needs first, there’s still another key aspect that’s critical to winning - aligning your ideal outcome. We’ve seen it too many times - a brand puts in all the hard work of preparation and execution, but they failed to agree internally on what success looked like. As a result, their messaging didn’t align with their desired business outcomes. Aligning business objectives with marketing and sales objectives isn’t always easy, but it is essential for effective communication.
We hope this food for thought resonates for you and your business. In our next blog post, we’ll take a look at some examples that bring the Winning the Moment concept to life. We hope you’ll join us, and if you have a story about a time when you won a critical moment, please share!