Crafting a message that is compelling is much more an art than a mechanical process.
In over twenty years of PR practice, I have found that it is no longer sufficient to build and execute a sound, but traditional PR program. Companies of all sizes need fresh, new strategies for crafting and communicating a compelling marketing and PR message — a communications strategy that sets them apart from the competition. The first process is to clearly articulate a relevant message based on facts and endorsed throughout the organization. Then you must develop a messaging strategy and deploy a targeted media and analyst relations program. Your goal, at this phase, is to build or strengthen effective relationships with industry media and analysts, who can not only help you hone your message, but also help you position your company and products within the complex marketplace. Creatively generating media coverage that compels your targeted public to recognize and take action is also an art, not mechanics.
We know, because we are all targets, as well as producers, of advertising and PR in our daily lives, that the noise in the marketplace has grown louder and the pace has escalated dramatically. We have to ask ourselves, ‘what makes an impression on me?’ The traditional twelve words for marketing success have grown stale. What grasps our attention now is the unusual, the creative, the innovative, the kernel of truth that resonates with our fundamental needs.
A successful story must have the following elements: truth and credibility; a compelling “hook;” independent endorsement; clarity of purpose and message; and an obvious answer to “why should I care?” You must also know your target audiences and carefully tailor your messages to respond to their interests. A few well-aimed contacts can provide much more value than a random shotgun blast.
Case studies and customer testimonials are other important elements that help reinforce a message. Nothing speaks to the veracity of your story like case studies and customer testimonials. While it is not always possible to secure these — especially with a brand new product — whatever you can do to generate third-party endorsements of your products, their performance, or the industry trends or challenges they address can be helpful in providing dimension and perspective to your story. Do not overlook story angles that include collaborators, resellers, partners, referrals, and the like. This changes the story from “he claims” to “they report” and lends credibility.
There is nothing that bolsters your company’s and products’ long-term success more than having a positive marketing story based on verifiable facts and told truthfully. To rephrase an old saying: “make it short; make it simple; but NEVER make it up.”