By: Marta Gonçalves, Managing Partner at Say U Consulting
When facing the current economic situation the immediate response from many organizations was one of caution. The goal of reducing costs in order to survive the crisis and the expectation regarding what the future might bring have become the two most important factors guiding many companies today.
This cautionary effort, as natural as it may seem, has also meant that communication has been relegated to a secondary spot in the global set of priorities for an organization. “First we survive, we can talk about it later”.
The main question that arises from this situation, and the main role of marketers and communication professionals in this context, is to be able to make managers realize that caution regarding investment can be made to work together with an effective communication plan.
More than spending money and assuming this will be sufficient in order to get noticed, we need to make intelligent investments in communication. If one thinks about this question from a business perspective the transposition to a marketing point of view is perfectly easy to understand.
It is now essential to be aware of something managers have not yet fully grasped: we can invest in advertising, events and campaigns, but the message will only get through to the consumer/client if it is truly relevant. And in order for this to happen the decision makers in the media are our main allies.
As much as we consider something we have to say as important, it is the journalist who will ultimately decide if the subject has any editorial significance. If we intend to communicate a goal, a corporate reorganization, a new product or service, and unless we are already a recognized company in the market, we need to make our subject relevant.
Thinking how to achieve this link to mainstream trends and the way it will affect consumers is paramount to ensure this strategy is effective. This is an effort at times difficult, but not always impossible. The experience and know-how of the communication professional are the key factors in making a difference.
Never were Media Relations as fundamental as today. If an organization’s main goal is to survive this period, only the most dynamic ones when it comes to contacting the media and that know how to correctly position themselves regarding editors and journalists will be in a favorable position to take advantage of this exchange. The main effort must be done now.
When crisis and entrepreneurship are the most often repeated words in the media, an organization’s story of persistence and success can gain expression. You can consider your story a common one but do not underestimate the possibility of making it a tale of ingenuity and management ability.