Under-valued communication tools, that can really over-deliver
The surge in mobile, online and ‘here-now’ technologies means we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to our communication options – but it has also made it devilishly hard to keep track to what to do. It’s no wonder that many of the managers and employees we speak with at Chapman Consulting often feel overwhelmed when it comes to their comms planning, internal and external.
Here we look at five of the more traditional communication methods that have recently become somewhat pushed to the side for more modern, ‘always on’ approaches to corporate comms. As you’ll see, real value can be gained by working with your tried-and-test tools.
We are all peppered with unsolicited emails on a daily basis and I’m sure most of us automatically head for the ‘delete’ icon when it’s obviously irrelevant, unprofessional or gratuitous content. Having said that, email campaigns can be a great way to widen your reach, publicise new products, offer services and company news and give gentle reminders that you’re still out there if needed. It’s all about the content and campaign control. Be timely and be relevant and you’ll get people’s attention, something increasingly hard to secure in an age when attention spans are on the slide. And don’t forget a strong call to action to guide your reader into the sales funnel. Finally, e-shots are also a great way of cleaning your (often underused, scarcely managed) client database of those who may be taking up valuable marketing resources.
Many of our customers traditionally use simple, written emails to communicate bulk news to employees and clients alike. These have their virtues, of course, but well designed, regular newsletters can be a great way to encourage recipients to really engage with your content, and even look forward to it. A catchy title, infographics and images and well thought out articles can go a long way to improving customer engagement and building your brand.
A fading skill and, for many, a source of frustration thanks to those annoying ‘PPI’ and ‘accident insurance’ calls. But telemarketing, done well, can be remarkably effective. We advise clients to consider telemarketing as a research tactic first, rather than for making sales. Indeed, given the opportunity to discuss their industry or a mutually beneficial relationship, people can often be surprisingly open and accommodating. Asking questions of prospects, arranging meetings and finding out how you can genuinely add value are the first steps. After that, the sales will come.
Everyone seems to be blogging these days. But only a few are doing it well. The key is content. Although of interest to some, prospects won’t really care who won the company Christmas raffle. Always consider what your readers, be they clients or prospects, are interested in. What do they think about on a daily basis? What question or questions are they always trying to answer? How is your content helping? Is it serving them or you? It’s so easy to spot the difference. Blog with integrity about what you know and you’ll be on your way to ‘thought-leadership’ – and that will do wonders for your brand.
Email, texting and social media are hugely powerful tools – too powerful sometimes. Overuse or, indeed, misuse can so often lead to anxiety, confusion and resentment. The personal touch of a face-to-face meeting; the non-verbal cues that one can interpret; the simple appreciation of someone walking the 15 metres to discuss something, rather than a back-and-forth game of email tennis hidden behind screens – these are all benefits of getting up and away from your workstation and interacting with your fellow colleagues. This simple process can often save time, lead to a more positive environment and a more appreciative workforce.