The Golden Age of Communications
By Pat Harden
We’ve had the Golden Age of television, of movies, of trade, of exploration. But what about communications? I would argue that now is the Golden Age of Communications — change is happening daily and we are able to reach and influence more people than at any point in our history.
Never before have we had so many outlets and options for communication. The advent of personalized technology and the ability to share online recommendations and referrals from friends and peers has forever altered the way we communicate with – and influence — each other. We can reach and track specific demographics through Facebook, we potentially reach millions of viewers with a message on Vimeo or YouTube and we now live stream our industry, shareholder and thought leadership meetings.
This new environment doesn’t come without its challenges. The increasing channels and forms of communication makes it even more important to be strategic in your message, specific in your communication selection and smart about your resource allocation and priorities.
Below are some tips we offer clients in this new Golden Age of communications:
- Start Small. There are so many communication channels available now that it’s easy to take on too much at once. Find the channel that makes the most sense for your audience and do it really well. Once that channel is established and a well-oiled machined, you can build from there.
- Recognize Leadership Expectations. Also take into account what channels you c-suite executives monitor and prefer, same with the Board of Directors. It’s important to acknowledge their priorities and build from there. You might disagree and need to educate but it’s a great place to start and then find common ground.
- Show Results. Even more so than ever before, it’s about ROI. How is money being spent and what is the reward – more specifically how is you communications plan helping to retain customers and build new ones. PR, communication and social media is now being tied more directly to business performance and it’s important that you select a tactical plan where you can show results, 3, 6 and 12 months down the line.
- Be Strategic. Who exactly are you trying to reach? What is the message and the call-to-action for the respective audiences? With the pace of change and the need to modify strategies almost daily, it’s easy to lose sight of the underlying focus. The more specific and targeted you are, the greater and more powerful the results will be.
As we launch our new website today, I found it an ideal time to take a step back and reflect on the current state of communication and what the future holds for our clients.
I stand firmly in the belief that this is the Golden Age of Communication and look forward to continuing to deliver customized strategic communication solutions to our global and regional clients.