PR – Getting to Grips with Nosiness

Understanding a little about human nature may change the way that you think about your Communications Strategy.

OK, so we’re all a load of nosey parkers!

There you are – it’s out there. Whether they’ll admit to it or not, people want to know all about other people – their motivations, plans, secrets, histories, fears and successes.

Just think about gossip for a minute. What purpose does it serve? Sometimes with the barest bones of fact it creates a story through speculation and intrigue. Often you’ll see that when communication has failed, gossip springs up to fill the void – just look at any social media feed!

So how can you use our inbuilt fascination with the minutiae of other people’s lives to improve your communications?

Get Them Talking

There’s an old adage that you don’t sell a product, you sell its benefits.

So endorsement from a third party is naturally the most persuasive form of PR there is.  Capture your audience’s attention by using the experience of a real person to tell the world how your totally fabulous product or service changed their life for the better.

This could be a case study or simply a quote of recommendation – but do make sure you have permission to use their comments before you rush headlong into a major campaign.

Be a Social Media Soap Star

Social media allows a fantastic opportunity to build and constantly reinforce brand identity with regular updates on life behind the scenes.

However, do think carefully before each post. Don’t fall into the trap of tweeting or Instagramming everything; keep focused on your communications strategy and the image that you want to project.

Seek out stories to repost that build on your brand identity and take care not to pass on posts that could detract from your brand simply because you’re given a mention.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pictures of widgets are pretty unexciting (sorry!) Pictures of people using your widgets, sometimes called lifestyle shots, are much more interesting.

Invest in professional photographs and think carefully about how you are going to present your services. Where should your photographs be shot? Who will you choose to be your model? How are they going to be used?  Which media might pick them up – what’s their house style?

If you are the brand then think about how you want to appear to your potential clients; i.e. friendly, professional, serious, fun, youthful, experienced or casual? What should you wear? Should you smile or remain serious to give gravitas?

Finally – Be Human

Give your brand a human voice. Think about the kind of person that would appeal to the customers you want to reach. How do they speak? What do they say? What words would they use? Are they humorous or ultra-professional? Use this “voice” in all your communications and be consistent – a good trick is to read everything aloud to see if it sounds right.

Consider having a brand or campaign ambassador, this could be the MD or even a celebrity. The important thing is that they “are” the brand so what they say, the way say it, their behaviour and the images you use must all reflect and reinforce the brand identity.

Just a quick note about celebrities – be selective. Don’t engage them just because they are cheap or free. Really think carefully about what they can add to your brand identity and balance that against what could be lost if they appear in the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. Just because they are famous doesn’t mean that they would necessarily add value to your campaign.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my nosey advice…!