Marketing Think for the 21st Century


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Never before has it been so important to transform our Marketing Think.

Our economy changed, our markets shifted, our targets and their buying patterns advanced, access to information became ubiquitous…. even as many marketers held on to the way we’ve always done it.

So – for the month of January, I’m going to focus my posts on the critical transformations in Marketing Think that I believe must happen for technology marketers to be successful. For any marketers to be successful for that matter.

Today – I’m going to rant about the ever popular, always necessary and totally dependable Press Release.

Next to advertising, there’s nothing nearer and dearer to executive and marketer hearts than the all powerful Press Release.

  • Board members cry for them to prove company success.
  • Executives demand the PR of the Week Club to show business popularity.
  • Whenever there is a marketing issue – whether it be not enough leads, reduced brand or product awareness, credibility or whatever – the Press Release is the old reliable quick fix.

That’s just plain NUTS! The world moved on. So should that Press Release!

First – let’s get real.

  • The average day sees more than 2000 press releases distributed across the wire services. That’s a lot of noise folks. You better be big and known to rise above it.
  • More than 80% of release received directly by media folks are irrelevant to their focus area. Think about that. Would you be actively selling to an audience where 80% weren’t targeted buyers? So why are you marketing to them?
  • Press Releases are usually about announcing things in the future. Availability of a product or offering, a partnership that was just signed but that hasn’t done anything yet. Here’s a big question for you – WHO CARES? Unless a media type sees successful results – you’re throwing words into the wind. No one cares anymore about what you think and say. They care about your customer results. Where the rubber meets the road. So ask yourself – how many of those press releases you’re planning are filled with market results, instead of focusing on your claims for the future?

We need to forget the past and shift – from yesterday’s news into today’s reality.

Powerful Press Releases for the New Economy

Press releases do have a place in our marketing quiver. It’s just a very different place than the way we’ve always done it. And therein lies the necessary shift in Marketing Think.

What’s the shift? It’s actually pretty simple – we need to shift from focusing on promoting ourselves and our ideas to sharing information that engages our audiences – focused on their needs, their problems, their worlds. Just as social media is all about engaging in relationships – so is PR!

Here are some ideas to get you started on a new perspective toward press releases, and PR in general.

In the year 2012 – think about the following “rules of engagement”. This is not an exhaustive list – but it’s a good way to begin to shift your thinking.

  1. PR acts as means of creating ongoing engagement and relationships with key media – not the blanket the wall approach to anyone who might listen. Let’s face it. Media are specialized more than ever in today’s world. That means you have to focus your efforts on those who care about your value – not the media world at large. Getting press coverage in that online blog may be exciting (and a check mark on the totem pole of coverage) – but if none of your buyers read that pub – is it really valuable? Want to know the best way to become valuable to that media target? Send them ideas for news, connect them with the experts they might be interested in – and not your own. Befriend that reporter who writes about your area with expertise and sources – not your own marketing story. build a relationship, get to know them as peers in an industry. Then they’ll be ready to listen to your news of success when you come back to them.
  2. Press Releases announce successful results, not promises. I cannot say this often or loudly enough. Forget the days when you could announce availability and promise the benefits. They are gone with the wind of all the blowhard businesses who overpromised and never delivered. Our vendor credibility is shot. You want coverage from that press release? Then focus on evidence of successful results for your customers and forget thumping your own chest.
  3. Press releases are used as part of a thematic strategy. I am so sick of the press release of the week club that drives out paper and news in search of an audience. It doesn’t work so STOP IT. NOW. The goal of PR is to educate and advise your audience in the media – not Thump your own Chest with ego messages about yourself. Instead – create a themed strategy that focuses on what’s important to all your audiences – buyers and media. Then direct all of your marketing efforts to flesh out and evidence those themes. A coordinated sharing of evidence and success is the fastest way to get and retain relationships – and attention.

Shifting our Marketing Think doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is asking some very simple questions along the way.

Why am I doing it this way?

How can I accomplish my goal in a better way?

Whose doing this successfully today and how can I evolve my status quo apporaches based on their success?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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