In the media battle of push/pull, push is winning big time — but do you really have the right team in place to reach the right person with the right message at the right time?
Many news organizations are reporting declining visits to their home pages, section fronts and mobile apps — all of which are “pull” media that depend on people to actively pursue their information.
Then there are social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, that “push” information to consumers directly, immediately and constantly using practically every medium imaginable. Unlike software apps and websites, which silo users into one information provider’s worldview, these networks are obviously much more open, allowing people to tap into all of their favorite news sources within the context of their personal lives. It’s possible to track in mere seconds the latest from politically left MSNBC, politically right FOX, an admired industry blogger, a favorite coffee shop and Grandma’s knitting circle.
That kind of speedy and highly personalized delivery is fast shifting the balance of power in the news and information business — and it should make your company or organization stop to consider two important things:
– how media can and should be used to grab attention, boost engagement and win business, and
– whether the people you count on to deliver mission-critical messaging truly have the skills it takes to do the work.
In other words, don’t wait around for people to conduct a Web search to find you. Go to them — but be smart about it.
Top communicators understand how unique media must work together to support larger marketing strategies tied to specific business goals. They understand how to produce and present information to capitalize on opportunities and to make messaging more memorable and meaningful.
To manage it all, get real. The most effective communication is often the most efficient and cost-effective, too. It’s profoundly important to recognize that while everyone within an organization has a great story to tell, not everyone is a skilled communicator or even has a desire to be. And because the goal should be to maximize impact to achieve desired results, it’s important to set up a cohesive, centralized system that helps ensure consistency and quality.
Yet even the most carefully laid plans fail miserably when they’re not managed well. While the Chief Executive Officer might want to see a three-month campaign promoting a special project, does he or she really have the time it takes to develop and oversee it? Will the Business Development Director really have the word-smithing skills needed to attract attention on LinkedIn and in a 30-second radio spot? Does the designated taskmaster actually have any formal training in editorial production and workflow? Does any one person on staff have all of the skills — including strategy, event planning, writing, editing, videography and graphic design — to produce it all? (Our routine experience tells us a resounding, “No.”)
The best communication managers are typically expert communicators — and great team-builders.
So, regardless of whether you’ve decided that your communications should push, pull — or, we hope, some combination of the two — make sure you’ve found the best people to do this very important work.