By: Kate D. Shapiro, SVP of Operations
With each new year comes company leaders’ reignited enthusiasm for collaborative and integrated communications and public relations. When it’s time to present your 2020 communications plan be sure to include these key trends and tips which cover social media planning, public relations, email marketing strategy and crisis communications best practices.
Build your corporate resume with third-party validation
You could scream from the rooftops, “My company is the best!” but that’s about as good as having your mom vouch for you. Comments in news articles and awards wins are just two ways to show that others (with authority) trust that your opinion and work is valuable. Third-party validation leads to the growth of thought leadership which helps grease the wheel when converting a lead into a customer.
Get comfortable with public speaking
As our society’s attention spans continue to shrink, easy to consume audio and video are becoming ever more integral for an effective communications strategy. Public speaking, whether for a podcast recording or a panel, is not everyone’s cup of tea. That being said, it’s something that can be practiced and perfected, and it should be.
Social media profile selectivity
Social media for businesses is only as strong as the quality of content published. If you have limited resources for social, pick, and focus on, two key platforms that are popular with your target audience. For tech and cybersecurity companies, Twitter and LinkedIn are solid places to start.
Use polls to crowdsource
Whether you’re planning your next webinar topic and want to get an idea of what people would be most interested in hearing about or if you’re looking to prioritize new product updates, social media polls are a free way to crowdsource opinions. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (in Stories) are the main platforms that offer this feature.
Consistently stay in front of your audience
Everyone’s inboxes are inundated with messages these days. The last thing you need is for valuable prospects to associate your brand name with spam. Sticking to 2-3 marketing emails per month will keep you top of mind without going overboard. Share company updates, helpful information, and resources – use emails to show your value without being overtly sales-y.
Emails are a form of owned media that allows your company to showcase the faces behind the magic. Share pictures from team events, employee spotlights or new hires to put names and faces to your brand.
HAVE A PLAN
You have likely heard that a crisis is no longer a matter of if, but when. It’s true. Just like in the world of cybersecurity where a cyberattack of some sort is inevitable, having a company crisis is to be expected. Have a contingency plan in place for everything from a data breach to a disruption of services. Communicating your plan across internal teams and stakeholders will make the crisis a little less stressful.
Loop in your PR team immediately
Your company could handle a crisis with impressive grace but if you fail to take control of your public narrative before the media catches wind of it, you’re going to be left feeling like a celebrity reading a story about themselves on Page 6. By having a PR professional in the room when you’re making crisis-time decisions, appropriate messaging can be crafted for public distribution with accurate and approved information.
Many businesses in the emerging tech and cybersecurity industries are pressed for time and don’t have the bandwidth to handle communications initiatives cohesively and consistently. If this is the case for your business, it would be beneficial to engage with a vendor such as LaunchTech Communications to plan, coordinate and execute communications efforts to boost your brand’s share of voice and brand awareness.