Very few things have evolved as dramatically as communications in the last 20 years, fact.
The rise of mobile devices, as well as the array of audio, visual and text-based digital platforms has changed not only what but how we communicate and also, who we communicate it to.
An impossible task?
As such, the comms function must engage with a diverse range of individuals with a view to building advocacy at scale… one personality at a time.
Navigating the path to the perfect customer/client relationship is far from easy. Trying to create the right level of content personalisation without being creepy; being where your audience wants you to be without getting in their faces, and doing all of this remotely from a distance means we have to close that gap on a psychological level – through knowledge.
Expect the unexpected
The comms function must therefore have a broad view of the external environment, in order to understand how the actions of the brand will effect public perception in this context. Every move, message, picture, story or announcement can affect the brand’s reputation on a global level.
Establishing the brand’s best self, building the belief in the brand and being bold in the brand execution is the best way to a solid reputation.
Things to think about
Here are five considerations for the comms function in establishing a positive balance in the reputation bank:
1) Reputation is a brand’s currency
Reputation effects everything from sales to shareholder confidence. The comms function dictates the success of the brand when it comes to reputational currency, which can separate the winners from the losers before a company even turns a profit.
2) The brand’s conscience
Communications is the brand’s conscience. The comms function has a responsibility to keep the brand honest and to ensure that at all times, it practices what it preaches.
3) Focus on content-based engagement
Even with the best will in the world, targeting audiences on an individual basis is difficult and time consuming. Rather than grouping individuals together, it is often easier to develop a need-based group and generate content which addresses these requirements.
4) Integration across disciplines
Beyond sales and marketing, the comms function has a responsibility to ensure that the whole organisation understands and communicates the brand in order to build reputation from the inside out and from the outside in.
It is a mistake to measure the impact of the comms function by coverage, web traffic and sales engagements only. Employee engagement, customer loyalty and social influence should all be considered when establishing effective measurement tools and platforms.