June 10, 2014
by Kim Taylor
Have you heard of Zingerman’s? If you haven’t, you’re welcome. If you have, you probably already know that as a brand they just “get it.” I’d rank them alongside brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Life is Good. Cool products and a brand story that works. They know their audience and their messaging is custom-made for them.
Speaking of custom-made messaging … I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw this email:
I can’t say for sure if the demand for their Reuben Kits caused an issue with their site, or if they’re just maximizing promotion of their Father’s Day gifts. Either way, their message was clever enough to make me reconsider my own dad’s day purchase.
If you truly know your audience, messaging really can be effortless.
August 27, 2012
by Dan Ward
When I learned this weekend of Neil Armstrong’s passing, my first thought was not of his legendary achievement of being the first to walk on the moon, but of a long-ago class assignment on the message he broadcast to the world July 21, 1969.
Our teacher issued what at first seemed a simple challenge: re-write Armstrong’s “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” message in our own words.
But after struggling for what seemed like hours, I came up with nothing. I walked up to the teacher and said, “I can’t do it. What he wrote was perfect.”
As a professional communicator, I’ve always prided myself on the ability to edit. There are always words that can be revised or removed to convey a stronger, more concise message. But I still see no way to edit what Armstrong said that day.
He was not only the first human being to walk on the moon. He was perhaps also the first human being to craft the perfect message.
August 26, 2011
by Roger Pynn
This item from LeadingBlog about Diana Smith’s new book “The Elephant in the Room” reinforces the role public relations can play in building mutually productive relationships and achieving consensus … particularly in stressful times. If, as Smith describes, two egos as large as Roosevelt and Churchill could learn to accept each other by looking beyond their personal opinions to understand the other’s perspective, it would seem there are very few who can’t.
In a world so complex and full of messaging, however, isn’t that what public relations people really ought to focus on … bridging misunderstanding as opposed to simple promotion? Whether you are trying to build understanding of a brand, position a product for sale or overcome misperceptions of an individual’s positions, what we really do is create an environment in which negotiation can take place without tension.
In the end, what I think isn’t nearly as important as what the person I am negotiating with perceives. If I can see the world through their lens I’m far more likely to understand the barriers to them adopting my position.
That’s the first step in leadership.