Knowing your ‘why’

Your success in the media and with your marketing campaigns relies heavily on knowing why you are doing it.

All of the pieces around the ‘why’ – your messages, your content, how you go about it, who you speak to in the media, the mediums that you use (newsletters, webinars, social media, TV, radio and print) or a combination of these - shape your outcomes. It’s not totally chicken and egg, but something along those lines.

This is because the ‘why’ is the starting point, and from here, the shaper of all content and substance. It’s crucial. Yet despite the ‘why’ being number one, the reasons for the why can be both long and valid. So they may include things like: to increase brand recognition, to attract investors, to promote corporate or personal thought-leadership, recruitment, retention, succession planning and marketing – and usually involve more than one of these reasons.

However, if you are true to your ‘why’, there will be a key reason why you are pursuing media and embarking on a marketing campaign.

 A reason that stands out, that can be distilled through a really frank and honest discussion on your purpose. One of the most important discussions to identify this true purpose is identifying your business and personal goals.

By putting your goals into these two camps, you can strip out the emotional narrative behind the desire to do media, and build a really strong body of evidence or platform of substance. And this is what a successful media and marketing campaign must have – a strong body of evidence built on key messages and proof points reinforcing these messages, but more on this later.

Often I speak to people who want one media and marketing campaign to achieve all their objectives – grow my business, launch my brand, consumer advocacy and put us on the map. It is true that media and marketing campaigns can blur the boundaries between marketing and public relations, and government and regulatory relations.

However, in the case of the media, a well-conceived strategy will have one key goal and, from here, map out how other goals can perhaps become media platforms and contribute to the end goal over a period of time.

These goals will not necessarily be the ‘why’s’, but rather the what’s, the how’s, the when’s etc – the answers to these types of questions, which give your angle a tail and a story a journey. And you want the journey.

The journey is good because embarking on a media and marketing campaign is not an idea; it is a commitment to spend time and effort to get your message across. It’s your ‘why’.

Five tips on how to find your media and marketing ‘why’

1. List your business goals. This means what you want your business to achieve by speaking with the media.

2. List your personal goals. This will include your ultimate purpose behind your business and what you do. This may mean selling to the highest buyer.

3. Compare your personal and business goals to identify the why. There may be a few on the combined list, but keep disciplined and try and narrow it down to a few so that the messaging process around these goals can be disciplined as well.

4. Test the why’s. When you have your focused list of ‘why’s’, think about the messages that would come from each of them. So if one of your ‘why’s’ is to show consumers there is another advice solution available to them, your messages could focus on how your offer differs from what else is on offer. Do these points of difference sound valid? Interesting? Newsworthy?

5. Stay up to date with news. Knowing what makes the news and what’s in the news will help you understand how your ‘why’ might fit into current trends, thinking and debate or in the case of media, journalist’s areas of interest. This will give your ‘why’ currency and relevancy.


Fiona Harris is a senior account director at 64 Media.

 

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