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I attended a workshop this afternoon called Building a Brand: Crafting the Messages that Expand Your Markets and Customer Base. The workshop was hosted by three panelists: Nettie Hartsock of the Hartsock Agency; Laura Dillinger of the Metropolitan Group; and Billy Sind from Group SJR. Nettie has expertise in storytelling in ways that attract journalists’ attention. Laura’s forte is harnessing the power of voice and communicating it through brand strategy & development. Billy brings market research, PR, and digital content strategies to the table, emphasizing that brand messaging should be consistent, opportune, and competitive.
Nettie calmed the crowd by assuring us that many of her clients also experience post-traumatic-social-media-disorder, even when they haven’t yet used all the tools available to promote their brands on-line. She stated that it important to shine on-line, especially because many journalists source stories from the internet.
Laura shared that when a company has a multitude of offerings (like RSF Social Finance), it has to decide whether it wants to be a branded house, like Clif Bar or a house of brands, like Inventure Foods. She recommended that established businesses review the body of content they have & select that which tells their story the best. Laura also emphasized that there must be congruency in your company’s content.
Nettie recommended following journalists on Twitter who cover your sector. She also suggested reviewing print publications, conducting simple Google searches, and searching the websites Mediaite.com (lists of journalists) and muckrack.com (twitter press releases) to locate journalists in your space. Nettie conveyed how easy it can be to become the expert and the go-to person in your space, simply by positioning yourself well in relation to journalists who might quote you or use you as a source.
The panelists also encouraged us to identify the shared value basis of everyone in our audience group.
Billy suggested we consider how our language conveys what we’re doing, why it matters, and how we’re going about addressing it. Doing this well will motivate folks to take action around something that they already care about rather than trying to make them care about something. David stressed the importance of empowering people to take action.
Josh Knauer from Rhiza Labs suggested audio and video storytelling on-line. Nettie supported Josh’s recommendation, stating that members of the press are looking for someone who can talk on camera for 90 seconds to 2 minutes at a time, so if you can position yourself well on YouTube, etc., you may become known as the expert in that field.
Billy emphasized that the elevator pitch has become more important than ever. He reminded us to make our content accessible and compelling since nowadays people get their news from headlines. Context has changed because of technology; context should dictate how we package the information that we put out there.
Overall, the panelists provided heaps of helpful tidbits (many listed here) to help us achieve our marketing dreams on-line.
Credibility is key in developing new client or customer relationships. You can develop credibility by becoming an expert in your field. Positioning yourself well on-line is one way to establish credibility.