Strategic Communications

Think Like a Strategist

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Before you create any new communication, start by focusing on the results you want to achieve. By thinking strategically upfront, you will save time, minimize rework and move your business forward. Answer these questions to think – and write – like a strategist: My Purpose Why am I writing this communication? To inform? Announce? Recommend? […]

Brand

7 Ways to Build Brand Trust

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How well trusted is your brand? Brand trust is a competitive advantage, as it increases revenue, brand loyalty and positive word of mouth. It can even strengthen your bonds with employees and customers. At its core, trust is all about communication. Here are 7 ways to strengthen brand trust: Deliver your brand promise: Meet consumers’ […]

Case Studies

Case Study: Extreme Email Makeover

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Situation: One of my clients communicates using more than 30 email campaigns per month. However, the email response rates had been dismal for years. Approach: To understand the client’s strategy, I analyzed 20 sample emails and considered: If I received this email, would I even open it? Is it clear? Do I understand why I […]

Strategic Communications

Spooky Fact: Bad Writing Kills Profit

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Forget zombies and ghosts. What’s really scary is how poor business writing – on websites, press releases and brochures – costs companies credibility and profit. Despite the business benefits of clarity, poor copy remains pervasive. The Business Case for Clear Communication Since readers are busy, they will tune out vague, verbose or jargon-filled messages, leading […]

Strategic Communications

Breaking Bad Business Writing Habits

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Bad habits – like using jargon, acronyms and clichés – ruin business communications like Walter White’s drug empire ruined lives. In our digital world of 140-character messages, bad writing habits lead to ineffective communications that readers ignore. To break bad habits and create clear communications your audience will read, use these tips: Know why you’re […]

Marketing

Successful Small Business Strategies

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October is Small Business Month! To help your small business stand out in a crowded market, focus on strategic activities that increase your visibility and credibility. These marketing strategies can help your small business make a big impact: Get out there: Join local chambers of commerce, trade groups and niche business groups to connect with […]

Marketing

Stand Out: Strategic Publicity Practices

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Want to break through the clutter? Use these media relations tips to help your business stand out and gain a competitive advantage. Know your audience: Your target always impacts your strategy. For instance, do they use social media? Read blogs? Prefer traditional media? Drill down further: Which specific print, broadcast and online properties attract your […]

Marketing

Pinpoint Your Target Audience

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Tired of playing hide and seek with your target market? To identify a suitable target, successful entrepreneurs recommend these tips: 1. Pick an audience you can relate to. Choose and audience you understand and admire — then tailor your product to their pain points. 2. Consider long-term potential. Among customers that will adopt early, which […]

Strategic Communications

Recipe for a Strategic Communications Plan

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A strategic communications plan mixes together all your communication vehicles to accomplish your mission. Its methodical recipe helps you get the results you want. Key ingredients of a communications plan: Executive summary: Write this section last and limit it to one page. Communication process description: Provide information to help decision makers who are not trained […]

Strategic Communications

Timeless Strategic Writing Tips

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Whether we write for the web or print, copywriting is about understanding your audience and addressing its needs. That’s why these century-old copywriting tips are still valid today: Focus on benefits: Tell your target why they need your product or service Listen closely: Understand your audience’s needs so you know how to fulfill them Skip […]

Strategic Communications

Write Like a Strategist

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To accomplish your business goals, you need written copy that prompts your audiences to think and act differently. Use these writing best practices to keep your audience interested and engaged: Challenge yourself to think of your audience’s point of view Use an outline that is clear, focused and logical Get straight to the point; start […]

Content Marketing

Communication Vehicles Checklist

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Is your communications plan effectively reaching your audience? Use this checklist to identify other communication vehicles that will maximize your marketing impact. Advertising Annual reports Banner ads Blogs Brochures Business cards Business proposals Business case studies Case studies Collateral Company profiles Contests Corporate booth (for trade shows) Coupons Direct mail Editorial calendar eBooks Elevator speech […]

Strategic Communications

Objective Clarifier Tool

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Aligning your communications with your corporate strategy makes the best business sense. To make sure your communications are effective, you need clear objectives. Use these questions to create results-oriented communications: Briefly describe the business challenge/opportunity What does success look like? List your corporate objectives (e.g. vision, strategic objectives) List your communication objectives (ensure they are […]

Strategic Communications

7 Tips for Strategic Copy

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To create copy that gets results, use these tips: Focus on your audience: what do they want? Make your point up-front Keep your objective or call to action clear Emphasize your benefits Answer the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, why) … and how Use simple keywords and short, clear sentences Limit the number of […]

Case Studies

Case Study: Strategic Language

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Communication Challenge: A brilliant client of mine held itself back by using academic and technical language on its website. The copy was more suitable for post-graduate English or IT professors than its true audience. In fact, a readability test tool suggested readers would need 17 years of formal education to comprehend the copy! Strategic Solutions: […]

Strategic Communications

First Things First: Communications Basics

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It’s no coincidence that the most successful companies communicate effectively. Clear communication saves time, effort and headaches. Market leaders know that before they can achieve their business goals, they need strong relationships with their employees, customers and the public. To build those strong relationships, an organization must first apply these communication fundamentals: Know your subject: […]