By Joe Basques
Footwasher Media Vice President
For the past several weeks we’ve been promoting a webinar on the flaws in corporate communication strategy and we held it last Thursday. It was sparsely attended, which was disappointing, but incredibly insightful at the same time. We got into the second slide and the whole thing came apart. We never even finished the presentation... which is a better outcome than we expected. The focus of the event was to encourage a market conversation. And that's what we got in spades. Here's a brief excerpt:
The CEOs in the session said they don’t worry about their communications plan because they have hired a VP of Marketing with an impressive pedigree that they trust to do the job. The only time a they look at the plan is when key numbers have been missed or there is a fire to be put out. In other words, the CEO isn't involved. But one CEO said: "We're doing everything the way you are supposed to, but we are not seeing the numbers. What are we doing wrong?"
What came out of the discussion was that the CEO expects the communications to be strategic, but from the VPs on down everyone is buried in the weeds. There is a huge gap between what the CEO thinks is going on and reality. No one is being strategic. It used to be possible to operate that way successfully but in the modern market, your strategic communications plan effects EVERY other strategic decision you will implement. CEOs are in a unique position to present the “big picture." It’s up to them to be sure the team knows where the company is headed as a whole.
When media was controlled by a small group of corporations, the audience had to adapt to the media. The medium WAS the message. Today, it's reversed. The audience makes the media adapt to them. Corporations effectively using media to reach their audience adapt to the needs of the audience. A successful CEO is a "Chief Engagement Officer" and must engage everyone customers, partners, employees and more.
The biggest takeaway from the session was: Your content, not your products, differentiate your company today.
So, bottom line, we are going to have another session. And to show we follow our own advice, we're dumping the webinar format altogether in favor of a conversation with decision makers. The next sessions are this coming Thursday at 10 and 2 p.m. Eastern. We're doing one on Skype and one on Hangouts. The subjects for discussion are TBD but they can include:
- Find new customers
- Keep customers engaged
- Find new partners
- Find new revenue streams
- Find the right employees
- Instill a corporate culture, mission, values and a shared purpose
- Address and communicate any changes that need to be made along the way
Sign up for one of these discussion sessions with Lou and a select group of CEOs, sign up here now.