....and mean what you say!
By Claire Cunningham - Director - Rockallwight PR
'Then you should say what you mean', the March Hare went on. 'I do', Alice hastily replied; 'at least- at least I mean what I say - that's the same thing you know'. 'Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. 'Why you might just as well say that ' I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see!'
In our 24/7 world, where we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, simplicity and clarity of message are very powerful. The most useful thing a communications professional can do for an SME, is to help them see themselves and what they say about themselves, from the outside in. This means being able to help SME leaders stand outside of their own world, for a short time, and see their business as others see it.
This is why communications professionals working inside a business, should always try to keep one foot in the business and one foot outside. It’s because as soon as you lose your ability to be objective about the way you are communicating about yourself, the business and your products, you lose your edge. This means it’s harder to ensure that your communications activity is really focused on your audiences and customers.
I now run Rockallwight PR, a small agency dedicated to supporting innovative SMEs to communicate well, but when I was younger, I was a BBC Journalist. During interviews, the very best companies, large and small, had a really clear script in their heads about themselves, the business and what they wanted to say. They also really understood their companies overarching narrative, vision and values and they could return to this if the questioning become tricky.
This clarity of message made them come across as being confident, credible and sure of themselves and what they wanted to say about the matter in hand. It also meant that they sounded great on the wireless.
This technique extends far beyond media interviews. The same approach on clarity of message, should apply to everything you do and say about your business, whoever is reading, watching or listening. This is because you want your clients and stakeholders to understand your business and your product offering. You also want to be trusted and to do that you must appear credible. Lack of clarity can lead to confusion and in turn, this can lead to credibility issues and ultimately reduced trust.
SME leaders are often beset by challenges and some barely have time to ensure that their cashflow is healthy, let alone audit their own communications approaches. This is why Rockallwight PR provides low commitment, value for money, PR and brand clinics and audits. We assess your current approach to communications and advise on steps that you could take to build on your approach. We can help you gain an objective view of the quality of your communications and help you to improve it.