We live in the age of integrated communications, when businesses of all descriptions need to convey messages consistently across an array of channels.
The reality of today’s ‘communications everywhere’ world is that prospects and customers access information in a much more fluid way – and any messaging disconnect undercuts efforts to build brand image and buyer relationships.
As a result, the days of the good ships PR, marketing and website each merrily charting their own course and sailing off in their own direction are well and truly in the past – if that approach was ever really advisable.
Good communications of all types must be very much in sync with the business objectives of an organization and complement each other.
Successful communications, therefore, should be not be managed in silos – as they once were in most businesses and still are in some – but instead company leaders have to take a far more coherent and coordinated approach to attain strategic goals. As the digital revolution has sparked the creation of new channels, the need to speak with a unified voice across all touch-points has become increasingly critical.
With device and networking innovations enabling the creation of more varied and readily available digital content, prospective buyers are far more able than ever to seek out information from different sources and do their own research on products, services and providers. What’s more, businesses have gradually understood that they can reach target buyers directly and no longer just stick to old-style press and advertising channels.
The advent of ‘communications everywhere’ has not meant that traditional forms of communication have disappeared. Quite the opposite: as the digital world has evolved into a multi-channel, multi-device environment where content-based marketing has become the norm, core communications have transformed into the fuel that drives engagement with buyers and influencers via a more varied and an interconnected structure. Consequently, as the main content creators for most businesses, communications professionals have had to expand their role in producing materials to feed the digital beast.
A major result of this state of affairs is that thought leadership has become crucial in today’s content-driven marketplace, as prospects and customers alike expect engaging and informative communications that are neutral in tone – advising and educating rather than pitching and promoting – yet still compelling.
With this focus on content has come recognition that people absorb it in different ways. Some prefer the short sharp tweet. Others favor the thorough whitepaper, or the highly-visual info-graphic, or the authoritative news story – or a magazine feature, bylined article, blog, webinar, research report, ebook, email, fact sheet, video interview, presentation, or the company website.
The key is that each must reflect consistent messaging, resonate with the same themes, and speak to the target audience in a coordinated way so that, as they move from social post to news story to blog to whitepaper, their journey progresses in an easy and logical manner.
At Platform we understand this because we’ve been providing integrated communications for years, as anyone working with us knows. We’ve practiced the integrated approach without labeling it. Now we’ve decided to rebrand to make sure everyone is clear that we are simply about good ‘communications’ and not just PR. We want to be crystal clear that we are the agency for the ‘communications everywhere’ world.