I discovered Alice Bonasio – a friendly, knowledgable UK-based writer and consultant – on Twitter. That initial connection lead to a Blab interview, where Alice shared some valuable communications advice in a live video chat (watch the replay here.)
Alice’s first three communications tips for startups, are valuable for every business owner, at every stage of their company’s growth.
1. Tell a personal story. Business is business, but simple, authentic stories pulls the reader in. Alice says that you can connect with your user by talking about your passions, interests, and what makes you human. Communicate through storytelling. Next, clearly identify the problem that you’re solving for them, and what inspired you to tackle it. What is your motivation?
2. Prepare for the Worst. No matter how well prepared you think you might be, stuff happens. Murphy’s Law is universal and nobody is immune. Unexpected situations crop up, clients or prospects can be sunny one day and miffed the next. Per Alice, if you pre-plan your approach and strategy, all your surprises will be good ones. So sketch out a Crisis Comms plan early on, and keep it constantly updated. Ask yourself the difficult questions before anyone else has a chance to.
3. Aim for Consistency. Work out what you stand for, then stick to it. That does not mean you should be risk-adverse, and sometimes pivoting is a good thing, but not for its own sake. There should be very solid reasons for adopting new stances or practices. Alice suggests that you put together messaging pillars to guide your communications efforts. These pillars should clearly set out what you are aiming to achieve, and how you want to be perceived. They’re your “rocks”.
If we had a dime for every time we said this …. But actually, every corp comms, social media and marketing expert can’t say this enough, and Alice is no different. Before you write a word, it’s imperative to “understand WHO your audience (or audiences) are. Address each group or segment very deliberately.”
Here’s a key point that will also shape WHAT you say to WHO…
“At the same time as you segment and target your message, however, you should keep your overarching message in mind, and make sure that even though you might be saying things in different ways, those messages are not contradictory. Inconsistencies have a way of quickly being found and coming back to bite you.”
Think about any stats you share on your website, in social media, at meetings and when you’re networking. Everything should be matter-of-factly consistent, not all over the map.
That’s it for today! I’ll share more communications tips from Alice in another Blog post soon.
About the Author…
Pattie Simone helps diverse companies transform the way they interact with prospects and clients, via compelling print, digital, web, visual and video communications. She is delighted to be working with JTW Media on a number of projects.