Messaging. Critical to your business success, it’s the way you communicate the appeal and the impact of your business, product or service to your target audience. A clearly stated message tells consumers why they should do business with you rather than your competitors.
Over time, these messages help to build your brand image whether for a product, service, company or even a person, like a politician or sports superstar. They must be communicated on a daily basis in your words and by your actions.
So why do we forget? No matter how finely honed an image might be, there will always be those moments that make PR specialists cringe.
And every now and then, you just have to throw your hands up and say- well – what do you say to the following 2010 real life examples of public relations misfires?
There are the obvious examples we’ve discussed ad nauseum:
• BP, CEO, Tony Hayward saying “I want my life back,” when 11 others lost their lives and millions were frantically worrying about their livelihood.
• If you Google “Bidenisms” you’ll find many. But nothing compares to Joe’s open mic disaster when during the signing of healthcare reform he whispered to the President AND the whole world, “This is a big @#*&! Deal!”
• Or Christine O’Donnell’s very short lived ads that ran during her political campaign for the Delaware Senate seat stating unequivocally, “I am not a witch!” –really good to know!
But there are also those that typically go unnoticed (unless you watch late night TV).
• When the best promotion you can come up with to drive sales is “Buy a car, get a free balloon,” it’s time to reconsider your messaging.
• Or in an effort to raise money and draw attention to animal cruelty you hit on a really big idea for fundraising and the headline reads: “Local Humane Society to Host Pig Roast Dinner.” You might want to rethink your mission.
• All the refined messaging in the world doesn’t work if you can’t use spell check: “We’re the small local college BIG on graguate success.”
• And then there is the ever present tag line that concisely communicates your message. For one school this didn’t work out so well. The tag:
Mount St. Joseph School: Building Boys into Men. Men who Matter. Mount Men.
I’ll just leave it at this – messaging – it’s important.