The signature for Generations Y and Z is texting. Many of them find voice communications unduly intrusive. And so much of business is conducted via email.
Yet, successful companies promote that they (happily) answer their phones. Those range from Home Depot to PayPal. Look at it this way: It's so easy to get a job in a call center, no matter what country you live in. That's because consumers need to talk about their transactional challenges.
It's in your commercial self interest to let prospects, customers, and clients know you hang out by the phone, eagerly awaiting their call. The reality is that it is easier to talk through specs, troubles, and disputes than to put all that into the written word.
In creating copy for a disruptive residential real estate firm I persuaded the founder to hammer that the team is always available, including by phone. That message is incorporated in the content in so many ways.
In my own marketing communications I have experimented. What is most effective is to list my voice information first. That send the message I am there. Then comes SKYPE. Then come email and Twitter.
When investing in a vendor's services, most prospects want the reassurance of experiencing the tone of the voice. Is there caring about the client in it? Is it too adolescent cool? And is it able to align with the chemistry of the prospect?
The demand I keep encountering is to research and ghostwrite e-books. Those are the kinds that can be knocked off on computer, made available for free, and distributed on a website and other forms of social media. No gatekeepers such as agents are needed.
What smart players have realized is that the old-fashioned way to establish a brandname and to market is only open to those with an infrastructure. That includes a top-drawer publicist and a network of movers and shakers who keep the buzz going. No, even the most brilliant concept well executed for a book probably won't get you anywhere. In fact, since Amazon posts the rankings, you could suffer a branding setback if your book never gets sales traction.
So, re-think the classic advice: A book is the price of entry. Those who took that seriously wound up going the agent/publisher or self-publishing route. They invested plenty in the ghostwriting services of a professional like myself. And at the end of the publishing road was only low Amazon rankings. You bet, everyone from their clients to their competitors check those numbers. Your branding is shaped by your Amazon numbers.
A more effective strategy would be to become a known entity through social networks and social media. Linked Pulse and Medium are top sites for creating influence. Here is my own recent article on Medium.
Come on, who's going to invest time watching the Fox News GOP debate Thursday if Donald Trump isn't present. The ratings will be lackluster, at best.
And, of course, this has very little to do with Megyn Kelly. Instead it has everything to do with Trump's intuitive grasp of how to be an attention magnet. This latest antic is a brilliant move so close to the Iowa primary.
Trump finetuned his gift of showmanship when he had his television programs. He cultivated his own unique style, which now serves him well.
Some have already accepted that Trump will be the next U.S. President. Instead of ranting about that, they are figuring out how to get their kind of people onto the U.S. Supreme Court while he's President.
Perhaps it's time the rest of Trump-haters move from anger to surrender.
On Christmas morning of 2011, in Stamford, Connecticut, Madonna Badger lost her three young daughters and parents in a fire. After a suicide attempt, she went out west to try to heal. And that she did.
Now Badger is back to work. Her ad agency is Badgers & Winters. She married long-time friend, Bill Duke. And she launched a campaign to honor her three daughters, Lily, Grace, and Sarah.
That campaign - We Are #WomenNotObjects - seeks to stop turning females into objects. She pledges that her ad agency will have none of that. Here is coverage in the Daily Mail.
Usually after great suffering, human beings find a mission to remain centered. Badger's is a difficult one. Young women are so marketable as sex objects. There is no shortage of females who will participate in that game. And no shortage of consumers who buy pieces of it.
Recently Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) leveraged a #hashtag campaign. It put out there a petition to have the Affluenza miscreant treated as an adult by the law. The organization expected it would take them a while to collect enough signatures. That was done in a day.
During the holiday season Reese had a #hashtag campaign rescuing its treat shaped as an irregular tree from disaster. Some had saddled the candy design as a dead wringer for poop. The campaign was effective.
But, the #hashtag is no longer new. To work it has to have a compelling or clever reason to trot it out. MADD had the compelling one. Reese leveraged humor, that is a clever trick.
In PR Week, there is a debate if the #hashtag is dead. As the two examples above show, no, it isn't. But it could sideline a campaign if it is used just because it is there. This is analogous to why so many webinars fail to influence or sell. They are being used as platforms for messaging just because they are there. Yet, there is often no one there to view them and respond to the Call To Action (CTA).
So, it's predictable that those planning to publish a book will consider having it ghostwritten by several people. Some have even done that.
For example, the author for a guide on social media had about 10 experts each research and ghostwrite a chapter. Then she hired an editor to pull it together into one seamless presentation of the best thinking.
The resulting hardcover print book, published by an established publishing house, was a disaster. Reviews were lackluster. Sales were poor.
The problem with crowdsourcing a book on which one author's name is to appear is that there are too many variations in tone, language, perspective, and modes of supporting an assertion. Even a skilled editor wouldn't be able to hammer the manuscript into a cohesive whole.
Crowdsourcing is effective when the author is featuring a variety of voices. For example, an advocate for a low-carb/low-fat diet might collect chapters on that from nutritionists, users, healthcare insurers, and policy makers. At the beginning of the project, there would be recommendations about tone, kinds of examples to be used, and length. That would provide a sense of organization. Readers would not expect the chapters to reflect the author's own voice.
At the end of this month, Wal-Mart will begin shutting down 102 of its Express grocery stores.
They are primarily in small towns. And in Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece reports the loss of that resource to those communities. For some, it's the only grocery store around.
So, this giant corporation which had expanded into food as a niche has undergone several major shifts over the years. Essentially that has been from villain to savior to gone.
In good economic times it was the cool thing to dump on Wal-Mart's alleged putting out of business the mom-and-pop stores in a community. Then, hard times came. So many of us were grateful for that Egg Beaters Southwestern which could be more than a dollar less than at other grocery stores. Maybe Wal-Mart lacked ambiance and too often the shelves hadn't been re-stocked. But, because it was there, we made it through The Great Recession.
Fewer Wal-Marts mean fewer opportunities to stay within our budget. For small communities that could also mean being without any grocery store.
Town leaders will have to design a no-cost or low-cost transportation plan so that those without cars can shop several times a week. Those usually include the elderly. At senior citizen complex, Bella Vista, in New Haven, Connecticut, the residents had access to Aldi and Wal-Mart through transportation services. There was no charge. The logistics are simple. The service reliable. The aging can even comparison-shop between the two stores.
Human life is a constant play out of the political process. That is, we humans are always pushing and pulling to get what we want or what we think is right. So, it should be no surprise that obits have gone political.
In The Washington Post, Philip Bump demonstrates how many obits now include instructions about whom others should vote for. Obviously, for recent deaths, there's plenty recommended or not about supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump.
This is a new niche for us ghostwriters. We could be assisting those with strong political opinions to create their own obit, ahead of time. In pitching for this kind of business, we ghostwriters will impress on the prospect how we can totally capture their voice.
Even in search engine marketing (SEM), less is usually more. Put too much out there too often and automatically prospects begin ignoring your messaging. In addition, you could be positioning yourself as a joke. That's much like those poorly made commercials for late-night television.
The same applies to those sites which allow you to post without a gatekeeper. One of the most used is LinkedIn Pulse. Unlike Medium which is issue-oriented, LinkedIn Pulse is a platform for business. At one time LinkedIn Pulse was only open to designated influencers aka brandnames.
For a while now, members of LinkedIn have been posting what should be thought pieces on the platform. The problem is that, for some, the process has been compulsive - too many, too often. And without much thought. The image they are creating is: Hey, LinkedIn fellow members, I am your network gadfly. Today I am going to talk about 30 more tips on the business of X or Y.
Seasoned players in the self-promotion game understand the perils of over-exposure. Amateurs have to get up to speed on them too.
Jane Genova - Executive Communications Connect with Jane Genova for a complimentary consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-468-8579, SKYPE ID genovajane, 734 E. Roger Road - Suite 210, Tucson, AZ 85719