Spreading the love with successful communication

By Nancy Garberson / Guest Column

In the last 10 years, public relations and corporate marketing communications have gone through a sweeping change. Companies that think it’s only about pitching the media are missing the explosion of marketing communications tactics that must be deployed to attain success.

Public relations and marketing communications leaders need to incorporate imaginative social media strategies which include blog posts, content, newsletters, media releases, web content and much more. Social media changes how people communicate, when they converse, where they correspond, how they talk and with whom they exchange words.

Social media requires brands to focus on their customers, build upbeat interaction and exchange information in real time. It’s become a personalized customer experience, more than just an exchange of products and services. The necessity of delivering an exceptional customer experience is a main concern just to meet the demands of customers.

Solutions allow companies to create, manage and deliver customer communications across all channels, ensuring a consistent, personalized customer experience through an omnichannel marketing approach. This is exemplified with Apple’s brand – the world’s most valuable brand according to Millward Brown’s marketing research – which calculates brand values with interviews of more than 3 million consumers together with economic and market statistics.

Customer awareness is an important factor in business today, and organizations are investing millions in research to understand what people want, expect and claim from a brand. Communication is increasing to encourage engagement so that customers experience the brand, have a commitment to it and remain loyal.

Social media, blogs and newsletters should aim for eye-catching content such as infographics and videos, but also provide interactive communications. It’s all about responding to questions and messages immediately and being supportive, kind and sincere in your responses.

Customers can always go on Twitter and Facebook and write about bad service, but when they get a response, solutions can be solved, loyalty can be created and bad feelings can be resolved. This means organizations take care of issues rapidly to avoid awful appearances and the loss of customers. Solving problems is what business is all about, right?

A terrific characteristic about social media is that information can be developed quickly for the customer, prospective customers and the general media so that misunderstandings don’t occur. You don’t have to wait for a specific day, time or news sequence. Solving problems quickly and effectively can enhance reputation management for any organization. And, exciting news can be discussed constantly, whenever a company has anything to share.

It used to be that we had to wait to see the customer response from media outlets, but now brands know how effective content and ads in other venues are in reaching their audience right away. Adapting to the right message quickly has all kinds of benefits. Social media continues to be a powerful force in public relations.

Interactions need to be intuitive, visual and exciting to reach the favored audience, so making sure the message is relevant, persuasive and action-oriented is critical. Spread the love and make sure your customers know how you feel, tell them a story that makes them committed to loyalty and then respond to their questions.

Of course, you also need to spread the love internally. Here are some things I do at MCS:

  • Surround myself with good people
  • Think good thoughts – cultivate and live in a positive environment
  • Try to keep creative ideas flowing
  • Listen and read about ingenious and flexible people to stay fresh and optimistic
  • Try to be helpful and valuable to others
  • Face challenges immediately – they do not improve with time
  • Do not ever listen to the phrase “it’s just business” – because it is personal
  • Smile


Nancy Garberson is the owner of Marketing & Strategic Communication Strategies Inc., in Cedar Rapids, and an adjunct professor at Mt. Mercy University, teaching managerial marketing in its MBA and Master of Strategic Leadership programs.