My social media and marketing colleagues at Ethical Corporation’s parent company FC Business Intelligence, have put together some internal communication rules-of-thumb that seem very relevant to corporate sustainability communicators.
I think these rules/points can help companies and their communicators think about stakeholder engagement, consumer communication, ‘thought leader’ outreach and how CR reporting might gain more traction.
PR companies may claim to know all of this below, but I don’t come across that many companies and their communications agencies putting ALL of this into action. Doing so might not be a bad idea.
Here’s the list:
1. The content is more important than the offer. (What’s in your CR report matters more than the report itself)
2. A customer relationship doesn’t end with the payment. (Don’t just communicate once a year)
3. Interruption isn’t valued, but engagement is.
4. A brand is a relationship, not a tag line.
5. Focusing on what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell. (Very relevant for CR communication and stakeholder engagement)
6. The competition can copy everything you have, except you / your brand. Communications/engagement is the differentiator.
7. Without content, community is improbable, if not impossible. (If your report is not engaging, authentic and honest, no-one will visit your corporate blog)
8. Content without design doesn’t look appetizing (or deliver on marketing goals). (CR reports and sustainability comms must look good, or will fail)
9. Lead generation is only one small part of the marketing picture. (It’s not just about who you KNOW reads your report/comms, it’s who they talk to)
10. The long tail of search engine optimization is driven by consistent content on your corporate blog or website.
11. The blogging community will be more important than traditional media (if not already).
12. In the next five to seven years the majority of content consumers engage in will be corporate media (if not already).
13. Buyers are in control, the traditional sales process has changed, relevant content lets organizations into the buying process. (Useful output matters!)
14. Long-form branded content can be created anywhere your customers work, live or play. (Technology lets you customise sustainability communications output)
15. Customers want to be inspired. Be the inspiration!
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He invented permission marketing.
Time to jump on board.