I love asking “So what?”
It forces people to get to the heart of the matter.
During corporate messaging sessions, the exchanges often go something like this:
We were the first to have XYZ product or service.
So what? Why is that important for your [target audience] to know?
Well, we’ve been doing it longer than anyone else. We’re more experienced.So what? Just because you’re more experienced, doesn’t mean you do it better.
Our [target audience] tell us they love that we do XYZ.So what? I researched [competitor]. They tout their customer data everywhere and it looks awesome!
Well, they don’t customize. We really tailor our product to every single [target audience]. They feel special. They say that’s why they come back to us. Boom. Alright. We can work with that! Great product or service. Repeat love from customers.
The point is to peel back the layers so we talk through why a particular product, service, policy, or practice should be highlighted in their messaging.
I once heard Phil Hoffman, the founder of Priceline, say that you don’t need to talk about everything you do. Understand what truly makes your business stand out. You can tell them about all the other stuff once they’ve come through the door. Find your “horse.” And when you do, ride the heck out of it.
Our job as communications professionals is to help them find the horse.
Challenge your clients or company leaders to think through what makes a product or service special. If it’s similar to a competitive offering, how do they produce or deliver it differently? Is there something unique or interesting about the process or people involved? And especially right now when we’re all hyper-focused on COVID-19 — will the people you want to share all this with even care?
These “So what?” nudges are worth their weight in gold. I cover them in my 8-week corporate messaging program. The experienced PR and marketing consultants who work with me are go-getters (most have 15+ years under their belt) who want to continue to build up their skills and knowledge. They want to add more value to their clients (and they’re thrilled when they realize they can confidently charge a minimum of $5K in additional fees for strategic work).
The program includes an online course you can do at your own pace, plus coaching sessions with me and a community of other like-minded professionals. You’ll learn how to…
- get leadership buy-in for a strategic messaging session
- do the research you must do to be successful
- use my 6-phase messaging process so you can lead your own cross-departmental session (virtually, too!)
- work with your client to implement the resulting messaging everywhere they communicate
Reach out if you want to learn more. And please share this email with someone who’s ready to grow right now.
ThinkBeyond Public Relations