Britain has voted the leave the European Union.

It’s one of the biggest global political shake-ups since the fall of the Berlin Wall, precipitating a huge fall on stock markets and the value of the British Pound.

With many British voters already experiencing “Regrexit” after choosing “Brexit”, what are the lessons for communicators?

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  • Brexit is a lesson in what happens when an audience (in this case voters) doesn’t trust the brand (in this case politicians).
  • The messaging from politicians was not always honest and the audience didn’t do their research properly. But, the onus is always on a brand (the politicians) to communicate an accurate message on an emotive issue.

“The politicians didn’t do their job informing the public. There was a lot of pandering, a lot of divisive commentary and what happened is their audience didn’t understand the repercussions. — Sarah

 

  • Determine what your key message is; whatever is going to resonate with your audience. Find the point of difference that will give you longevity.
  • Be honest with your audience. Brexit was a protest voice for those who feel they didn’t have a voice. Some campaigners were promising out-and-out lies to voters. They were exploiting the protest vote with a dishonest message. That ultimately damages trust — which we might already be seeing come back to bite campaigners as they back away from those promises.

“If after the Brexit vote people are Googling ‘what is the EU?’ it suggests to me that those fundamental messages were not getting through. They were too busy talking about X when the audience wanted to hear about Y,” — James

 

  • Have answers and treat the audience like adults. Brexit campaigners did a good job of getting people riled up but they haven’t actually come up with any solutions. Help the audience understand complex topics.
  • Have positive solutions and become a trusted source of information. Get the audience onside by speaking the truth.

“All campaigns today are about saturation of message; it’s about scare campaigns, the focus on the negative. No one is inspiring; they’re always making us feel negative — and they’re meant to be the ones with the solutions.” — James

 

Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at why it’s time for brands to start podcasting.

 

And here’s a discussion about how to increase the mileage on your next press release.

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Ninety-eight million people in the US listen to podcasts every year, with an average listening time of more than four hours per week. Podcasting has finally arrived as a mainstream medium. The Brand Newsroom team shares their secrets to success:

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  • Podcasting has become a prominent platform in the past year or two. Brands can capitalise on this if they can create content that fulfils a need.
  • People listen to an average of five podcasts per week and most listen to them within 24 hours of the time they go live.

“(Podcasts) started off slowly because it didn’t have an audience and it struggled with quality… but I’ve seen a massive shift, particularly in the last twelve months, where people are not listening to traditional media for their content. They’re going out to find it and when they find it they love it and stick with it.” — Nic

  • Technology, including smartphones and WiFi-enabled cars, is going to continue to make it much easier to listen to podcasts — especially at a time when people wouldn’t normally be consuming content.
  • Quality is very important. The standard has improved in recent years and people won’t come back a second time to listen to poor sound quality.

“Have the workflows and processes in place to support the consistency and frequency that you want to publish because the minute you don’t drop an episode when people are expecting it, they get restless and they’ll go looking for something else.” — Sarah

  • You have to have something to say. Parroting what everyone else is saying isn’t going to win you grow an audience. You need something original to say. Look for a niche.
  • Publish regularly.
  • The best traffic for podcast listens comes from social media.

“Broadcasters are recognising the importance of podcasting now, and in the last year alone the ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has seen an increase of 31 per cent for podcasting. So if that’s not an indication of where things are going, I don’t know what is.” — James

Here are the links you might need:

Have a read of the Podcasting Consumer 2016 Report from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Have you heard the one about…

James, Sarah and Nic recently took a close look at where to share your content:

 

And here’s a discussion about dealing with writer’s block:


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There are plenty of websites out there happy to share your content for you, but are they worth the effort? Are they actually helping you get your content to a new audience that will be interested in your brand? Or are they taking advantage of all your hard work — and your willingness to give them free content? It’s a subject that got the team fired up, on this week’s Brand Newsroom.

 

Show Notes

“I was looking for other platforms to share my content with, platforms that wouldn’t waste my time and would add value to both the platform and my own brand, and many of the platforms just weren’t at the level they were claiming — they had audiences with no real size or influence and I was expected to give everything.” — Nic

  • Using other platforms to distribute your content can be a great way to get your voice heard, but it has to be the right platform.
  • Google has changed their algorithm and they’re looking for high quality original content. The only way you can “game” Google right now is to get links on another website that link back to you. So these sorts of platforms are proliferating right now.
  • Go for the sites where you can build a relationship and have a rapport with them — and their audience.

“What we need to focus on as brands is what other companies will help to improve my reputation or help to improve my profile. So if you’re publishing, you never want to go out to a site that has less authority than you.” — Sarah

  • Use tools, like Keyhole, BuzzSumo or SerpStat, to identify key influencers and approach them to publish on their site, or have them publish on yours. Build a relationship with those people and platforms.
  • A great place to look is industry associations and not-for-profits. They all need help and they all need high quality content. See what kind of publications they have and whether it makes sense for you to write for their audience.
  • Have a close look at a platform before you publish on there. Are there people you know being published on their site? If so, ring them and ask about their experience.

“If someone contacts you and they want your content, ask how it’s going to support both you and that particular publication they work for.” — Nic

Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

Recently Sarah and Nic took a close look at how to deal with writer’s block.

 

And here’s a chat with Rebecca Lieb about the metrics marketers often overlook.

 

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Have you ever sat there staring at your computer screen, totally stuck? You know want you want to say, but you have no idea how to say it. The words just aren’t coming. It doesn’t matter that your deadline is looming, you’ve drawn a total blank.

Today, the Brand Newsroom team looks at “writer’s block” and shares some great tips for pushing through it. This episode is all about ways to get the words flowing.

Here are some key take-outs:

  • Just start writing. Don’t get into a self-editing mode right away, just write whatever comes to you. Go back and edit later.
  • Disconnect from outside technology — turn off the TV and your phone. Get rid of distractions.

“I have blocks of time in my calendar that say ‘writing from home’ and I really need silence. I don’t want music on, I don’t want noise in the house — if something breaks my flow it takes me twice as long. — Sarah

  • Visualise telling the story to someone you’re comfortable with. Someone like a partner, a friend or a parent. It helps you strip out the jargon and clichés and helps you focus on the important nub of the story.
  • A good editor will help you clean up the copy at the end. Have a good editor lined up — it’ll take the stress out of the writing experience knowing someone is going to look over it for you and help you improve it.

“When you’re thinking about it, get it down. Sometimes I can’t get to sleep because there’s an idea that I’m thinking about. Just write it down.” — Sarah

 

Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at how to pitch to journalists.

 

And here’s a discussion about how to manage editorial workflow.

 

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Have marketers been too seduced by creativity and forgotten why we’re here? That is, have we forgotten our purpose is to answer the question, ‘how can I help you?’

Starcom strategy director Sergio Brodsky thinks we have. He joins James, Sarah and Nic this week to talk about urban brand utility — the idea that marketing can be used for public good, with simple ideas and messages that improve daily urban life.

 

What is urban brand utility? According to Brodsky:

It is about mainstreaming the idea of marketing as service in urban spaces by incentivising advertisers to use their brand communications touch-points as more than mere messengers to actually delivering a public utility service that improves city-living and optimises private as well as taxpayer-funded government advertising.”

How does it work?

Sergio gave the example of an Austrian beer company that replaced its labels with free public transport tickets.

“It was a way to create both shelf disruption — so no more label on the beer in that sea of browns and green when you go to the liquor shop — and instead a free public transport ticket as a way to curb drunk driving. So it’s a way to allow cities to optimize their budgets that are allocated to public services.”

— Sergio

Here are some key take-outs:

  • This is about the individual, rather than the consumer or customer, and understanding the challenges that surround them.
  • Instead of disturbing or disrupting people, this approach should enhance the offering or service.
  • It’s a change of mindset but it’s not just about doing good for the community, it’s also about doing well for your business. There needs to be a return on investment from government, too. Governments should provide incentives to business.

“You can inspire and aspire and do good and be useful. That’s what marketing is about. We’ve been too seduced by being creative, being fun, being cool. We forgot the most basic thing about marketing. This is about ‘how can I help you.”

— Sergio

Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

Last week James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the Happy Chewbacca viral video phenomenon. Listen to what they had to say here:

 

And here’s a discussion about the most effective social media platform for business-to-business enterprises.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

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