In his PR Strategist Article “Human-Powered Change – How the Personal Touch Is Still the Best Way to Cut Through the Media Clutter,” Mike Rosen, managing principal at PRR Inc., emphasizes the importance of personal touch for success especially in today’s world of digital communication. More and more people around the globe use various methods of digital communication to distribute and receive information. The flood of devices and options change every minute – and open up an immense stream of opportunities – not only to professional communication strategists, but also to their clients. Despite all of these advancements, nothing can replace the power of personal, human touch to move an organization’s objectives forward.
The question of interest for us, as PR specialists, is how to accomplish the reasonable everlasting requests of our clients, such as maintaining brand loyalty and growing sales quantity, in this faster than ever moving world of communications.
The most important element to define is our client’s success. Only by explicitly stating what success is for our client and what exactly is needed to achieve it, and doing so working in partnership with our client, are we are able to target the right methods to get there. We need a consensus and a common understanding of both – the company’s path and aim.
Vision is what brings people together meaningfully towards the defined goals. Rosen strongly points out that vision is the most important piece to create human-powered change among different populations. It is not always easy to create unity when it comes to details, but nevertheless everyone participating in the process is driven forward by the shared vision of exceeding the client’s expectations. Having a common vision gives you the option of taking a step back if there are problems in the fine-tuning process and start over once again to negotiate the details. Vision gives people something to believe in. Hope actually makes the realization of this vision believable and control makes personal actions seem important to the achievement of the vision. Only by supplying all three, an emotional connection between client/brand and consumer can be tied.
Just as employees must be engaged personally and feel they can make a meaningful difference in their organization’s success, organizations, of course, can no longer get away with broadcasting what they want to say to customers, they must be good listeners and engage directly with them. Customers, of course, want to be valued as individuals and have every right to feel that way. It has to be about their interests and needs, and each company is serving them. Relationships need to be carefully built and maintained as every wrong move might destroy them and quickly, given our current digital and device obsession. Treat your customers, personally, like a good friend and use the golden rule. Keep your promises, demonstrate you care about and understand them.
And as PR specialists we know the power of unpaid promotion and sharing a message widely across media. And in this current social climate, we are increasingly understanding the power of personal social connections and how influential they can be. An outgrowth of this trend is crowdsourcing and if managed strategically, can move products and promote brands very powerfully. Spending the time to study and truly understand our customer’s connections, preferred platforms and motivations will pay off in spades. Do what you can to make it easy and compelling for them to talk about you.
In short, reaching into people’s hearts is one of the best recipes for success. Lifestyle and emotional benefits are the new addition to the 90’s anthem of selling the pure benefits of the product itself. People must be able to realize and see your vision and you have to provide them with the right path.
Be humble and make your customers feel that it’s all about them. Treat them as your friends and they will act like yours.