1. People need to be prepared for change.
Ketti Mulrine with IKEA taught us about the importance of being intentional when communicating changes that affect staff. Capitalize on the excitement and positivity of early adopters to influence and ease resisters into the new process.
2. Don’t jump to conclusions when a crisis happens.
Dr. Charlie Powell’s vast experience as the Senior Communications Manager of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine offered a lot of interesting stories, but also stressed the importance of gathering all the facts before making a statement in the wake of a crisis.
3. Inspire your customers to be ambassadors for your brand.
STCU and Corner Booth Media presented a long term case study of their testimonial advertising strategy, focusing on how much their customers love STCU. Don’t be afraid to ‘fall in love’ with your customers and inspire them to share your relationship with everyone else!
4. Don’t be afraid to ‘break up’ with your agency or client.
Our panelists who talked about a healthy client/agency relationship (Lucinda Kay, Let It Shine; Dave Sonntag, Gonzaga; Shawn Davis, Zipline) spoke a common theme: break ups between an agency and client happen long after they should have. Be proactive and set expectations early on in the relationship.
5. Stay professional when dealing with trolls.
Stephanie Cates with RESCUE!, Melanie Rose with CVSD and Scott Steele with Avista Utilities spoke to us about dealing with negativity online. The theme we saw across the board: stay professional! Don’t get into an argument online, and stick to your brand’s message.
6. Don’t just sell your product, solve a problem!
Lisa Gerber with Big Leap Creative gave this golden nugget in our February workshop. When writing about your company, focus on the solution your brand provides to a problem.
7. Follow through and be flexible with reporters.
Jeff Humphrey with KXLY, Linn Parish with Spokane Journal of Business and Pia Hallenberg with The Spokesman Review told us that to set the stage for a positive relationship with media, it’s important to always call a reporter back and follow up when you send them an email. Reporters are always on a deadline, so being willing to be flexible goes a long way.
8. Be intentional about internal communications.
Desautel Hege Communications CEO Michelle Hege and Partner Christine Varela presented case studies of stellar internal communication tips to help create brand ambassadors from your workforce. Treat your employees like customers to bring your brand to life!
9. Everything is better with bacon.