Erlene B. Wilson, EWC PR/Mktg*
More than 50 years ago, a government-funded science/research project, now known as ‘the Internet’, came on the scene; opening our world to a whole new way of communicating in nearly every aspect of our lives.
Today, this once nerdy research project has become a game-changer; creating a new culture of worldwide connectivity and fostering the development of communication innovations including cell phones, iPads, laptop computers and other devices that we have come to depend upon in our everyday lives.
This new world of borderless, 24-hour connectivity has changed everything about the way we live and communicate. It has produced unprecedented change in how and what we buy, consume, and interact with the world. For business, it has leveled the playing field for innovation and access to commerce. Indeed, almost anyone with a computer and tech-savvy skills can create, brand, promote and sell products/services through a worldwide online media presence.
What has not changed, however, is the fundamentals of successful communications including identifying/knowing the metrics of the market segment you’re trying to reach (age, sex, educational level, profession/income, marital/family status, finances/homeownership, etc.) It’s also helpful to know their interests and passions, including what they read, view/listen to, the media/networks they access including the Internet, television, movies, radio, etc. Equally important is identifying problems/solutions of a market segment. If, for example, you’re a non-profit working with families you might Blog about or pitch stories to the press highlighting the need for jobs, access to safe/affordable housing and living environments, healthy food, education, transportation, health services and other resources for their children and family. Be sure to provide connections to interviews with professionals in the field as well as credible users of the service and, if possible, third-party verifiers who can attest to your success.
Understanding your market and their fundamental needs/interests can help cut through the noise of our media saturated world, and increase the chance of them responding to your offer. So can retaining/hiring the services/expertise of marketing professionals with proven success in your particular industry. There are a number of resources you can access even if you’re not a public relations/marketing professional. Here are a few to get you started:
Public Relations Society of America — largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. http://www.prsa.org/
MarketingSherpa – a research firm tracking successful marketing strategies – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/25-best-free-online-resources
Burrell’s Luce – provides a variety of services for public relations/communications organizations/professionals
*Erlene B. Wilson is President/Founder of EWC pr+mktg, a public relations/marketing consultancy specializing in social and institutional marketing. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.