Taking the dinner party approach to communication (or how to prepare not to fail)

Don’t know about you but if I’m having family or friends over for dinner, I like to do a bit of forward planning.

strategy-campaignI’ll consider the food my guests do and don’t like to work out a suitable menu. I’ll then refer to my recipe books and buy the ingredients I need.

If at all possible, I won’t wait to the last minute to look in my fridge and pantry and serve up whatever is there. Unless I’m a highly talented chef (which I’m not), I don’t think it would work out to be a successful dinner.

Now, this isn’t an article about cooking.  Although, its genesis is from a flyer I found in my letterbox that supplied a winter-warming soup recipe.

However, the flyer wasn’t about cooking either. Rather, it was from a local real estate agent. I thought, interesting, I’ll delve a bit deeper to see if it was part of some bigger and exciting PR and marketing concept.

I checked the agent’s web page. Nope, no more information there about the recipe or how it was part of their services.  No mention on social media sites either.*Sigh*

Disappointingly, I could only conclude this was someone’s ad hoc idea to maybe, hopefully, possibly get a potential client to hold on to their contact details. Unfortunately, ad hoc tactics rarely work.

The difference between communication success and failure is strategy.  

That’s to say, knowing what you want to achieve, who you are trying to target and what goals you are setting. From this strategy, you can develop campaigns targeting specific audiences to promote particular products or services. It’s not until you’ve understood all of that, can you conceive the tactics or ideas that will best resonate with your audience.

To put it another way, your strategy is the menu, your campaigns are the recipes and your tactics are the ingredients which help pull it together.

Therefore, what was I expecting from my real estate friends?

  • Maybe a campaign on how to make your house warm and cosy for a winter sale.
  • Possibly a hashtag to keep up-to-date with a series of helpful hints on social media.
  • More details on their website about how to present your house for a winter sale by enticing buyers with great aromas and a homely feel.
  • Then perhaps a Spring-themed campaign for those looking at selling later in the year.

That would have would have been much more fulfilling and memorable.

As Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

I’m sure you wouldn’t want a dinner party to fail because of a lack of preparation. Ensure you invest similar effort into your communication ventures to reap better rewards.


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