Kadet Communications helps clients move people through communications strategy, brand positioning and storytelling. It also is a one-man-show, which means that when I want to have an all-employee meeting on strategic communications, it helps to have a vivid imagination…
President: Alright, let’s call this meeting of the Kadet Communications team to order. At the last meeting, we wanted to see how we’re doing, so we asked the Chief Strategist to get some feedback from clients and colleagues. Tell me what you found.
Chief Strategist: Let’s step back for a minute. What we agreed is that we should treat Kadet Communications like we would a client, review our positioning and make adjustments where necessary. If we’re going to talk about this, we need start with objectives.
President: Hmmph. OK, the main objective is the same as that of our clients: “sell more stuff.” Or in our case, get more clients. I’d also add that we want more opportunities to earn in-depth projects and long-term relationships.
Chief Strategist: Quite! So, as you noted, I was sent off to get some feedback on how we’re doing. I talked to clients and colleagues because our Strategic Communications process always begins with reflection on the inside and input from the outside. You see, it’s only by…
President: Yes, yes, we understand. Get on with it.
Chief Strategist: Right then. We talked to about a half dozen people. Let me put them up on the screen:
You’re always getting us to think differently…to consider more than just this one project.
When I think of you, I think of technology. You have big time technology experience that translates from big companies to small ones.
You’re strategy really comes from experience. Strategy comes easy because you’ve been there before, but you always considered not just what we should do, but what would work for our company.
You get to the heart of the story—understand clients’ needs and goals, and communicate them perfectly… the balance of classical marketing and PR to online social networks.
President: I love it. That sounds great!
Chief Strategist: Well, yes, but there’s a gap.
President: A gap? What gap? I see no gaps…
Chief Strategist: Here’s the thing: When you ask people to describe you, and each one responds with a different answer, you may have a brand positioning problem.
President: Maybe you’re over-thinking it. Each of these responses fits into our core message of Strategy. Positioning. Storytelling.
Chief Strategist: But ideally, we’d hear that back from people. Let’s ask the team…how do we describe ourselves?
PR Manager: Smart PR and marketing strategies that work!
Writer/Storyteller: Compelling writing that moves people!
President: I tell people that we do communications that moves people depending on what they want.
Chief Strategist: See?
President: Hmmph. Don’t we have work to do?
Chief Strategist: Of course. But positioning and storytelling are critical — this is what we tell our clients — everything starts with the story. What is our story?
President: You know, my favorite story since we set up shop two years ago is our client where we did the whole thing. When we started, they had two businesses — one in data storage, the other in business process optimization — and they could talk about one, or the other, but never together. No one knew what they did, they were losing cross sales opportunities right and left. The employees were all over the map. Their prospects heard a lot about technology, but little about what it would do for them.
Chief Strategist: Right. So we interviewed their people… executives, sales… consultants. And we interviewed and surveyed customers. We analyzed competitors’ positioning….
President: And we found gaps!
Chief Strategist: Indeed we did. So we showed them the responses. We found out that customers indeed didn’t know about the two sides of the business. And the customers viewed them as tech experts with deep knowledge of whatever our client did for them.
President: So if they wanted to be a strategic partner who could solve an array of problems, the customers didn’t see it. We held a workshop to get everyone together on this…
Writer: If I might move this along a bit…we repositioned them as making critical business processes like the stuff they do work better and smarter…so that their customers would have high performance solutions. We laid out a brand promise around delivering high performance solutions and the confidence that they’d be right for the customer.
Chief Strategist: And it worked — now their marketing and sales are coherent, their message is consistent, and they get more chances to cross-sell to existing customers.
President: Then we worked with them on a new website, new marketing materials, new whitepapers, and a communications strategy. I love that story.
Chief Strategist: So what have we learned from this?
President: We’re pretty good at this stuff! But…that was a long story.
Chief Strategist: Right. And what makes us the best?
President: Well, we have the experience to handle just about anything in public relations.
PR Manager: And we do smart strategy based on what works, not the media of the moment. And, our goals are the business goals, not PR goals.
Writer: And write good…heh…I mean, well. And we really shine when we bring deep client insight into our client stories.
Chief Strategist: So what we really need to do is bring all of this together…
PR Manager: I’ll get the coffee.