Whenever I am called on to “get the word out” on a specific project, I use every skill that I have ever learned to get my job done to the best of my abilities. I understand that marketing – and the practice of this misunderstood discipline, is ever changing. The 21st century has brought the most changes, back-to-back, in to our field of work.
The objectives of most marketing projects are the same today as yesterday. It is the tools and techniques in marketing that have most certainly changed and continue to change as technology makes us all quiver to think what is next. What bothers me, however, is the tendency to put more stock in social media and ditch traditional media. It’s like, “out with the old and in with the new” without taking time to understand that the principles behind the value of media are still the same. Only the tools have changed – the techniques still require a work ethic of doing the very best – all the time.
Representing a new client is always an exciting time for me. and I have a new client – Hank Stewart. Hank is a poet, Atlanta’s newest Poet Laureate. I prefer that his brand include identifying him as a “Spoken Word Artist.” His brand is busting lose all over the urban Metropolitan Atlanta Market.
My area of expertise is “marketing” and I approach my work using the full scope of the field of marketing. However, sometimes my work is referred to as “public relations.” I might even be called a “publicist” from time to time. However, for Hank, my role will be to enhance his Brand (his image) by increasing his exposure in any particular market place where he expects to do business – and make a profit.
Let me walk the readers of my blog through how we get started. Hopefully, you can apply these techniques to your new project.
It’s the beginning of a relationship. First and foremost, you must start with goals – what do you want to do. Example – You have CD that you want to sell; are you just selling the CD, or are you selling the artist who made the recording, or are you selling a seat at a venue where he might be appearing. Goal setting might sound easy, but it is one of the most difficult tasks to do. If you hear a specific objective coming forth that you are not equipped to handle, this is where you MUST reach out for support; you must approach this task to do the best you can, even if you need to bring in a team to assist.
The next task is to get lots of biographical information about the new client; interview the client and record the interview. Really get to know your client. Search the web for anything you can find. Build a library of information about your client, saved in your computer, for quick availability. Prepare a professional bio – short and long – and have this on hand to distribute as needed. I call this the “Brain Dump” wherein you get to know all there is – the good and the not-so-good. Speak freely and exchange ideas and how to effect change that might be needed.
Prepare talking points about your client. Prepare media pitch-points. These will look the same; but they are not the same.
Good photographs are important. A couple of good headshots, an action photo, and a photo that tells a story. Save the photos in jpeg format or any format that is easy to transmit.
Review all collateral materials that the new client is distributing – this list might include, the website, social media platforms, flyers, banners, merchandise, books, articles published, etc. Make a strong effort to achieve uniformity in the brand – such as logos, colors, tag lines, etc.
Agree on a budget for effecting change within the brand and establish and agree on what mix of marketing techniques are appropriate for the new client – in order to reach the predefined goals.
Prepare a scope of work that spells out daily tasks which need to be accomplished. My new client was about to have an event where an award was to be given to him. After our initial conversation, I saw a couple of opportunities where I could inject an idea to make the event a little better. Be careful not to step of the toes of other team members who have worked with the project before you arrived on the scene. I have a hard and fast rule – “Don’t tear down the fence until you know why it was put up.”
If you have something that you are selling – be it a service, a product, or a ticket, you will need a presence on the web – and this is when you should consider some form of advertising in your marketing mix.
What I have just described is a basic plan to get started with a new project. However, in most situations, nothing is basic; and when you are approached to do what I do, the client will most likely have something specific in mind that they feel should be done. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. In the case of Hank Stewart, he was about to get an award and we felt he needed media attention.
The scope of work prepared for this project included the immediate creation of a press release about the event, with some new worthy details about who was giving the award. Honestly, the giving and getting of awards is not usually news worthy. We use our “nose for news” to try and add features into an ordinary program to give the news a great visual and provide a little sizzle that is needed to capture the news reporter and the news camera.
And this is the beginning of how you can get the word out and market your ministry. Come see me if you want to do more . . .
Poet Hank Stewart, Spoken Word Artist, Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, President/CEO of First Class, Inc, (Public Relations and Marketing)