Don’t let the cynics sink your ship. Follow these tips to
tackle those tricky questions, win over your stakeholders and land your
messages with impact.
Magazines, live broadcasts and conferences: all three are powerful channels that, when wielded correctly, will amplify your messages.
But, if you listen to some of the loudest voices in the room, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Some might think print has had its day, that colleagues will be fatigued by a broadcast in light of regular Teams meetings, and the cost and travel associated with an in-person conference can be hard to justify.
Those are valid questions often fielded by concerned stakeholders, but they overshadow just how powerful each of these channels can be for communicators.
So how can you turn these naysayers into raving fans? Let’s find out.
Although print has been pronounced dead by so many critics, we’ve seen a real resurgence in recent years with our clients. It’s clear that magazines still hold a special place among channels.
We know that print is fit for purpose, but that won’t stop people raising their concerns. So let’s combat those criticisms and dive into why we think print is still worth protecting.
What you hear: “Magazines are too old fashioned for a modern digital organisation.”
What we say: In a hyper-digital business, print is disruptive. It’s a statement that no one can ignore. Turning your back on the binary and embracing the page gives your message a weight and permanence that digital just can’t match.
But aside from glossy covers and the novelty of the format, print also reaches colleagues that aren’t plugged into your digital world – giving them a source of stories that they can thumb through at any time.
What you hear: “Isn’t print unsustainable?”
What we say: There are plenty of ways to make your latest print project super sustainable. Think FCS certified paper, carbon neutral ink and plastic free packaging, all of which can overcome even the staunchest cynicism. Better yet, there are myriad suppliers ready to share their sustainable solutions and brandish their green credentials.
In the age of hyper-connectivity, live broadcasts are a great way to build bridges between your people, give your leaders a visible platform and share your most important messages with unrivalled authenticity. But they also draw their fair share of critics …
What you hear: “Everyone is sick of webinars; we don’t need another.”
What we say: You’re right, webinars are largely overworked and your people could struggle to stay engaged for the whole hour.
Start by refocusing your efforts on your content plan to make sure you can dial up the volume when you need to – if everything is urgent and important, your messages will risk fading into obscurity.
Once you’ve found the right balance, a live broadcast can be a uniquely engaging format. It puts your messages and people at the centre of the show; cue The One Show theme tune.
What you hear: “Can’t we just do this on Teams?”
What we say: Sure: but then your session would feel just like every other meeting, losing all sense of occasion and undermining the gravity of your messaging. A live or virtual studio creates an immediate impact – one that no webinar or Teams meeting will match.
Just the word ‘conference’ can prompt big questions from stakeholders. Yes, they can be costly and take months of planning, but we still think there’s no better way to get your people on the same page than one big get-together. So, how can you overcome those critical questions?
What you hear: “We’re trying to reduce our costs. Is spending thousands on a conference a good use of our budget?”
What we say: Your people are the driving force behind your organisation. Their alignment, energy and direction is essential. Often this can only be harnessed when you’re in a room together, fully focused on your plan for the months and years ahead. So yes, it’s a good use of your budget – if you can focus on how it will achieve your aims.
What you hear: “We can’t justify the travel. It’s too costly and isn’t in-line with our sustainability ambitions.”
What we say: We have to be transparent about why we’re making an exception to pull leaders and colleagues together: it’s to drive the organisation forward and that’s something you should remind your people of.
Address the travel question by opting for slower and more sustainable
transport, such as trains or coaches, rather than flights and solo
taxis. And if you can’t justify the lost time, you could instead invest
in offsetting your carbon impact or making donations to charities to
balance. But be mindful – those are only stopgap solutions to the greater environmental challenge we’re facing.
Each one of these channels requires significant time, effort and energy. But, when used for the right reasons and objectives, they’re worth the investment, as each will help you cut through the noise to land your messages with added impact.
The most important thing is to be fully focused on the outcomes you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes, high-impact intervention is the best way to achieve your goals, so bringing all of your stakeholders on board will help you move further faster.
Right now, we’re working on magazines, live broadcasts and leadership conferences for some of the biggest global brands. So if you’re looking for advice, get in touch.