Strategic Communications Advice: Don’t Get Hammered

There’s a famous saying that “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” which I believe applies to how many organizations are running their Communications Programs today.

If done correctly, a Communications Program can be incredibly strategic to an organization. The trick is in understanding what business objectives it solves, and why the investment in this program makes sense for the company. What many fail to realize is that under the umbrella of “Communications”, there are several disciplines and approaches available to an organization, all of which are capable of addressing different business challenges.

The mistake we see many organizations making is that they think all Communications programs are the same.   Many companies simply go to a PR firm and buy…wait for it….yes, a PR program. That’s great if that’s what your organization needs. But what if it isn’t?

The problem in going the traditional route (to a traditional PR firm) is that it may severely limit the options (and solutions) available to the business. This is because PR firms have one thing to sell, and one thing only. Every problem is solved through a standard proposal/program with little concern for the client’s actual business objectives. They have a formulaic program (the hammer); you have a business challenge (the nail).

Somebody call MC Hammer: its Hammer Time.

As a marketer, a better approach might be to understand what your business challenges are, and then to engage with a Communications Professional with wide ranging expertise and flexibility that is able to address a plethora of business objectives.


Let’s take a closer look at some common business challenges and ways in which a tailored approach to Communications can assist:


  • You have an internal morale problem, with many employees feeling disconnected from the broader organizational strategy…
    •  Have you considered an Internal Communications Program designed to share strategies, make executives seem more accessible and personable and make employees feel more engaged?


  • Your organization is missing out on key RFPs or you are having a hard time convincing financial audiences of the size of your market and your expanding role within it….
    •  Consider implementing a strategic Industry Analyst Relations program designed to gain external, third party endorsements and to help quantify market size and your specific market share within it.


  • As a company you have a well-known brand, but the organization lacks a “face” or a voice in the market from top executives on key topics shaping the industry…
    •  The development of an Executive Communications program and platform designed to enhance visibility and thought leadership efforts can be instrumental in raising awareness with key stakeholders.


  •  You are achieving success in the market, but you lack the “voice of the customer” to help articulate the value you provide within the marketplace….
    •  An investment in a Customer Advocacy Program is an effective way of cultivating a customer base and finding the “golden nuggets” capable of telling your story in a unique and compelling way.


And these are just a sampling of some of the Communications tools at your disposal to address your business challenges.

So remember, it’s never a good idea to get hammered. When you assess your business to identify areas of improvement, don’t just look for the carbon copy solutions — consider a Communications Partner with a full toolbox of offerings capable of addressing a wide range of business challenges.



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