This is the basic motivation behind most press comms you’ll come across on social media or your inbox. If you were to receive a message that read almost word for word like that, you’d probably not be too keen to engage.
Communication or comms, is a powerful marketing method, used via/for PR, Direct/Indirect Marketing, Advertisement, word of mouth, personal and group promotion. While comms is the blood of good PR, we won’t be diving into details of successful PR campaigns this time.
So while obviously comms are integral to many aspects of business, there’s an art to ensuring that you present your product and brand, without sounding greedy or robotic. How you communicate can sometimes be determined by brand guidelines or a principles documentation. Some companies are able to take risks and amend their comm copy to suit a societal audience.
Wendy’s is a classic example of a company you would not expect to be so sassy in their messaging. Yet they realise that people love humorous public engagement, the more savage the better.
Does this mean you need to replicate risky, meme-centric posts in order to reach a wider audience and maintain your existing one? No not at all. Consumers aren’t fools, but people who hate cake are. That sentence veered into irrelevancy but seriously who hates cake….
The skill in comms comes down to determining what works for the brand itself. What works for Doom, does not work for Animal Crossing. But if they made a crossover game not one of you can deny you’d snap that right up!
Being engaged in your community as well as the wider industry, helps tremendously with finding a good tone of voice. Equally so the want to be genuine. It sounds cheesy, but if you care about your product and community, then that helps sincerity show and with determining how to achieve your desired outcomes.
Purpose of comms: Engage, promote, support and retain, both B2B (bizness folk) and B2C (players/communities).
Say you have new game content or an event you want to share with the world. Sure it’s great if people just say “yes” and hop on board. But the chefs kiss of comms is to relay news in a way that generates and sustains actual excitement.
Two methods of doing so are: tease and tantalise, then reveal or DROP AN UPDATE NUKE OUTTA THE BLUE!
To plan your tender attack begin with selecting your goals and who helps tick them off.
Who am I reaching out to? How do I want them to feel? Do I want the messaging to rely on visuals, copy or both? How can I make comms easy to share? How can I make people care to share? Did I find memes or did they find me?
It depends on the platform, be it press releases, on site landing pages, social media or carrier pigeon. Once you’ve determined the purpose of what you’re communicating, the presented style will vary. Controlled direct targeting occurs via press releases usually shot at email inboxes. Somewhat controlled targeting on public platforms.
Social platforms allow your plan to be seen beyond your targeted parameters. Best of all you don’t have do anything else, which is just
Here at Weather Factory, we have a certain flair, a vivacious graceful blob squat style. But the essence of how we want to communicate is based on 3 key points:
Transparency, creating experiences people feel something about and injecting creative personality into the content we make and share.
If you want to get people to attend your event or buy your products you need to think as your audience does. Most of us want content we’re excited by and often enthusiasm by the creator can instill that feeling, even for something new we’ve not yet encountered. In the finance or rock painting world, this trait is not as vital to comms. In the video game industry it behooves comm-anders (huehuehuehue) to think beyond “this exists, expose and purchase”.
These heading puns are getting a bit wild now. So you’ve got your battle plan for announcing something fun that consumers will enjoy and biz folk will see as schmart. But comm planning is not just a prerequisite tool. It’s an important part of handling any issues that erupt along the way.
I could go into intricate details about this, but instead I’ll be boring. The premise behind crisis control, should follow the same format that you’ve determined for all messaging.
Most of us are mortals and errors can happen. Some errors can be detrimental and whether they could be prevented or not, depends. But for lighthearted issues your comms can be a saving grace to your brand. People merge themselves more with what is relatable, owning your mistakes and being up front about it helps with that. But that’s toe-dipping into PR and I said NO PR TIPS THIS TIME!
Let’s hit the finale, if you’ve survived that noise of letters above. What are the most important points when creating and sharing business communications?
- The goal and outcomes desired
- Who is being communicated with
- Creation in accordance with the above and your brand
Bear in mind that adaptability is also essential, as your company and projects grow. With that I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote that I believe all indie devs and marketeers can learn from.