Overheard in energy circles, “Did you see today’s rig count?” and “What’s going on with WTI?” or perhaps, “Are the layoffs over?” What do these topics of the day have in common? They are all out of your control. What do you control? Your message. Here are a few communication tips to use to your advantage.
1. Do you have a marketing communication strategy?
Some companies think they don’t really need a formal marketing communication strategy because they don’t sell product directly to the consumer. That’s old thinking. Ask companies drilling in Colorado or North Texas or those trying to permit a pipeline through middle America. Marketing isn’t about selling. It’s about communicating and building advocacy.
2. Are you prepared for a crisis?
Virtually every industry deals with risks in one form or another. But, we all know that the energy industry faces unique challenges. Think of the worst possible thing that could happen in your business. Ask if you are prepared to respond to that.
3. Does your logo always look the same?
Or do you have several different versions floating around? Does it look like it was designed 20 years ago by someone’s nephew, because it was?
4. Have you considered one of your most important audiences, your employees, when communicating?
It’s common for companies to only think externally when developing and implementing a communication strategy. But the truth is, your employees, should be considered one of your primary audiences.
5. What to do if the media calls?
Are you prepared to take those calls? Is your gut reaction to call your lawyer or say “no comment”? Responding with authority and being authentic can build respect among peers and customers.
6. Does your website look sharp and up-to-date?
Is it easy to navigate? Does it work on tablets and mobile phones? Has it been updated in the last five years?
7. Do you have a marketing budget?
“Winging” your marketing budget can be as dangerous as winging your marketing strategy. Why? Because if you aren’t planning and tracking your spending, you probably aren’t tracking your results.
8. How are you using social media?
Sure you’ve thought about it. But then you probably talked yourself out of it. Social media is more than Facebook and Twitter. It can play a major role in responding to crisis, coalition building, recruiting and overall brand awareness. It’s also a cost-effective way to engage with communities where you operate.
9. What does your brand stand for?
Does your external and internal appearance match what your brand stands for? Does your name actually stand for something in your customer’s mind? If you don’t have a customer, are employees and stakeholders proud to associate with your organization and what you stand for?
10. Can an agency help? Who should I hire?
An agency gives you access to new ideas and experienced talent. Look for an integrated marketing communications agency that will give you a consistent voice and efficient message management across all communications disciplines, including public relations, traditional and digital advertising, website development and social media messaging.