Any damn fool can put on a price reduction …

Written by Urs on . Posted in Messe CEO

The new magic channels. But do not neglect the classical ones.

The new magic channels. But do not neglect the classical ones.

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… but it takes brains and perseverance to create a brand. How true, dear David Ogilvy.

Nothing is more true in the world of communication, even in times of the predominant social networks.

A company which has neglected, not to say despised, communication for years has not succeeded in creating a turnaround in difficult economic times. It has become illiquid. The management and its employees have left the sinking ship and have gone their own ways.

Of course illiquidity could not have been avoided by professional communication. Or could it?

The above example shows how reality bites when enterprises neglect to get in touch with top communicators in order to set up a professional communication plan. When the company was already in deep trouble, it decided to hire an expensive PR agency for a six figure budget. Needless to say, it was far too late to achieve anything substantial. Indeed some press features did appear (with a little help from and even misguidance by the bought press). But it was of no use. On the contrary. At this very moment the see-through PR-exercise only caused further damage to the reputation of the company. Many times we have underlined that a faulty communication policy, however small or, as in this case, big the budget is, cannot correct an inappropriate strategic corporate policy.

Of course, a professional communications agency would at this very moment have advised against such an expensive but pointless communication exercise. It would have rejected a mandate at this late stage because communication only ever works with a concise corporate strategy. It cannot iron out a faulty management policy. This is the reason why communication in large corporates is a job for C-level management.

It would have been better to invest the budget at a much earlier stage into a turnaround plan and to speak to a professional agency. It would have been better to dish up some uncomfortable questions and test the agency on its ethics – insisting on no sweet talking but honest (i.e. uncomfortable) answers. As a clever entrepreneur once said: I don’t want any yes men around me, even if it costs them their jobs. This could have been a benchmark applied to the agency selection. Then the company should have demanded a turnaround strategy from its agency which, we do not tire to emphasise, would have been designed to achieve the same final goal of any communication activity: to sell more, better and faster. Anything else is sheer PR-claptrap.

P.S. This is why Smartville has never done PR and never will. If you would like to hear more about communication, then order the brand new Smartville booklet «The New Magic Channels» by e-mail: urs.seiler@smartville.ch


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