Leverage Good News — It Has Market Value
Good news — a puissant, often overlooked marketing tool. A well-written communique creates credibility with established clients, can intrigue those you hope to cultivate, and will likely generate new opportunities.
Good news manifests in many forms and from many sources, such as:
- Testimonials from clients or affiliates
- Winning community recognition
- Inclusion in the list “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For”
- Positive media coverage
Success stories often relate to your mission, goals, and major milestones. Progress in these areas can well merit mention. Examples include:
- Securing a major contract
- Winning a grant
- Completing a successful pilot program
- Concluding a major project early or under budget
- Exceeding financial expectations (e.g., sales, profits, ROI)
In crafting your message, identify three categories of information: what (the success story), who (your audience), and how (means of dissemination).
What – Describe the event and its significance. State how others benefit, doing so from their perspective. Include detail to set the context:
- Selected as #1 from XX competitors
- Won a contract (cite the monetary value)
- First occurrence in XX amount of time
- Another in a string of XX successes (i.e., we’re on a winning streak)
Who – Cast a wide net. While your primary client base is the most obvious audience, consider others who might value your product or service. Who else might help spread your good news?
Notify corporate or other business partners, chat groups on social media, professional associations, collegiate organizations, family, and friends, etc. You get the picture.
Disseminate internally, as well. Why? Colleagues in your own organization need to know. Everyone likes to be on a winning team.
How – Share the information through many venues: social media, press releases, interviews (e.g., podcast and radio), marketing materials (e.g., brochures), web sites (on multiple pages), newsletters (yours and affiliate organizations’), trade journals, and end-of-year reports.
Proof in the proverbial pudding! My previous newsletter cited a “Write to Influence!” success story whereby our fire station won a $60,000 grant. My LinkedIn post conveying that information has been viewed 635 times and earned 26 “likes.” Spread that word!
Good news leveraged on a grand scale — with incredible results!
I once assumed command of an Air Force squadron of 480 young men and women. At that time, unit morale was abysmal.
My senior enlisted corps and I created several unique and tremendously successful programs that enhanced professional development of the troops and others that focused on supporting their families. However, we didn’t stop there!
To capitalize on the market value of our ground-breaking initiatives, my unit’s Public Affairs Office and I launched a year-long, strategic communication campaign – sustained, focused, and exciting – by composing articles on each of these initiatives … the what.
The mechanism … the how … was The Spokesman, a monthly Air Force magazine. In our context, a feature article in this publication equated to front-page coverage in the Wall Street Journal.
More than 16,000 people based in locations worldwide read this publication. They constituted part of … the who. My own unit also factored prominently in my intended audience. Reading about themselves – and knowing their colleagues around the globe were doing so, too – instilled tremendous pride. [Note: this story predates social media. The Spokesman was our sole means of mass communication].
Our campaign harnessed the power of good news with four exceptional results.
- Morale soared, blossoming as the unit gained self-esteem. My squadron earned a well-deserved reputation for innovation and a focus on people. This transformation was magnificent to behold.
- Through this publicity, other units learned about and replicated our programs to benefit their own people.
- Published recognition propelled careers of my troops who developed these programs.
- We demonstrated to our readers that hard work, creativity, initiative, and leadership is a winning formula to resolve pressing issues!
The lesson – good news has market value! Distance yourself from the immediacy of today’s concerns, reflect on recent achievements, and seize the opportunity to proclaim good news. Effectively articulated and strategically disseminated … a success story is pure gold for your company, your people, and your cause.