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often ask me where I came up with the name, Tapestry Communications, for my
consulting business. And I must admit
that the “threads” to that Carole King song, “a wondrous woven magic”, from
that iconic album, “Tapestry”, was going through my mind.
look at PR as a tapestry of many things – from branding to messaging, to tools,
and of course the budget and time to be allocated.
a tapestry involves a coordination of effort, skill, materials, and a clear
sense of desired outcome. You have to
have a plan to your approach. If you don’t, that rug you’re weaving might only
be a scarf! Approaching a public relations or marketing need can be done in a
similar way, and begins with asking quite a few questions before you have your
answers and direction.
you and your company begin this new decade, it’s a great time to ask those
questions and begin to do things by plan, instead of happenstance.
what do you want your finished product to be? Are you going for a singular hit
or a multi-purpose campaign? What
materials do you have available to you? How is your skill base in both human talent
and technology areas? Have you identified a comfortable budget range? And a
timeframe to stop and review.
than rushing to create an ad or marketing campaign, take the time now to
assess; to plan. This will give you your direction to begin creating a
customized purposeful tapestry for you, your company, product, cause or
are some of the threads in your tapestry:
Your look. Branding. What is your company name, and does it work
for you? How does it look in print? Do your logo, slogan and colors define you
and separate you from others? How are you set for photos/videos; are they
effective? When people hear you and see you, are you set apart from your
competition? These are your basic and strongest threads on which to build –
platforms. These are your brightest fibers – the ones
people will see first – your website, social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,
LinkedIn, more…). Each platform has its own language. Don’t think you can
create a one and done and use it on all the channels – it’ll look like you cut
corners and slopped it together as fast as you could. Do you use photos and
other resources to make your posts ‘pop’? Are your messages outwardly centered
(talking about others, not just about you and your staff)? Are you updating and
is information current? Check all your links on a regular basis. Do you know
how to establish yourself as an authority in your field? Who are your
spokespeople – the experts? Are you set to be responsive to those who comment
or ask questions – not in a week, but in less than 24 hours?
What is your
community footprint? How are you
and your company involved in the community? What causes speak to you and how are
you contributing back? Beyond donations, are you selecting affordable corporate
sponsorships that match who you are? Where do you volunteer; are your employees
encouraged to do so, too? Are you maximizing the benefits of your community
footprint? This is the gold thread in your tapestry.
Marketing. When you reach out to attract others, how do
you do this? Are you in the right venues, those matched as close to your
intended audiences as is possible? Are you sure, or are you just guessing? It’s
a changing media world, oversaturated with messages. Have you talked about
placement – and value added opportunities? Are you showing your full tapestry
of colors, while focusing on that special thread or two that is timely and
Your events. Do you bring people in? Open house, or host a
networking group? Or going to one and
being visible at it as a sponsor, or with giveaways? What happens before an
event, and what happens the next day, after you’ve met people and have a collection
of business cards? It’s all in the follow-up. Plan what’ll you do before you
even plan the event, itself.
News and media
relations. Are you speaking
with authority on your topic? Or telling
the good news about your company? Do you take photos of your attendance or speaking
at community groups? Do you have a blog and are you engaged with others to talk
about the work you do?
your message takes skill, caring and strength – it takes a plan, and a
multifaceted approach. When done correctly, each project strengthens the one
you did before, building on your solid messages, adding uniqueness. Next time
you think you should “buy an ad” or “go on the radio”, stop for a moment. Talk to a skilled public relations expert who
can give you independent information and feedback. Pretty soon you’ll be weaving
with a solid rhythmic sound, creating your own rich, magical tapestry. Towards
an even greater success in 2020.
Nancy Thomas, Tapestry Communications, is a PR and marketing consultant. Services include public relations, media relations, advertising, promotion, full website services, social media management, graphic design, logos/branding, strategic marketing, writing, editing, photography, videography, nonprofit consultation, fundraising consultation, event planning and crisis communications. She is based in Cranston, RI, serving primarily Rhode Island and the region. For more info go to: http://www.tapestrycommunications.com