What’s Your Communication and Media Plan?

Paparazzi

There are so many media channels available to us. We’ve gone from not being allowed to communicate in any meaningful way to having a hundred Gutenberg presses, a thousand video networks, and a million chances to catch someone’s eye. There are problems with this.

For every new channel you turn on, you’ve set up a little phone, a little bank of cameras, some seats for people to come and observe. Marcel Lebrun from Radian6 used to say, “The social phone is ringing. Is anyone there to answer?” I’m thinking that the social TV network is also waiting to see when the show starts. With a million channels and a million potential touchpoints, where should you spend your time?

The Age Old Answer

The obvious answer is to go where your people are, but this presupposes you know where they are. The other answer used to be to use Rapleaf to find them (but last I knew, Rapleaf was gone). Besides, that answer also presupposes that you have a list of people you know you want to contact. Media doesn’t always work that way. Quite often, we only have a sketch of the person we want to reach. A buyer persona, if we use David Meerman Scott’s language. We know that much, don’t we?

Build a Plan

My communication and media plan has shifted a bunch lately, yet it follows advice similar to what I wrote about in A Simple Presence Framework. The plan I have is similar to older plans, but I’ll give you an updated view:

  • Listen – everything I do hinges on listening to people. I do this via my grow bigger ears methodology. This informs me of ideas, of ways to help my audience, of things I could do to help them grow.
  • A Home Base – this site, [chrisbrogan.com], is my home base, and will be for the foreseeable future. I very much love Escape Velocity, and hope that it grows to surpass this site, but for the time being, and for the near future, I want to hinge everything around [chrisbrogan.com], so that people know there’s “one stop shopping” on my media message.
  • Outposts – My outposts have shifted. I’m finding a little less engagement on Twitter, a little less response. Though it’s far more powerful as a serendipity engine than any other social network I frequent, I’m looking at other places like Facebook and LinkedIn to pick up the slack in my engagement responses.
  • Databases – I’m working email marketing hard now. I’m learning new ways to do it. I’m also shifting some of my efforts to content marketing and content products, like my blog topics project. Why? Because this is and always will be where the REAL gold is. The opportunity to make media is wonderful. If you can’t convert it, you’ve got nothing more than wishes.

What Will You Include?

In my case, I use video, text, some audio, webinars, live speeches, ebooks, and more. I use all kinds of different media, but I try to keep it all sorted by channel, not by media type. Know what I mean? I don’t want there to be a “video” place, a “text” place, etc. I want you to come to Kitchen Table Companies to talk small business. I want you to come to Third Tribe Marketing to talk marketing. I want you to watch me at such and such a conference to talk about whatever the theme of that conference is.

But what will YOU include? What will you add to your media? How will it make a difference? We all agree that video supposedly adds to engagement, but what’s your plan with it? Where will you add your off-topic information? How will you blend it all together?

What Do You Think Your Community Needs/Wants?

There are two parts to this planning. You have to address what you want to accomplish, but you also have to take into account what your community wants. In most cases, they want to learn something from you and maybe even be entertained at the same time. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re positioning your needs and goals in your communications and media plans.

My community comes to me for advice like what you’re seeing above. This post is why you come (or so I have been told). My own thoughts and needs layered onto it suggest that I do a few things while sharing the best of the best with you. One thing I have to do is make sure that my messaging makes sense for the larger story of my businesses. As Human Business Works shifts into representing “business systems for small business,” I have to carry that thread through other things I’m doing in other channels, so that people get the same experience and understanding on all the channels. But, if I do it well, it’s not like you feel that being smashed over your head. Instead, it’s the sense that you have a comfort level with what I represent when you’re consuming what you need. Does that make sense?

Writing the Plan Helps

I’ve found that writing out the plan on paper really helps. I drew a picture of what my goals were, where my community seemed to be, the kinds of people I wanted to attract, and then the methods by which I thought I could attract them.

  • Goals
  • Community
  • New Attractions
  • Methods

From there, I could riff on what had to stay, what had to go, and what I should consider adding. This is how I came to start experimenting with Facebook. I haven’t been a very big fan of it, but right now, I’m pouring some effort into the Blog Topics Facebook community to see what that yields. So far, I’ve had an uptick in subscribers to my newsletter. I’ve also had even more engagement that’s given me more ideas for products and services that I could offer, so I see that as a win.

That’s the trick of it. Once you’ve drawn out the plan, you can see the opportunity.

Now You

What’s your communications and media plan? How are you approaching using all this stuff? What are you setting out to do with it? What are you communicating about you and your brand on these channels? What do you hope it yields?

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  • http://www.pointatopointbtransitions.com Catherine Morgan

    Chris, I intend to continue doing my weekly BlogTalkRadio show “Talking About Transitions” where I talk to entrepreneurs about why they became entrepreneurs and about their businesses. I am doing third Thursday 30-minute teleclass panel discussions on different topics for entrepreneurs and posting them publicly where people can listen or download. I update my LinkedIn status and Facebook personal and company fan page pretty much daily with real stuff (no fluff). I am active on Twitter and have met many amazing people and formed some strategic alliances with people I met there. I need to get back to being active in discussion groups on LinkedIn. In the past I have gotten some good leads from those.

    Going forward this year I would like to do some speaking and some small live events. I don’t know if this counts, but I do have a 30-day e-mail course for job seekers (free) and one for entrepreneurs (fee) and an eBook that I need to do a better job of marketing. I also intend to continue to send out press releases when it is appropriate. And I am getting invitations to be a guest on other BlogTalkRadio shows.

    This year is all about getting the word out in as many ways as I possibly can. Thanks for all your great thoughts and suggestions.

  • http://www.pointatopointbtransitions.com Catherine Morgan

    Chris, I intend to continue doing my weekly BlogTalkRadio show “Talking About Transitions” where I talk to entrepreneurs about why they became entrepreneurs and about their businesses. I am doing third Thursday 30-minute teleclass panel discussions on different topics for entrepreneurs and posting them publicly where people can listen or download. I update my LinkedIn status and Facebook personal and company fan page pretty much daily with real stuff (no fluff). I am active on Twitter and have met many amazing people and formed some strategic alliances with people I met there. I need to get back to being active in discussion groups on LinkedIn. In the past I have gotten some good leads from those.

    Going forward this year I would like to do some speaking and some small live events. I don’t know if this counts, but I do have a 30-day e-mail course for job seekers (free) and one for entrepreneurs (fee) and an eBook that I need to do a better job of marketing. I also intend to continue to send out press releases when it is appropriate. And I am getting invitations to be a guest on other BlogTalkRadio shows.

    This year is all about getting the word out in as many ways as I possibly can. Thanks for all your great thoughts and suggestions.

  • Travis

    Thanks for getting me to think. We have a restaurant and one area we are focusing on this year is our social side of things. At this point I think we mostly dabble. That needs to change. Thanks for sharing your plan and ideas. Gives me some hope that we can build a better mouse trap!

  • Greg Digneo

    For us, our communications plan really begins with, “What is the message that we need to communicate on our home base, or our news letter, etc.” Just like you focus on human powered business, and Social Media Examiner focuses on the tools, I think that developing a long term theme has to be our priority this year.

    Over the past two years since we’ve pivoted a lot. We started out as a copywriting house, transitioned to a B2B marketing house, and now we are pivoting once again into a market driven product development house. While being nimble enough to respond to where we think the market place is going is to our advantage, it has really inhibited our media and communications plan.

    The question that we are currently asking ourselves is: “How can we leverage our experiences and present them in a way that allows us to listen, build a home base, build a database more efficiently?”

  • http://www.experiate.net Paul Flanigan

    I have also tried to make my own site the single point destination for my network. Here’s the thing: Everyone else wants that too. They want you to go to where they are – whether it’s Twitter for Facebook or a blog. So you start to include other platforms in your plan. (Sitting next to me is a list of over a dozen other platforms where I go to engage with my network.)

    I think there’s give and take in growth. For example, the more you grow, the more centralized you can be. Most people would find you here through other networks than find YOU on other networks. (That’s how I found you.)

    So starting out, you spread yourself a little thin not so much to gain market share but to understand where people are. Then, as you grow, you can develop the share by bringing it closer to yourself.

  • http://www.experiate.net Paul Flanigan

    I have also tried to make my own site the single point destination for my network. Here’s the thing: Everyone else wants that too. They want you to go to where they are – whether it’s Twitter for Facebook or a blog. So you start to include other platforms in your plan. (Sitting next to me is a list of over a dozen other platforms where I go to engage with my network.)

    I think there’s give and take in growth. For example, the more you grow, the more centralized you can be. Most people would find you here through other networks than find YOU on other networks. (That’s how I found you.)

    So starting out, you spread yourself a little thin not so much to gain market share but to understand where people are. Then, as you grow, you can develop the share by bringing it closer to yourself.

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    What is most amazing to me is how rapidly this is all changing. I know most companies already have a marketing department, but it seems like this rapid change almost requires a department withing that department simply to keep abreast with these shifts.

    I don’t know how they can teach this stuff in college anymore. The curriculum by mid semester would already be outdated! I guess the more important question is, do companies have the resources to keep up? Or does it appear too big and ominous an endeavor to try, so the best bet is to just keep doing what used to work and hope for the best?

    Lots to think about… which I like. Thanks, Chris.

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    What is most amazing to me is how rapidly this is all changing. I know most companies already have a marketing department, but it seems like this rapid change almost requires a department withing that department simply to keep abreast with these shifts.

    I don’t know how they can teach this stuff in college anymore. The curriculum by mid semester would already be outdated! I guess the more important question is, do companies have the resources to keep up? Or does it appear too big and ominous an endeavor to try, so the best bet is to just keep doing what used to work and hope for the best?

    Lots to think about… which I like. Thanks, Chris.

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    This is a great post. (Phew, what a relief, Margie likes it!) :)

    Right now, I consider my blog site to be my home base, but I’m not sure that’s how people in my community perceive it. I think if your blog is not #2 (or in the top 500) on the Ad Age list, it can get cloudy as to whether your home base is what you think it is, what your community thinks it is, or heck, if you even have a home base.

    I have one underlying goal with my Social Media presence right now, and that is to carry a desire to help people with Social Media wherever I am. This is the least present on Facebook, because I am mostly friends with family and personal friends, and they don’t really care much about how to write blog headlines. I’m working on that!

    Other then that though, I try to just be myself. I’m building things right now, and I think the best way for me to do that is just be accessible. Particularly important since going to a half-dozen (or more than 1) conferences is not really feasible this year. Since I can’t cement relationships in real life much, I feel like my outposts need to be just as strong as my blog.

    Hmm. You definitely got my hamster in my head running!

  • http://twohourblogger.com Martyn Chamberlin

    Wow you hope Escape Velocity surpasses [chrisbrogan]. Interesting. (Never quite understood why you’ve always put brackets around this blog’s url…?)

    Well, before MEV blows this one out of the water, I hope you’ll tone down that bright red background just a tad. It’s looking a bit like the late 90s. Great blog and writers, though.

  • http://www.carolynchebaro.com Carolyn Chebaro

    My target audience is real estate agents. Your comment about listening to your audience is so valuable. I certainly have learned that the agents who show the most objections to social media are the greatest converts once they “get it”. It was only by listening to them have I learned how to approach them and let them “see” the benefits of this form of marketing.Thanks for the confirmation.

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    I went with hubspot b/c they have an interface that collects data that I can analyze on visitors etc. It all seemed really overwhelming. I bought your book social media 101 and I didn’t know where to start and integrate social media with my business and website. Plan to continue bloging 5times a week to create fresh content I also visit other blogs often to join the conversation

  • http://dannydemichele.info/ Danny DeMichele Entrepreneur

    This is the least present on Facebook, because I am mostly friends with family and personal friends, and they don’t really care much about how to write blog headlines. I’m working on that!

  • http://dannydemichele.info/ Danny DeMichele Entrepreneur

    This is the least present on Facebook, because I am mostly friends with family and personal friends, and they don’t really care much about how to write blog headlines. I’m working on that!

  • http://www.care2.com/causes/trailblazers/ Sue Anne Reed

    One of the things I loved when I started my new job at Care2 is that my boss and I sat down and created a list of targets for our media activities and grouped them by importance. We are a company that actually gets quite a bit of mentions in the blogosphere, but not all mentions are created equal. Having a well-defined list of where you want to be is great to help with focus.

    Also, the other thing we did is to rank the mentions differently. People mentioning your company is great, a quote from an exec is even better, and a feature article where you’re the only company / person being talked about is the ultimate goal.

  • http://twitter.com/alanweinkrantz Alan Weinkrantz

    Write and produce great content and then pitch your blog posts to print, broadcast, radio and online vertical market media in your space. It really works.

    • http://www.thewritedesignco.com/ BillionDollarBlogger

      Alan, thank you so much for this. I’m going to start pitching.

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for speaking words of reality. It is so true, especially when you’re just starting out, that you only have a sketch or clue about your target audience. You do NOT have the know-how to precisely define or find them, AND, the whole notion of doing so in the early stages of a business is simply overwhelming.

    “Besides, that answer also presupposes that you have a list of people you know you want to contact. Media doesn’t always work that way. Quite often, we only have a sketch of the person we want to reach.”

  • http://www.thewritedesignco.com/ BillionDollarBlogger

    It is important to listen but I need to find out where my ideal clients are. Once I determine that, it would be easy to move forward with the plan.

  • http://lancemorgan.me Lance Morgan

    This is some really good stuff Chris.

    Thanks for sharing it.

    To answer your last 5 questions, I’m working on it all. Now I have a place to start.

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    The curriculum by mid semester would already be outdated! I guess the more important question is, do companies have the resources to keep up?

  • http://www.PrimePartsSuperstore.com 2010 Acura Mdx parts

    The curriculum by mid semester would already be outdated! I guess the more important question is, do companies have the resources to keep up?

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    While planning,one have to address what one want to accomplish, but also have to take into account what community wants,and i agree that this must be taken care of that people get the same experience and understanding on all the channels.

  • http://www.internetslander.com Internet Slander

    I need to do a better job of marketing. I also intend to continue to send out press releases when it is appropriate. And I am getting invitations to be a guest on other BlogTalkRadio shows.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reputationmanagers Reputation Managers

    I think Media doesn’t always work in efficient way.

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    It is so true, especially when you’re just starting out, that you only have a sketch or clue about your target audience.Thanks for posting…

  • http://www.ecovillage.com/eco-news Eco

    It is so true, especially when you’re just starting out, that you only have a sketch or clue about your target audience.Thanks for posting…

  • https://www.growfinancial.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=insurance.totalProtect Total Protect Home Warranty

    When I start it I love my new job at Care2 is that my boss and I sat down and created a list of targets for our media activities and grouped them by importance.

  • http://www.seniorfacility.com Senior Facility

    I’m finding a little less engagement on Twitter, a little less response. Though it’s far more powerful as a serendipity engine than any other social network.

  • J Hass Group

    well,if worked systematically you can gain success without any confusion and difficulty…one must work with proper plaaning–what is to be achived,what is to be targetted etc..

  • http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-qa-matchmaker-amy-laurent-on-starting-her-on-biz-and-helping-folks-find/ Amy Laurent

    We are a company that actually gets quite a bit of mentions in the blogosphere, but not all mentions are created equal. Having a well-defined list of where you want to be is great to help with focus.

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    After developing my own content formation I spend time reading different sites seeing what people comment on .This is where you discover what is really important to people rather than what we think they should read.

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    This to make sure you’re positioning your needs and goals in your communications and media plans.

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