I have been a professional communicator for almost 40 years now and have seen a lot of stuff come and go. One thing I have learned is that there is no sure thing in a communications program, but you can increase your chances of succeeding in an uncertain world. What is success? The bottom line is always, increasing the bottom line. Your communications program should either get you more sales or additional funding. Failing that, it should get you more exposure in the available press, beyond just a repeat of your press release off a wire service. If you get neither of those, then your effort was a failure.
When I go into a company, I can pretty much determine if they can get where they want to go with what they have put into place and what they need to improve their chances. After more than 20 years in the PR and journalism business I have made some mental calculations that I employ to reach my conclusion. Over for the past few weeks, as I have been getting email after email and phone call after phone call about helping companies with trade show announcements I decided to do a matrix.
I went back over my records and notes of the past 10 years (which is when everything started to change) and looked at what companies that succeeded have done, and where they have failed, and combined them with my own efforts of success and failure. I discovered what seems to be a very simple and effective way to provide percentages on what your chances are of a product or company launch succeeding.
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you a list of yes/no and multiple choice questions in this post. Send me an email at lou (at) footwashermedia dot com with your answers, and I will give youthat percentage. No charge. If you want more detailed analysis, we can talk. Here are the questions:
Do you have a marketing budget? (Yes or No)
Is that budget more or less than 2 percent of your finding/revenue (More or Less)
What percentage of that budget is devoted to:
- Trade shows
- Third party agencies or consultants
- Public relations
- Social Media
Is the person in charge of marketing...
- VP level?
- Director level?
Is that person also in charge of sales? (Yes or No)
Does that person report to sales (Yes or No)
What education does that person have
- Engineering degree
- Communications degree
What is their experience in marketing?
- 10 years or more
- 5-10 years
- 1-5 years
- Less than one year
Is marketing communications handled internally? (Yes or No)
Do they have purchasing authority? (Yes or No)
Do you have a communications agency under contract? (Yes or No)
Is their work by project or retainer? (Yes or No)
Is their primary activity...
- Development and execution of communications strategy
- Development and execution of tactical plans
- Produce and distribute press releases on corporate direction
- Distribute press releases developed internally
- Press relations