Since starting Tanner Friedman, one of our core philosophies has been multi-platform communications. We advise our clients to design their strategies over as many possible platforms as it takes to tell their stories and deliver their messages to their target audiences.
I have to say, that after nearly 2 1/2 years, the most underrated platform continues to be face-to-face. Most companies just find it easier to send a press release or an email rather than get a group together, representative of their target audience, and actually talk.
But, one of our clients did just that this past weekend and I was privileged to help moderate the gathering. This client, for many years, has targeted a select portion of the local audience via traditional advertising and PR. But, with the exception of full-fledged customers, the company had no direct contact with their audience, until now.
The company held a “Community Forum” in a local neighborhood representative of the target base. There, the company’s owners personally answered questions and solicited feedback directly from a group of 50 potential customers. For 90 minutes, the business owners and I got to interact, in two-way dialogue, directly with the people who receive our communications messages. We found it exceptionally valuable. Not only did we learn from them, participants will also go back into their families and community with positive feelings about business owners who actually listened to them.
This week, Don and I head to one of the largest possible gatherings for high-level, face-to-face communications – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference – 1,400 business, community and government leaders all on Mackinac Island for what I have called “The Super Bowl of Schmoozing.” Watch the blog for perspectives direct from “The Island” and, in the meantime, don’t forget about the power of personal interaction to communicate your business.