Plan for 2009 – Speak Up Now

At Tanner Friedman, we are in the midst of a “sprint to the finish,” helping clients with their 2009 communications plans before The Holiday Season begins in earnest.  Hopefully, your organization is in the midst of communications planning right now. 

If so, our strong advice is to include vehicles that help you tell your stories, deliver your messages and shape perceptions of your business and your industry.  Simply put, if you don’t speak for yourself, others will speak for you.

Case in point – what happened this past week to the U.S. auto industry.  For years, the automakers just tried to sell cars.  It’s no secret, they did last often insulated from their key audiences. Now, one of the factors in this week’s news, as laid out by the PR-savvy columnist Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, is that the industry – so busy competing with itself – did not take many of the proactive measures necessary to tell, retell and update its story.

You can learn from this mistake.  Never before have we, as communicators, had so many tools available to us.  If your key audiences “just don’t get it” – it’s time to take steps to make sure they do.  As we have seen, the consequences of “keeping your head down so it doesn’t get shot off” can be dire.