It has certainly been an interesting week!
As you might imagine I’ve had plenty of conversations about the EU Referendum, with people on the Leave and Remain sides. And I’ve seen how a few off-the-cuff remarks, with little thought of the position of colleagues, can tear apart a team.
So instead of talking about what the Referendum and subsequent happenings offer in terms of authenticity and messaging I’m going to write about the message behind a blog I’ve just written for my local Samaritans branch.
I was briefed to write a myth-busting blog. Lots of people have the impression we are a helpline for suicidal callers. But you don’t have to be suicidal to call us. You could just be a little low. You can email and text us too. We go to all our local festivals; our Festival Branch was at Glastonbury along with the lovers of mud and music. We’ve teamed up with Network Rail and we also work in prisons.
The bottom line is we want fewer people to die by suicide and we know contact with another human at the key moment alleviates suicidal feelings. So we have to engage with people in despair at a time and place to suit them.
It we were only available over the phone we wouldn’t be there when needed.
There’s a lesson here for business.
If you want to engage with your target audiences – employees, customers, prospects, partners, influencers and others – you have to go where they gather, where they are comfortable.
That may be somewhere virtual or physical, it might be in the trade media or at a conference. It could be in an online forum or a trade association.
The key point is, before you kick off your PR or communication programme, do some research to understand exactly where your audience is and when they are most likely to be receptive. And you’re mostly likely to get it right if you ask them.
I’ve got a track record of doing exactly that. Give me a call if you’d like some help pinning down your target audience.