12 Jun 5 reasons trust is essential for good marketing results
Note: This does not apply to any of my Wax clients so if you’re reading, don’t get paranoid, K?
I was talking to a PR colleague of mine about client management yesterday. There are many, many things that can screw up a marketing/communications campaign but lack of trust is probably one of the biggest obstacles to good results. You might think an intangible like trust wouldn’t have such a strong impact, but it does. Perhaps it’s due to some new age universal energy factor, or maybe it’s The Secret, but if you don’t trust your marketing or PR person you’re going to get terrible results. Every time. I promise.
Here are five non-new agey ways in which trust plays a part in your campaign results.
- Lack of trust often results in micromanaging. When I’m nervous about a project, I tend to micromanage my staff. Business owners often think they “know marketing” because they see it all day long. But micromanaging your marketing person has a huge negative impact. Your marketing or PR person loses confidence when constantly questioned. And without confidence, it’s impossible for them to be at their creative best or pitch your story with enthusiasm. The best people are always second-guessing themselves all the time anyway. Add your own partly-uneducated helicoptering and you will circumvent many of the things you hired them for in the first place; experience, passion for the project and organizational skills.
- Lack of trust often results in impatience. Marketing and public relations take time. I have one colleague that wisely advises all her clients that it takes six months for a PR campaign to gain traction. However expectations are set, realize that marketing is a process of failing forward. There is a period of time for adjustment of message and selection of best channels. Outside factors apply that are not in our control, and budget plays a big part too. Stop expecting homeruns the first time at the plate. Trust your marketing or PR person and let them work.
- Lack of trust means you may try to “do it yourself”. How many times have you not just given input, but rewritten copy (poorly) or tried to call a media contact yourself? As a business owner or entrepreneur you’re smarter than most people, it’s true, and you’ve got a lot of energy. Keep your fingers out of the pie and give your marketing person input that helps them use their talents effectively. Again, that’s what you hired them for!
- Lack of trust makes you question every hour spent and require frequent, detailed status. First of all, as I mentioned earlier, micromanaging really hurts the creative process. More importantly, implying that you feel you may not be getting your money’s worth strikes at the heart of your communications staff. These people are typically great project managers, but they have a huge sensitive side that is vital to the success of their work. Questioning someone’s billing or work ethic is offensive at best. It also creates a sense of discomfort that leads, once again, to poorer product. And as a side note, do you really want your expensive staff spending hours creating detailed status reports once a week? Get your status verbally or in a monthly report. If there are project details that need to be communicated, figure out a way to do that easily.
- Finally, lack of trust for your marketing or PR person could mean you don’t trust yourself either. Maybe you don’t trust the process you went through to select the person, or you don’t trust your own judgement in selecting the proper stories or messaging, or worst of all, you don’t trust the value of your service or product. When you find yourself impatient, constantly questioning results or helicoptering your staff or consultant, take a minute to ask yourself if the problem is them. Or if the problem is really you.
Next up…how to find a PR or marketing consultant you KNOW you can trust!