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Don’t Neglect Internal Branding

December 8th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. 2 Comments.

“Until everyone from your CEO to your receptionist can accurately and consistently articulate your brand’s promise, how do you expect your customers to?”

 David Aaker, brand management guru.

Internal Branding is a very important aspect of Internal Communication. The idea behind it is very simple: a company has to sell its employees the same ideas that it sells to its customers. Otherwise, when your internal and external brand messages are misaligned, the customers might get confused, and the reputation of your company will suffer.

Having strong internal branding is especially important when:

  • a company is undergoing changes (e.g. merger, a change in leadership, or layoffs)
  • a new advertising or rebranding campaign is introduced
  • employees are not connecting with vision / low morale

Here are some tips for effective internal brand establishment:

  1. Align your external brand and the internal brand messages in order to avoid confused customers.
  2. Involve employees in creating internal values. When they are involved, they are more likely to connect with them emotionally.
  3. Engage all areas of the business in internal brand communication. Make sure that it is not just an empty marketing campaign.
  4. Recognize behavior that supports your internal brand by rewarding champions with something simple as a movie voucher or an extra day of annual leave.
  5. Continue to communicate your internal brand and keep track of the main trends. It is not a one-time event; it has to be constantly reinforced.

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Ready, camera, action!

December 5th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

“It is always a risk to speak to the press: they are likely to report what you say.”

 Hubert H. Humphrey

 Media training was a very interesting experience that is definitely useful for any future business leader. Even though it might seem an easy task, to talk to a reporter in front of the camera, in fact, it is very different from what people are normally used to. If you don’t have any experience in talking to media, it is very easy to make a mistake that can destroy your career or reputation of the whole company you represent. That is why we all were very excited to go to the real media studio and have an intensive training with one of the best media-couches in DC, The Pincus Group.

We had a lecture with Aileen Pincus about the main principles and guidelines for talking with media, during which each of us one-by-one got a real experience of being interviewed in front of the camera.

Lecture with Aileen Pincus and David Burnett.

They took us to a small green room, where we had to seat on an uncomfortable chair, look at the camera and answer some tricky questions with projection of power and confidence.

Megan Burkhart, giving her interview.

In another small room right next to the first one there were some people seating and watching us from all the different angles.

Later we all got back together again and debriefed the results. Here are some tips that you might find interesting.

Preparation:

Ask your interviewer why s/he wants to interview you, and what s/he is trying to get from your conversation. Define your key message clearly. It has to be short, concise, and straight to the point. Be prepared for some tough questions.

During the interview:

Don’t wait for the right question, reach the bottom line as soon as possible, and stay focused on your key message throughout the whole interview. Try to be quotable. Use simple language with no jargon or abbreviations. Be aware of some common practices that reporters often use to get you off the track and prepare to tackle them.

Always:

Act like you are on record. Try to be cooperative with the reporter. You want to become the one whom a reporter calls for a story when s/he has a slow day.

Remember, practice makes it perfect!

 

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