Let audiences connect to you!

Over the last 20 years, corporate communication was dominated by Marketing and PR professionals who decided which audiences the company or organization should connect to. Once the audience groups were identified, a bombardment of corporate messages came their way in a hope to make a connection.

I have always been amazed by this one way information traffic and decision making over people’s heads and minds. Today, we see a different scenario. More and more companies understand that it is not them that can dictate the making of a connection. Today, with the arrival of social media, it has become clear that a connection or a ‘click’ with a person, company or product grows from within a democratic process where socially minded audiences and companies (read networks), find a common interest.

With the arrival of social networks, companies understand that it is the common interest that connects them with their customers and investors, not their brand name or products. It is the situation where they find each other as partners in solving a (social) problem they both care about.

No longer should it be the brand, company name or product that communication departments should focus on in their efforts to engage customers and interest groups. Instead, they should identify social situations or problems that connect them with old and new customer groups. Social situations that make groups to have a genuine interest in the matter at stake and the company that can help them to solve problems that lay close to the heart, like those connected to the environment, the word’s (energy) resources, traffic, health, education and (child) safety.

To achieve this, I believe that companies should adopt concept thinking and an open source strategy in their communications. They should widen the information and stories about their work and products in order to answer to the different perspectives and perceptions of those who will be affected by the arrival of their new products or services. In talking about the bigger picture, the wider story, a company’s new innovation or product can be seen and understood in a positive and human context.

This new open door and open mind policy will enable many new and different audiences to connect to you as an organisation based on a more genuine interest and a longer term relationship in mind.