This morning I worked with 18 young marketing and BD assistants on a PM Forum course on “Practical and Professional skills”. We covered a lot of ground. But there was a series of group workshops where they demonstrated just how much they knew by identifying 10 top tips in a variety of promotional and communication areas. Here’s what they produced:

Internal marketing and communications

  1. Consider different approaches using digital channels (e.g. Yammer)
  2. Make sure people understand how to use social media and the policies
  3. Consider how to communicate both good and bad news – achieve a balance
  4. Celebrate wins and successes
  5. Lots of face to face communication with focus groups and at team meetings
  6. Use brochures to help everyone understand the range of clients and services
  7. Look at processes for managing mergers and collaboration between teams
  8. Look at the best practice in different teams and share ideas
  9. Help everyone to become a brilliant brand ambassador for the firm
  10. Consider how to modify communications to best reach different groups within the firm – partners, seniors, trainees, support staff etc

Media relations and publicity

  1. Develop relationships with broadcast, print and digital journalists
  2. Know your market and what they read/listen to
  3. Develop copy writing skills for the media
  4. Use sponsorship and profile raising at events
  5. Promote your experts and their opinions
  6. Either develop the skills in-house or use an external PR agency
  7. Get external advocates (such as clients) to say good things about your firm
  8. Promote mentions in directories and awards
  9. Ensure people know about policies and procedures for mentioning the firm
  10. Ensure there are reputation monitoring systems in place

Direct, digital and social marketing

  1. Hone search engine optimisation to attract traffic to your web site
  2. Monitor web analytics to know what works best
  3. Ensure targets are aligned to overall marketing objectives
  4. Choose the best mode of delivery – emails, social media, telephone etc
  5. Chose the right channel that supports brand awareness and positioning
  6. Maintain good data – check it is addressed to the right person
  7. Consider the quality vs the quantity of the material
  8. Make sure that the use of digital is appropriate to the target audience (e.g. smart phone use, app development technology etc)
  9. Make sure messages are “on brand” and clear
  10. Consider your call to action (CTA) and two way communications and how the sales process will follow up

Contact marketing – Seminars, events and hospitality

  1. Use expert/reputable speakers who are engaging, interactive and convincing
  2. Focus seminars on hot topics (from the audience’s point of view)
  3. Invite decision makers or be clear about what you want to achieve with other groups
  4. Consider the timing and location of the event to maximise appeal
  5. Consider the appropriateness of the event (especially with the Bribery Act)
  6. Plan the desired mix of people – clients and referrers and prospects and staff
  7. Target attendance at the right sort of third party events and exhibitions
  8. Differentiate of the event – don’t just repeat what everyone else does
  9. Think about the call to action, the materials and merchandise available
  10. Be obsessive about the organisation – badges, front of house, what to do if it rains/transport problems, takeaways, mailing and attendee lists, catering, equipment, follow ups etc