Last week, one of our account teams had the distinct pleasure of sending out THE FIRST tweet about a major breaking news item. It felt good.
Our client wasn’t making the news (new guidance from a regulatory body), but would play a key role in helping their clients make it happen. We wanted to help them OWN the implementation issue, and we’re doing it.
Real-time marketing can feel elusive, particularly when working with large organizations where there are multiple layers of approvals and risk management policies. But it can happen. Here’s a look inside how we did it:
Find Your Edge
If you aren’t breaking the news yourself, you’re going to need to find a way to stay as close as possible to it. This could mean scouting sources, like the SCOTUS blog (been there!), insiders or influencers (PR firms have sources too!) or getting close to the official word by signing up for email or text alerts.
In our case, we had two sources: a client with a contact inside the regulatory body, and reporters who had the latest information. But our elusive “FIRST” came because we were refreshing nonstop and were the first to see the news go live on the org’s website. (Side note—that’s just the kind of service you can expect from a firm who geeks out over this stuff).
Prepare Your Message
The best way to be fast in market is to do some scenario planning. If the court/agency/company says this, then what? Or, if it goes the other way, then what? Planning out the “then whats” and getting messages approved—and ideally in soundbite form—means you can hit the ground running instantly, no matter how or when the news plays out. It’s critical to be nimble in the wake of delays or surprises.
Try to Template
When it was “go time,” our team had a pre-prepared blog post template, social media shares, client communications and media pitches that were only waiting for live hyperlinks and confirmation of messages. That allowed us to publish a blog post for our client on the new guidance within 20 minutes of it being released and to beat the media and regulatory body in the Twittersphere.
Keep Communications Open & Frequent
Real-time marketing requires excellent communication and streamlined execution. With our client, we keep messages to the point, with questions and calls to action bolded and the urgency flagged. Internally, we opened a Slack channel and used Asana to keep roles, responsibilities and progress clear. It also allowed for fast problem solving and celebratory meme-sharing.
In an area like professional services marketing, where we’re often focused on day-two stories, it is thrilling to make an impact on day one. By thinking ahead and doing the work and due diligence to plan thoroughly and prudently, even the largest organizations can be ahead of the news cycle.
What other optimization tips and best practices do you leverage for real-time marketing?
Photo credit: Ian123, FreeImages