OMG – She’s Only Gone And Done a Christmas Listicle

Oh for the love of God. Please, Carina – not a Christmas Listicle!

Stop mithering. It has to be done.

I’m ending a terrific year for Sarum and our clients by a quick-fire set of positive to-do items, and the listicle is just the efficient way of putting this across.


I have bigger heels on than you today, so I rule.

With no further ado, then – here’s what I am telling everyone to do as soon as we reboot ourselves on January 3.

  1. Embrace change

Things have changed – be they in what people think about social, about journalism, about communications. If you still say words like ‘Interweb’, and have to remind yourself what a blog is each time you hear the word, wellllllll, you gotta get with the programme. Social is not only the name of the game, it’s also got to be the thing you think about before you do the content creation or press work, if you are a hi-tech software and services company. Social isn’t a box-ticking exercise any more – it’s BAU.

Way to do it – For every piece of marketing, think of what it would look like (or how you’d have to change it) to get it looked at on not just your site but LinkedIn, a partner blog, the Twitter version. Another thing to do here is look at your own (personal) branding on social; is it more CV (which you, your Mum and the recruiter care about, no one else) or actual positioning and bigging up of the company?

2.    The article only starts paying its board when its left home

Time was, you got a great article, or some cool quotes, or a nice product review, on a credible publishing site and that was it – you and the PR could crack open the Asti Spumante, job done. Not any more. The value of that content is now really delivered when it’s shared and made as social and public as possible – and that’s your job, not the publisher.

Way to do it – Tweet some praise for the writer. Tweet some praise for the title. Share the article in your social feed. Think about it in your weekly email to the troops; drop it into the next email to a vital client. Promote, promote, promote. This as asset – treat it as such. Blog worth looking at on this is here

3.     Yeah, that Elevator Pitch. Been meaning to talk to you about that

Twelve months ago, you said you were going to be a leader in Crested Blue Widget-making. Turned out, Crested Blue Widgets were recalled in March and no one cares about them now. Keep up!

You need to regularly and ruthlessly examine your company descriptor, tag line and ‘door opener’ statement about yourself. The market moves on very quickly now, and if you are still banging on about Green IT or WEEE when everyone else is obsessed with IoT and GDPR, well, draw your own conclusions. Start January with a quick check and refresh

Way to do it – The elevator pitch and the core messaging about the brand and your value proposition is at the top of the waterfall. Everything has to flow off that. Get it right, don’t be afraid to throw out things that don’t have impact in the market any more, and make sure you are as relevant as possible. Tip: if you don’t know where these key words live, and if you really aren’t hearing them in your conversations with your customers (which should worry you a bit about those conversations!), then look to the market… the credible publishers, the analysts, your rivals. These are what your market cares about, not you. Make sure you’re not still selling cupcakes when everyone’s now on Rocky Roads.

4.     Analysts, analysts, analysts!

These guys matter. They are smart, they think a lot about the market, they know what customers are worried about and what the bad guys you compete with are up to, too. Just using them as canned quotes in your material or an afterthought is not a smart use of this resource, nor of your mental energy, either. Fold them in to your strategising, and as early as you can.

Way to do it –  Engage, listen, take seriously. I really can’t put it straighter or more seriously. This is the secret sauce you’ve not been using. Blog worth looking at on this is here

5.   Let your PR add the pixie dust!

I can’t think of a better way to end the year and plant some seeds for next than to end on this note. Like I said last time, if you just view PR as a friction-free medium for your unadulterated, sacred messaging, and won’t let them add value and help shape and position this messaging, then you are wasting your time and money.

Way to do it – Be open to an actual conversation and advice from your PR team. They know stuff. They see how others are doing it better than we are. It’s their job. Let them do it. Blog worth looking at on this is here 

So there you go – my first ever Christmas Listicle. Come on – that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Can I just end by saying what a brilliant, mad, exhilarating, inspiring and busy 12 months we’ve had. And, final finally, of course – have a fabulous Xmas break… and after that, let’s all crack on to make 2017 a successful, peaceful and prosperous one for us all!


Founder of Digital PR & Brand Journalism agency, Sarum

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