Are you being listened to? 

Daniel O’Mahoney, managing director of Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations, provides advice on how to ensure people engage with your company and its key messages

Every company is capable of creating a compelling reason as to why they should be listened to.

The key is having a positioning statement that is instantly understood, highly memorable and entices the recipient to ask more.

This process invariably begins with a potential customer asking the innocent question: ‘what do you do’?

On the surface it doesn’t appear to be a tricky question, but in truth it is one of the hardest and most important to get right.

Most business people, when asked who they are or what they do, go into great depth about their products or services, but often this can be heavy and uninspiring.

Keeping messages simple will capture the customer’s interest much more effectively.

At Bradley O’Mahoney, we tell prospective customers that we are ‘the people that will make your business famous’.

Over-complication is a trap that many companies fall into because the fear of missing something out is greater than the fear of overloading; more often than not, less is more.

Of course, there may well come a time when you sit down with a potential customer and explain, in more depth, what it is that your business can do to address their needs. However, if
you don’t stand out initially, it will be your competitor sitting down at the table having the discussions, not you.

In reality, companies can create points of differentiation even if they are not industry leaders. It’s all a question of simplifying the message right down and positioning it in such a way that it stimulates conversation and demand.

The other great benefit of taking time to define a ‘killer’ positioning statement is that you can then use it to spearhead all your marketing efforts via web, literature, digital etc.

Over-complication of a message also often occurs when a company looks to motivate employees through mission and vision statements.

Many of these statements are formed by committee and invariably contain words such as ‘solutions-driven’ and/or ‘customer-focused’ and they totally fail to connect with or motivate staff.

Ask yourself: if a potential or existing customer asked members of your staff to explain the company’s mission statement, how many could and then develop a conversation around it?

The reason why a company exists needs to underpin everything that it does. It also needs to be very simple to understand, inspiring, challenging and capable of being measured.

I am constantly reminded of the focus that Samsung brought to its people with the three words that summed up why it existed – ‘To Beat Sony’.

How simple and how clear.

Bradley O’Mahoney  
www.bradleyomahoney.co.uk
@BradleyOMahoney

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