While maybe not to the degree Lovitz suggests, it is true we all have something to offer each other. This goes for agencies and their clients, companies and their customers, experts and the media. But to learn what that something is, we have to get to know each other. So in this age of 140 characters or less, how can we get to know each other better? Here are a few points to consider:
Be a conversation starter.
Don’t we all value that person at the dinner party who throws out a subject that suddenly draws the other people out and uncovers things we might never have discovered about each other? Try finding that common point of interest among you, your customers and prospects and get the ball rolling in whatever forum fits -- LinkedIn, Facebook or your blog. You’ll discover new insights that can inspire ideas for products and services you might never have imagined.
Put people over product.
I remember years ago a Wall Street Journal reporter coming into the agency where I worked and telling us that if you really looked closely at every one of their articles, you’d see they are all about people (which was something none of us in the room tasked with pushing product wanted to hear). His point was that even the driest financial facts and figures were really telling us about a person or group of people impacting our economy or world. The story of Apple is Steve Jobs, the story of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg, the story of Instagram is Kevin Systrom. Look for the human elements in your story and bring them to the forefront to show who and what it is you are all about.
Don't just be interesting, be interested.
In order for people to want to know you, you have to want to know them, which takes listening…really listening. Consider approaching all of your conversations with the mindset of “help me understand what’s most important to you?” A quick call or email to a reporter letting her know you’ve been following her coverage and have an idea she might find interesting; regular check-ins with customers asking for their feedback and then letting them know how that feedback is influencing company decisions; identifying the issues that matter most to your customers and showing your support through corporate social responsibility or other initiatives. These can all go a long way in garnering the genuine interest and trust of your audience. Over the years, as we’ve worked to help make our clients known to the world, these and a few other core truths about how to connect with audiences have emerged. We’ve outlined others in more detail here. We are sure you've uncovered some of your own core truths, and we’d love to hear them. What do you think are the keys to really connecting with and knowing each other? How about getting to know all of us at Tier One a little better? And just for the fun of it, why not spend two minutes watching this great SNL skit – it never gets old!