We have some clients that have prospered through the years in traditional business. They know that the rules for business never change: Hard work. Dedication to service. Product that fits a need.
And sometimes the hardest thing about helping them with new media is simple communication. We have to communicate to them that what we do with digital content isn’t something new. It is the same hard work, dedication, service, and product that they have always known and respected.
What we do at The Alderman Group for them, for us, on behalf of them, and on behalf of us fits into all of the time honored business practices, but it feels new and unproven and scary. We are, after all, asking them to spend money on something that didn’t even exist back when they began in business, and they are the ones that have become millionaires. So why would they give this thing a shot?
Communicating with a proven businessperson involves helping her to see value. She needs to see that this is something that affects the bottom line of her business.
The PR industry (and social media and digital content firms specifically) has done a terrible job at presenting a tangible form of results. When people ask for measurable results, we say things like, “What’s the ROI for using a phone?” What an awful answer! (One that, when I was first starting, I admit to using.) Why would we ever approach someone who has built a successful company through measuring results and ask them to trust us without providing any?
I firmly believe that ROI is measurable, and that the impact of digital media can be shown, if we set the right milestones and goals in place. Is it easy? No way! But we aren’t being paid to be lazy. In fact, showing that we are willing to do what it takes to show value in unknown territory is often the very thing these people need to feel confident enough to work with us.
While we are the experts in communication, we always need to remember that we are dealing with very successfulpeople, and we stand to learn much from them. So, if they have built multiple empires through hard work, dedication, service, and product, then we need to start there. Then we need to measure and be dedicated to improving ourselves.
That is the way to create confidence, and that, is speaking old school.
Rob, Senior Partner/President