Whether the ocean, a lake, or a river — water provides a place to reflect, to find inspiration. Without even realizing it in the moment, I am drawn to the water anytime I face a life-changing moment or there’s a key decision to make. Even with the dynamic crashing of ocean waves or rushing river rapids, there’s a sense of calmness that allows clarity and focus.
That clarity and focus is often what is missing when it comes to communications, especially when companies are just dipping their toes in the water. Rather, it’s a frantic approach with an attempt to do everything instantly and then sheer frustration when it doesn’t come together.
It’s time to take a lesson from the river. Take a deep breath. Find a moment of calmness. And discover a more effective communications strategy.
The river inspires smart communications
Go with the flow. Communications isn’t a static industry. It is ever-evolving, requiring adjustments and adaptations to deal with certain situations. A river varies in pace and style — there are sections with rapids, followed by long, lazy stretches. Be prepared for the variables, flexible enough to adapt should there be a quick corner or a flat spot where you almost stop completely. Enjoy the momentum and carry on your journey.
Find your niche. Are you a babbling brook weaving through a community or are you a roaring river rushing between mountain peaks? You don’t need to be all things to all people. Communications is about focusing your strategy and aligning it to your goal. What are you trying to say? Why is it important? Who do you want to hear your story? Start with determining your goal and target audience, and then decide which tactics make sense.
Respect the power. Anyone who lived in Calgary four years ago knows how quickly a river can get out of hand, spill its banks, and flood neighbourhoods. Now consider social media as the river. While the digital age has brought us amazing ways to connect with people around the world, it also can turn on a dime and a damaging story can spread in minutes. Be considerate and thoughtful with your communications.
Yes, there are times you may have to paddle upstream to get back on track and refresh your reputation. But trust the process and use the river as inspiration to develop a strategy that works for you and your company.
If you want more outdoor inspiration connected to communications and public relations, join the conversation with us through @mlcsocial on Instagram!