Magazine talks about the power of storytelling with MGMPR director Eleanor McGillie
By Eleanor McGillie
January is a daunting month. It’s cold, it’s detox time and I will turn 37! And, when I say engagement, no, I have no plans of tootling down the aisle. But, like all business owners, I too have to think about how I am going to engage with clients in the year ahead.
I think we can all agree that 2012 was a tough enough year for trading. Purse strings were tightened and it was a year when many businesses decided to batten down the hatches – some out of choice and sadly because others were forced to.
But, it’s a new year which means it’s time for a new outlook and I think we can all embrace 2013 with a new optimism.
I have spent the last 18 years working in the media – in print, broadcast and digital. I have watched businesses in the boom spending thousands upon thousands of pounds in promoting themselves. I have also watched this deteriorate to nothing.
But, this is where engagement through storytelling comes into play. How do you tell your customer what your business is doing? Think about it. Do you advertise in the local press, do you give interviews to radio, do you print leaflets and put them on car windows, do you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or do you reach decision makers directly through LinkedIn? The options really are endless but are you using tools effectively?
I may be biased but I am a devout advocate of the press. And as much as I love and embrace social media, in all of its forms, traditional platforms of communicating, I hope, will always remain in situ.
The rules of engagement have changed dramatically and we have all become publishers in our own right. But, now is the time for all business owners to stop and ask themselves whether or not they are engaging with customers not only efficiently, but also effectively.
It doesn’t matter what sector you work in – whether you own a law firm, a veterinary practice, a renewable energy company, a farm, an agri-food business, an outdoor pursuits centre or if you are the principal of a school – whatever business you lead, you have a story to tell and you have a duty to your organisation to do it properly, to gain maximum exposure in a way which gets your message across appropriately.
I want to leave you with some food for thought.
How do you tell your story?Do you plan how you promote your business or do you just advertise on an ad hoc basis with no strategy in place? Do you have a communication strategy? Do you have a focus on where you want your business to be this time next year? Do you plan how you are going to get there?
There are many ways and means of getting your message across be that to your customers, stakeholder engagement or to new prospective clients.
It’s January and not only is it time to talk the talk but we must all walk the walk. We all must look at our profiles, our customer engagement, our websites, our social media platforms, our local and regional media and decide how best we can use platforms appropriately to get our messages across.
Things to consider are stories, news sections on your own company website, features, social media, local media, regional press, blogging, data gathering, customer feedback, delegation and most of all, saying thank you to your customers.
So, if you are like me, and always convince yourself you are the next Euromillions winner, perhaps we shouldn’t worry about a lottery jackpot but instead try and score our own jackpots by making our businesses a huge success through storytelling.
NAME: Eleanor McGillie
OCCUPATION: Director of MGMPR Ltd based in The Old Courthouse, Caledon, Co Tyrone
PREVIOUS JOBS: Assistant news editor, deputy news editor and news editor for regional daily newspapers covering the south west of England; Senior Reporter for a daily newspaper in Devon; Senior Reporter for Tyrone Times; Broadcast Journalist for Cookstown’s Mid 106fm; editorial assistant for the Ulster Tatler
MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: As business owners we all have common goals. So my resolution is to drive MGMPR Ltd forwards by continuing to provide our existing clients and new clients with a winning formula which will drive all of our businesses down the road to success.
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