Marketing staff: the centre of the action
To successfully tell the stories of your business, you need to find them first. In fact, you almost need a sixth sense: to know about a story before it happens, and get in place ready to capture it.
To hone that superpower, you’ve got to be at the heart of your business. Spiderman’s Peter Parker is a news photographer; Superman’s Clarke Kent writes for the Daily Planet. As soon as something dramatic happens in their cities, these guys know it, and they get there first.
Avoid the ‘admin’ label
The most obvious way for business owners or marketers to get to the centre of the action is to physically position yourself there.
But most marketing teams are tucked away with the other admin staff. Can a colleague quickly grab you to tell you there’s a guest speaker arriving in 10 minutes (they forgot to tell you when they booked them two months ago!)? When you look out the window, do you see business activity in action? Do stories fall in your lap, waiting to be told?
If not, you’re weakened, like Superman being thrown a bit of kryptonite.
Make the stories come to you.
When I was appointed as the head of marketing at a private school many years ago, I was squeezed into a tiny meeting room behind the reception desk. I left that office as much as possible. I had lunch with the teachers in the staffroom. I walked around the buildings and peered into classrooms. I asked to present at training days so people knew my face.
Eventually, I scored a room on the main walkway, with floor to ceiling glass windows. Staff and students dropped in all day long. I saw science experiments happening in the courtyard below. I could see when guest speakers arrived and checked into reception!
The lesson? Get yourself in a position where the stories come to you!
Ask questions to get the inside scoop
Make it your responsibility to know what’s happening in your business. What proposals for new work have just gone out? Who has just wrapped up a project with a really interesting client? When is a staff member guest presenting at a conference?
When you get the answers to these questions, don’t keep them to yourself. Share them with everyone else you interact with during the day. It will spark new conversations and jog old memories!
The lesson? You are the eyes and ears of your business.
Train everyone to look for stories
The more stories you share, the more they will land in your lap, ready to be told.
When you create a new post on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, email or message the team and let them know! Your people are busy and as much as they appreciate what you do, they don’t always have time to check in on your social feeds and blog posts.
Soon, the team will start to recognise what your business considers to be a good story, and they’ll get that ‘aha’ moment when one is right in front of them (and let you know!).
Create a space for yourself, physically and metaphorically, at the heart of your business, and you’ll be getting the inside scoop every time!