Applying big-brand strategies with few resources

By Justine Daley

As PR professionals, we all dream of that fateful day when we’d have the endless resources and support needed to implement our dream strategies. We fantasize about social media command centers and expensive, perfect tools, all at our fingertips.

                   Justine Daley is a copywriter at GNGF.

                   Justine Daley is a copywriter at GNGF.

I know I have. And let’s be honest; if I had a dollar every time I griped about the amount of hours there are in the day I might have the cash to do all of these things.  

I was recently reminded of this when I attended the Ragan PR and Social Media Conference. The speakers of the conference represented big brands like NASCAR, National Geographic, Disney World, and Coca Cola. The attendees were comprised of people just like me and you – hard-working individuals with big ideas, but not necessarily the time, money, or people to implement them. From non-profit to corporate, we all have the same struggle. We learn about big brand ideas and think about them, awe-struck, but then come back down from the clouds with the ever-present question: How can I make their strategy work for me?

Before I go on, let me give you a little idea about where I come from. I am currently writing content and maintaining media earning efforts at GNGF, a full-scale legal marketing agency. We’re a fast growing start-up with big, big ideas, and just like you, we’d be quite happy if there were more than 365 days in a year to implement each and every one of them. But unless global warming is having some unexpected effects, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

The truth is, there are some things we won’t be able to do, despite our headstrong entrepreneurial spirit – that’s just the nature of the beast. We aren’t all NASCAR; we aren’t all able to collaborate with Snapchat and Kid Rock for a mere weekend project. What we can do is focus on the core aspects of a big brand strategy. What are the fundamentals, because in reality, behind every big brand strategy is a mere Excel sheet editorial calendar.

Below are three fundamental applications I took away from the conference.

  • Tools vs. manpower: Whether you have a one man shop or a large team behind you, efficiency is always a concern. Luckily, we live in a world where people are always creating new tools and apps to expedite some of the most time consuming processes. Boomerang, Rapportive, and ClicktoTweet are just a few that I found to be beneficial.
  • Boring content will never win: No matter how efficiently you tweet it or email blast it, boring content will forever just be, well, boring. Every brand has the same challenge: How do you make something exciting for your industry’s audience? What are people ultimately interested in? Focus on your audience and focus on what matters: pure storytelling.
  • Take a step back: Look at the tools, the people, and the strategies you’re already implementing. Could you use these for any other purpose? You could already have all the skills and tools to be implementing your seemingly too-big strategy. Take a step back, refocus, and think about it in a different way. Sometimes closing the computer and taking out a pen and paper can be more productive than negotiating with your content strategy over and over.

 I admit it; getting a backstage view of these big brands is fun and exciting . But by honing in on the small aspects and small takeaways, we can still make a big-time impact in our day-to-day.