One of the toughest challenges that a modern public relations company faces – any communications company actually – is breaking down people’s silos of information. We can place stories in numerous newspapers, television shows, radio spots, blogs, ads, billboards and social media ads, but unless we are getting into someone’s actual information silo, then we are not getting to them.
It is a major reason that anytime we bring on a new client that we ask what do they read/view to get information. What do their customers’ read? What do their potential customers read? If we can’t get them into those mediums where they are looking, then we aren’t going to be of much use to them. That is a blunt and honest fact, but one that matters. The old saying that even bad news is good news is true, but sometimes it may not be that effective.
So, what do we mean by silos? While people consume more information than ever, they are consuming from much different sources of information. That is not actually breaking news, but what is changing is the ways people can get information.
Nike just announced a new NBA jersey that will allow people to scan parts of the fabric to get exclusive content. Think about that for a second. You can download news off your shirt. Holy Gutenberg! Beats waiting for someone to deliver a paper or show up on the 6 o’ clock news. But at $200 a shirt, and no idea when and what that content will look like, well the newspaper and local tv station seem like pretty good options.
So, why are breaking down silos so important? We at Complete PR probably consumer more news than the average person. Heck, the average person with a college degree. And we sometimes miss interesting things because none of the penetrated our silos. Here are some recent examples what we are talking about:
- There was a renaissance fair in Greenville a little over our week ago. One of our team went and said the lines were insanely long and he had to park at least a half-mile away to get in. He was not saying this as a bad thing, but as a surprise. He had heard about the event, but saw little local reaction in his various silos. He figured it was a low-key affair. It was huge to a large part of Greenville, but barely skimmed our radar.
- Now, on the other hand, the Complete PR team can’t turn around without seeing something about Euphoria. There is a reason for that. We are the target audience, for the most part. This is a big event for us to follow, but we also realize that this event doesn’t matter to most of Greenville. Yet, based on coverage and what we hear on our silos, this is bigger than the eclipse.
- And on the third hand, we are a month out from Fall for Greenville. This is an event that everyone knows about, but if you live in Greenville, you sort of dread after a while because it means downtown will be “too crowded.” Yet, for the majority of people, this is one of the few times people head to downtown Greenville. Fall for Greenville can penetrate even steel-lined silos.
- And on a fourth hand, we are helping a client, Locally Epic, put on a scavenger hunt the Saturday of Fall for Greenville. Why? Because we believe there are enough people who are looking for something that is not Fall for Greenville. Hence, The Epic Quest was born. We are getting a lot of attention, but are we breaking silos?
What does this all mean? The reality is Greenville is no longer a small town where one or two events dominated the agenda. There are so many things going on at any given time that a lot of it becomes white noise in the background. Some of it that should rise up, doesn’t. Some stuff that does get a lot of attention, probably shouldn’t get that much attention.
Think about that, the next time you want to get the word out about something.