It’s simple, really. Change the inputs and you’ll get different outputs, right? Or, keep doing things the same way, and you get the same results.
Ideally, before changing inputs to achieve a different, desired result, you’ll research your new inputs and have an understanding of what kinds of results can be expected. You can’t just mix up some ground coffee and cinnamon and expect a cup of tea.
The same is true of a communications program. You can’t just do what you always did if you want to achieve different results. You can’t just go after traditional media publicity hits and place some TV and print ads and suddenly expect to reach the audiences you’ve been slowly losing over the past decade. You have to change up the inputs because, unfortunately, your audience is a moving target and what worked yesterday isn’t going to work today.
SO, you have to research where they’re at. Then you have to create a plan for how you’re going to reach them there … and figure out how to do so in a cost-effective manner. And now you learn something new! This new way of talking to them isn’t just a “one-and-done” deal. You can’t just drop a value proposition tag line on them and move on. They … talk … back! AND they expect you to respond! But … we don’t have a script to respond to their unexpected questions!
The rules have changed and you need to understand your organization and your products and be able to have extended conversations with people about them. And since there may be a lot of people with questions, you may have to train a few friends to also have those conversations on your behalf!
I’ve been dealing with various clients who are at different developmental stages along the communication highway. Some are stuck somewhere on the plains on Route 66. Some are in the right neighborhood, but caught up on a sidestreet. Getting on the right highway requires a map or, better yet, a good navigation system. A plan. It requires some expertise and knowledge. The rules of the road. It requires a good vehicle. And it’s gonna take some time.
These same rules govern careers, too. You’ve got to change up what you’re doing if you want different results, right? Actually, these days, you have to change up what you’re doing just to keep your job! There can be no complacency if you want to stay employed.
And all of this is very unsettling. Lots of people don’t deal with change very well. I have to admit, my new, independent career is very unsettling. It requires different muscles than the ones I flexed within the corporate walls of Amway. It requires me to go out and sell myself … and not just clients. It requires me to manage time differently. I’m learning these skills and getting a lot of great advice from people on which inputs I need to change to achieve the results I desire. Am I on the superhighway of career success? I don’t know about that, but I think I’m moving in the right direction!