Brian Hall
Principal and Managing Director
G&S Business Communications

The PR Genome Education Series is an important part of the PR Council’s plan to keep members and clients apprised of the constant evolution within public relations. We were pleased to kick off the 2016 Series with Brian Solis. Viewers were engaged both on the webinar and via Twitter with #PRGenome. One such viewer was Brian Hall, Managing Director at G&S Business Communications. We asked Brian to share some of his insights from the experience and this is what he had to say…

A great line from Seinfeld came to mind as I was participating in the PR Genome webinar featuring Brian Solis last week (1/22/16). To paraphrase George Costanza, whose girlfriend was breaking up with him: “You’re giving me the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine? I invented ‘it’s not you, it’s me’!’”

 In the context of business communications and the webinar, I keep thinking back to this line – only with target audiences shouting to communicators that it’s not about their companies or brands; communications should be all about serving the needs of the audiences. 

 Three particularly compelling points from the webinar that stand out:

EgoSystem 2EgoSystem: How’s that for a term that could have been quoted from a Seinfeld episode? EgoSystem is how Brian describes the current environment in which we’re communicating. Audiences are hyper-connected, using mobile devices much like an all-you-can-eat-buffet, constantly consuming content that serves their own purposes. Give a person 10 seconds of downtime and he or she will instinctively pull out a mobile phone. That’s our opportunity – but it’s really our biggest challenge since we have to compete for attention with that Las Vegas-style buffet of content beckoning to our audience non-stop.

 SquirrelCaptivate in Eight: We’ve got about 8 seconds to get the attention of our audience. This is especially true in the world of B2B, where I spend most of my time. Think it’s hard to reach a consumer with messages about technology, food or appliances? Try communicating about complicated manufacturing technology with a brand or retail executive who is struggling just to answer all their urgent work e-mails after a full day of meetings.

Context not ContentContext (not Content) is King: It’s the difference of a single letter, but it’s a big difference. Focus on context. It’s not about your brand’s news, your company, your great new product. It’s about how your company, your news, your great new product can make your audiences’ lives easier or make them more successful. Especially for B2B, social channels aren’t merely one-way instruments to blare out company information. Engage at the right moments with key insights and expertise that’s focused on stakeholders, their challenge, their opportunity.

 For us, this is where it has become so valuable to use our access to insights – including research, data, social listening and analytics – to help us better understand the audience, engage with them at the right time with the right content, and demonstrate to our clients the business value being generated by this audience-centric approach.

 Which brings me back to Seinfeld once again. Because it was more impressive than any of his real jobs, George Costanza used to quip: “I’m an architect.” Oddly enough, building strong foundations was the most farfetched job one could ever imagine for weak-minded George. But it’s what business communicators do well. On the webinar, Brian urged communicators to be “experience architects” who design communications that engage our stakeholders based on what’s relevant to them. Maybe George was on to something.

“The Lip Reader.” Seinfeld. Fox. 28 Oct. 1993. Television.