Closing with 10 new communications commandments:
1) START WITH AUDIENCE
With a deep understanding of your target audience’s lifestyle comes unique opportunities to reach them. Don’t settle for hollow demographics covered up with a clever name.
2) BE A MEDIA PERSON WHO SAYS ‘YES’
Media finally has a seat at the table, so let’s not mess it up. The best communications people are idea chasers who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Duct tape, spit, bungee cords… doesn’t matter how; remember, your job is to find a way to make ideas happen.
3) MAJOR IN POP CULTURE
Want to be a great communications thinker? Get busy living. Understanding the myriad of ways to connect today requires staying current on culture, sports, entertainment, and the arts.
4) BUILD IT, DON’T BUY IT
Increasingly, the best ideas aren’t for sale. So remember to start with the idea, and figure out how to build it, rather than starting with the media and figuring out what you need in order to fill it.
5) EMBRACE THEMATIC COMMUNICATIONS PLANS
If your media plan looks the same every year, you’re not doing enough. To avoid communications complacency, be sure your plan is unique enough to have a title, theme, or T-shirt tagline each year.
6) DON’T BE A BUTCHER, BE A CHOREOGRAPHER
Slicing up the media budget like a pie is a blue-collar sport. Higher value contributions like assigning channel roles top to bottom and staging rollouts left to right are the future of the craft.
7) LET THE CHERRY ON TOP BE THE MEDIA PLAN
Don’t relegate the bells and whistles to merchandising credits and the occasional PR stunt. Instead, find a way to have the most interesting bits lead the plan itself.
8) USE YOUR CENTRE BRAIN
There is real value to being an expert, a specialist. Media has its own language, numbers, and acronyms. But tomorrow’s media person will be as good with concept as they are with a calculator.
9) HAVE AMBITION BEYOND ADVERTISING
Too much time is wasted trying to alter campaign ideas that weren’t designed to be anything more than a TV script. For better results, identify a brand ambition beyond advertising and work to extend that.
10) BE GENEROUS
Modern branding is learning to give as much as we take. Does your plan create value for the target audience? Does it build an idea in the world? Does it leave something behind?
The next idea will come from anybody who cares to share them.