Peter Shankman on Reaching Your Audience, Staying Top of Mind

Peter Shankman is a dynamic, insightful and charismatic speaker. He is acknowledged worldwide for his smarts on PR, social media and marketing. And he is also hilarious. Shankman’s 90-minute presentation at the October 26 Northeast Wisconsin PRSA meeting flew by with jokes, personal anecdotes, laughter and audience participation. We were hanging onto his every word. Note: if you’re under age 25 and willing to be picked on, sit in the front half of the room.

Shankman gave a lot of advice. I left the event feeling energized, with pages of notes and a Twitter stream full of quotes, jokes and nuggets of wisdom.

One thing that struck me is the importance of knowing how, where and when your audience likes to be reached.  “People are 90% more likely to act if they receive information the way they want,” said Shankman. Great reminder.

So, how do you find out how audience likes to receive information? “ASK”, says Shankman. They will love to tell you.

Conduct surveys or polls. Ask them during your next conversation. Send them an email. Do they prefer email communication? Phone? How often? Are they social network users? Do they read the paper or get news off the Internet? What are the best times of day to reach them? Be sure that you are making it as easy as possible for your customers or audience to receive your messages.

Don’t use tools you don’t need, said Shankman. If your audience doesn’t hang out on Twitter, why would you message them there? Also, make sure your messages can be received by your entire audience. For instance, emails should always be mobile-friendly. He emphasized the importance of staying top of mind with your network and customers. Simple gestures such as a phone call just to say hello or wishing a happy birthday on Facebook helps keep you–and your business–top of mind.

Everyone has a network we are trying to reach and stay connected to. By simply asking how and where they want to receive information, the door is opened for further conversation and  a better relationship.

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