Product Focus – Why Your Company Needs a Consistent Message

Message consistency is vital for successful marketing communications campaigns, but reaching agreement on messages can sometimes be challenging, especially in organizations where top executives each have their own vision. Building consensus is important.

When dealing both internally and with the public, it’s critical for executives to understand the repercussions of message inconsistency and how a breakdown often leads to a decline in an organization’s status, brand reputation and ultimately its sales. 

Identifying primary and supporting messages up-front is the cornerstone of a successful public relations campaign. Consistency and repetition of messages across all communications vehicles drives success, whether used in internal meetings with employees, marketing brochures, presentations or during an interview with The New York Times. Graham & Associates, Inc., facilitates full- or half-day sessions with management teams using a proven discovery process that uncovers issues and determines the messages that should (and should not) be communicated to your audiences. 

These intensive sessions are fun and interactive and a great team building exercise. We help top management reach agreement on positioning and messages. The outcome is a core set of messages, highlighting your company’s unique differentiators that you can use across all media, customer, employee and partner interactions. 

For more information about our messaging workshops, please visit:  

Raising Your Organization’s Visibility Through Thought-Leadership: How to Engage and Lead the Conversation


Companies, membership organizations and nonprofits all have important things to say, but breaking through the noise to deliver your message successfully can be overwhelming. Here are a few steps we take at Graham & Associates to help our clients prepare, engage and lead the conversation.


1) Lay the groundwork – Solid messaging lays a foundation for your organization’s marketing and communications strategy. Delivering clear and consistent messages that resonate with your target audiences is the basis for increasing your company’s visibility. Awareness and credibility can be short-lived if spokespeople fail to deliver consistent messages across conversations.


2) Build a thought leadership program – The best way to establish credibility is by showcasing your senior talent and their expertise. Identify a targeted thought-leadership platform for executives, and tap their knowledge to address business/market issues prior to joining any conversation. How does their expertise address the unmet needs of the market? Listen to uncover where your thought leaders can engage and lead the conversation. Raise their profiles as experts in their respective areas.


3) Prepare to talk the talk – Once you’ve identified thought-leadership topics, executives need to prepare for media exposure. Media training can refine how to deliver a point of view. Practice answers to tough questions. Anticipate questions that media and other pundits will ask as an important preparatory step before joining the public discourse. Have your ducks in a row, and make sure you can back up your position.


4) Tap conversations – Monitor the media and keywords to identify real-time conversations. At Graham, we follow trending topics and offer strategic counsel on delivering insightful responses and advise on the right time to engage to raise visibility for your company and thought leaders. Keeping our finger on the pulse in real time and identifying strategic opportunities to lead conversations are two of the things we do best.


5) Maintain the momentum – Leading the conversation can happen quickly. Sustaining it takes time, dedication and persistence. Working with a PR firm to ensure you continue to address the issues that matter to your target audiences will keep you actively involved in the conversation and build leadership.


For more information about Graham’s thought-leadership programs for raising and maintaining visibility for your company, please visit us at  

Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy for Your Business

Without a social media content strategy, businesses can waste lots of time and money and even hurt their reputation. Untended Facebook pages, nonsensical tweets, questionable YouTube videos, or company lunchroom pins on Pinterest – however cute – won’t stimulate the desired conversations with your target audiences necessary to boost sales and increase demand for your products and services. What’s worse – they might even leave a bad impression.


Step back. Think about your objectives. Listen to online conversations first and visualize the entire social media landscape as an ecosystem. Then, develop your social media PR and marketing plans. Having an integrated strategy is the smart way to build a successful social communications program.


Companies often fail to consider how social media channels work together. A solid plan for effective social media channel integration starts with reviewing each social media channel, studying its unique strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to your brand or product. Only then, can you determine how these separate channels work best in concert. Also, consider how social media integrates with your existing traditional and online marketing campaigns.


For example, when a hotel marketing campaign focuses on compelling content for a website or a frequent traveler loyalty program, social media can actively drive awareness, and prompt engagement to boost these marketing efforts by engaging guests before, during and after their stay. A push to draw guests to a newly opened hotel might begin with Twitter teasers to raise curiosity and provide incentives to check out an informative URL or Facebook fan page and ultimately, the hotel itself. During a guest’s stay, hashtags on coasters in the bar encouraging guests to tweet can increase online engagement. Announcing the hotel’s daily activities/promotions on Facebook can also raise interaction. Post departure, encouraging guests to post photos on Pinterest and Instagram, tweet about their stay or write a review on TripAdvisor can generate excitement, result in further online conversations that go viral, and draw potential new guests to check out the property as well as build loyalty among repeat hotel guests.


Developing a simple interactive campaign where your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest profiles point to each other, and back to your website, is a good start.


If you need an agency to manage and tie all this together, please visit us at:  

What Brands Should Consider When Facebook Graph Search Goes Live

This week, Facebook announced a new search tool letting users find information shared by their connections through social queries. The new search feature, called Graph Search, allows users to search Facebook for data “shared” with friends, such as likes, pictures, people, places, business pages, etc., (“that users have access to,” as stated by Facebook, to address privacy issues).


Facebook may be trying to compete with Google for search business, but for now, they are really focused on making search more functional on their own site. Graph Search will make it easier for Facebook members (your potential customers) to search topics their friends have liked, and if your business is included in those likes, you’ll have a higher likelihood of popping up in the search results.


As a business on Facebook, the more you share, the more useful the Graph Search tool will be for your followers. So eventually, brands that share lots of information and wish to increase their Facebook traffic (and eventually sales) should keep a few things in mind about this new tool:


1) The good news is that brands with a Facebook page presence will be more visible to Facebook users following their brand. As users search for specific terms on Graph Search, it provides an opportunity for branded Facebook posts to surface months after the initial post. For example, tips on painting, where to find a suitable retirement community or a favorite restaurant or seaside resort in California that you posted last year will surface.


2) "Shares” will be more visible with Graph Search so updating brand content will be critical. Fresh content will maintain interest and entice your followers to share it. The more up-to-date the content, the more likely it will be shared, helping to drive traffic to your Facebook page increasing fans and ultimately generating greater brand awareness.


3) Key words aren’t as “key” with Graph Search. Including all the details on your Facebook profile will be more important so the Graph Search algorithm can find your business. For example, a user searching for a fine dining experience to celebrate a special occasion will only find your restaurant if all details about the food style, price range, proper attire, etc., are provided in the profile. 


The jury is still out on Graph Search, but the concept is a clever one, and brands can use it to their advantage. Stay tuned as Facebook likes to make changes, and this new feature will surely transform as trial users provide feedback.  

Protecting Your Brand Online

Every company knows how valuable the brand image is to its core business. But a lot of companies forget the importance of protecting that image online, which can make it an ideal target for online scammers, counterfeiters and fraudsters.

Since the Internet is such an important and effective tool, it’s vital to take protective measures and develop an Internet policy to uphold the organization’s image; not doing so could be extremely damaging. Many fraudsters linger on search engines, and social networking and eCommerce sites. Commonly, scammers ‘hijack’ brand terms and redirect traffic to illegitimate or competing sites. They can also misrepresent your brand on social media sites, hijacking your logo unlawfully to gain credibility. Ultimately, this impacts your bottom line and devalues your brand.

These are five steps you can take to protect your brand online:

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