Donning our lucky charms year round: Three communications lessons that don’t require searching for that illusive four leaf clover

By Kaitlyn Hyde on March 16th, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is on its way—marching in Parade-style, of course—and with it comes an abundance of green, dancing leprechauns and all the luck of the Irish. As bystanders jumping on the bandwagon for a day, we ask, could this luck be real? And putting on our communications hats, we wonder if so, how can we tap into it? Whether it’s establishing a new company-wide recruiting plan, securing a critical piece of media coverage or executing a compelling marketing automation campaign, we could all use a little luck to ensure we hit the mark and stay successful. Maybe finding that proverbial pot of gold in the PR/communications world is more attainable than we think.

Consider these three “lucky” lessons to take your external and internal communications activities to the end of the rainbow.

1. Have pride. The pride of the Irish gains palpability the closer we near the holiday. Our lesson? Take pride in our work and our team. We do this with confidence by getting back to the basics. That means backing up our communications goals with research (yes, paid research is a plus) and planning. It also relies on ensuring the entire team is aware of and working toward the same goal. A comprehensive annual plan is a good place to start: Use it to outline your overarching strategy, specific tactics and timing. 
 
2. Drive out snakes. Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for driving out all of the snakes from Ireland during the 5th Century. While we know today that snakes likely never existed in Ireland and the legend was allegorical, there’s still a lesson for PR and marketing professionals. If snakes top Ireland’s “Most Frightening List”, I’d like to nominate inefficiency for the 2017 communications list. Long staff meetings that can be accomplished via email, ten rounds of edits to tweak three words and failing to research before pitching an editor are all examples of how inefficiency takes us as prey. Time management is a key part of our jobs, particularity as we’re often tasked by upper management to accomplish more with fewer resources. Identify the areas where you are wasting time and drive them out.

3. Don’t get pinched. If any of us have forgotten to wear green on March 17, our family members and peers were quick to remind us with a pinch. Easy mistake! Here’s a few metrics we shouldn’t forget this year:

  • A recent study found 92 percent of consumers say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. Effective communications plans focus on curating a healthy mix of earned, paid and owned media. Are you missing any opportunities to build your brand, increase thought leadership and reach target prospects?
  • High-performing teams are almost 7 times more likely to use marketing automation. Advance your earned, paid and owned media by leveraging this content throughout marketing automation campaigns targeted to specific roles within similar buying stages of the funnel. 

As we wrap up the first quarter of Q1, St. Patrick’s legacy can help you remember the luck of your communications successes is built on foundation and believing in your team to “Shamrock” it out. What are your lucky charms for driving improvement across your organization’s internal and external communications? Share them below.

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