The Queen’s Sombrero and Marketing Communication

If you have not taken the time to sit back and think about how much marketing communications has changed, you should. The changes are astounding from Dallas to New Delhi, and the rules have changed significantly from even five years ago. One important change is the actual decentralization of marketing communications and publishing.

The days are over when only the Forbes and the Hearsts published business and consumer material. Today, everyone that is pushing written material through the various Internet channels is a publisher. That means you. When you are not in the role of the soccer mom or proud papa posting pictures of little Bobby on Instagram, or exclaiming your pride that Susie made the cheerleading squad on Facebook, you should most likely be following more formal rules when communicating as your role and audience are most likely very different. You’re wearing a different hat.

When you are not tweeting about the family, or posting some anecdotal story online, more than likely you are publishing business and professional information such as marketing communication. And, the hat you wear is different, the rules are different and operations should be different. When you are publishing business communication, remember these rules:

1. Wear the right hat. Remember you are not writing poetry or posting a personal status when you are writing professionally. You are communicating as a professional to other professionals. And, with that comes some formality in your style and execution. That is not to say you cannot write business communication with expression and catchy headlines. In fact, marketing communication sometimes requires that. It simply means, when you are communicating professionally, you need to remember your audience, and your professional role and credibility should be as evident in your style and presentation as well as your content.

2. Don’t co-mingle professional and personal communication. Your friends on Facebook are different than fans on your fan page. Have a personal Facebook page for communicating with your BFF, and have a separate Facebook page (fan page) for your professional communication and content. The same holds true for blogs. There are professional blogs, and then there are personal blogs. They do not mix.

3. Use professional vehicles for your professional communication. In this day and age, you should have a professional website for your business operations, period. Costs now are simply low enough these day as to not be an issue. And, you should have a professional email address (or addresses) attached to it. You lose credibility when you communicate to a potential customer or client from a generic Yahoo email address. For little or no cost (depending on your hosting platform), you can obtain a professional email address with your company’s name attached. Always communication using professional platforms and vehicles when you are publishing professional communication – including emails.

Just remember, business is business, including when you are publishing marketing communication, or any other professional material for that matter. One hat does not fit all. Case in point: Queen Elizabeth wears a lot of hats. But, you would never see her wearing a sombrero to an investiture at Westminster Abbey. Just saying…