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Speak up: Getting your share of voice

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Constant content, social media chatter and real-time news galore. It’s no wonder it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. For businesses and brands looking to be a part of the conversation, strategy is critical.

There are many ways to ensure a firm’s voice is heard loud and clear and that, when the business is speaking, its messages resonate with the right people, in the right way and at the right time. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Now here are a few ways to make that happen.

THINK THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

One of the best ways to capture share of voice — that is, the degree of influence an entity has on its target audience — is to use an actual voice, whether it’s the firm’s CEO, a nonprofit’s executive director or a senior employee who is expert in a sector. Serving on panels, securing speaking arrangements, delivering keynotes, blogging on the business’ website, becoming a guest blogger on someone else’s site, posting articles to LinkedIn or authoring guest columns like this one for business journals, newspapers or trade publications works wonders. Everyone is knowledgeable on something, but the company that puts its leaders forth to own the conversation enjoys a greater slice of that perception pie.

MAKE MEDIA HEADLINES

To stay top of mind with customers, prospects, donors or members, regularly announce news. Think beyond the basic press release — although, likely, it will be part of tactics employed — and look to captioned photos, letters to the editor, op-eds and media advisories to tell a story. Another way a company can become part of the conversation is to pitch story ideas to members of the media, including industry trends observed, seasonal activity, national days of awareness and topical breaking news.

SEEK THE SPOTLIGHT

Appearances are everything for businesses looking to gain or maintain market share. Applying for awards, seeking out business lists with rankings — and setting calendar reminders to ensure the deadlines are met for inclusion — posting “good news” updates on a firm’s website and updating an email signature are winning tactics. Not every one of these ideas needs to be executed at once, but thinking along these lines will elevate a firm’s position, particularly over time.

SHARE SOCIALLY

Seeing results from the ideas above? That’s wonderful, but don’t stop there. Update the business’ social media sites to amplify the sound far and wide. Tag the media the firm was mentioned in, thank the organization that issued the award and, most important, do what the most successful people in business do: give to get. Before long, that share of voice will put your firm in top-of-mind position. Be sure to join the conversation with others, give credit where due and champion your fellow business owners and organizations. After all, what good is talking if it’s a one-way discussion?

Filomena Fanelli is CEO and founder of Impact PR & Communications Ltd., a public relations firm and certified women’s business enterprise in Poughkeepsie. She can be reached at 845-462-4979 or at filomena@prwithimpact.com.

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