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Getting Your #Youtility Ducks in a Row…

Getting Your Youtility Ducks in a RowTransforming push tactics to value-based is necessary, but hard. REALLY hard.

It takes time, patience and the ability to upsell management on the idea of marketing by giving away your expertise…. here’s the kicker…. without expectations of anything immediately measurable.

Giving without promotion, without fast results, without pretty pie charts and sexy numbers showing ROI to the c-suite when you need another bump up to your budget to pay for it.

JayBaerLast week’s #PRprochat had the fantastic Jay Baer as our guest.  He had a few tidbits to share with public relations professionals on how to line up our ducks in a row, when it comes to content marketing and providing value, instead of pushing our own agendas.

Naturally, the conversation circled around to the concepts outlined in his most recent book, Youtility – which hit the New York Times bestseller list late last year.

You can buy the book here, if you haven’t read it. Don’t miss the hyperlink examples to brands using Youtility tactics (it’s towards the bottom of the page). There are some fantastic ones!

Here are a few of my favorite tweets:

The book plug…

Absolutely true! I like the idea of having Youtility-based campaigns mixed in with the overall strategy, but without putting all of your eggs in one basket. This allows you to have a nice blend of long-term and short-term strategies, and perhaps even more than one Youtility campaign.

I agree absolutely that we are typically hired to get media coverage, but with a caveat – this is rapidly shifting. More and more, PR is becoming about the integrated blend of content marketing and social media with traditional PR tactics, and clients are expecting more from us.

In fact, I find that my typical client over the last few years is FAR more interested in content marketing and SEO than traditional PR or media relations. Who would have expected that!?!

I would never define hype and creating news as the same thing – to me, hype promotion and excitement. As PR pros, we aren’t about hype, we are about VISIBILITY and connecting with our audience in a meaningful way. BIG diff! Unless the PR pro just doesn’t get it… then, yes, it’s all about hype and false excitement. He followed up the tweet with a statement that Youtility is about behavior, not awareness in most cases.

While this is true, focusing your upsell to the money-givers in your company should also rely on expected outcomes and what metrics you can use along the path to success that will tell you if your efforts are succeeding or failing. Make it about their goals, not just yours.

I like the idea of introducing the idea of owned assets at this point – how you will use your Youtility based initiatives to create an audience that you own. Not social media audience, which can evaporate if a platform goes away, but email subscribers and website traffic that we can use to build long-term loyalty.

While we didn’t have much time during the chat to delve into how to gain c-suite support, I suspect that if we had, Jay would have said something similar.

This is a very important point and something of major concern to executives who feel giving away too much knowledge will hurt their business and help their competitors. But I agree with Jay completely that there are very few secrets out there. Even if a competitor has the basic knowledge of what you are offering, they don’t have the in-house talent and skills to create an end product in the same way, deliver it the same way, or even sell it the same way.

If you compare a dozen companies in the same industry selling the same product… all of them have different formulas behind their success (or lack of it). It’s the people that make the difference, and the combination of talents. That’s impossible to replicate, even if you have all the same ingredients.

It would be like making up a recipe knowing the ingredients, but missing the specific metrics of tablespoons, teaspoons, a half cup here and a third cup there. Good luck without that, right? It won’t taste the same.

I’ve heard Jay say this one quite a few times, and it’s STILL my favorite one. Jay has a fantastic talent at putting imagery into his words. I’d like to absorb that skill! We went on to talk briefly about metrics, where he said, “For PR (and for anything), make sure you figure out (and get client agreement on) measurement narrative BEFORE you start.” That’s a great thought to wrap up on. Setting expectations before you begin makes an enormous impact on whether your colleagues and supervisors see a Youtility-based campaign as successful or not. The more intangible the results, the more important setting expectations will be. Don’t leave it out; you would be setting yourself up for failure.

And, naturally, here’s my favorite tweet of all! LOL

Jay, thank you again for joining us on the chat! Your time is so appreciated!! I can speak for everyone who participated when I say we were VERY disappointed to run out of time. We wanted more nuggets of wisdom on some of the questions than we had time to cover.

Readers, if you don’t have a copy of Youtility yet, go grab one. It’s only ten bucks for the Kindle version. As one of the most popular marketing books of 2013, how can you NOT read it?

If you are thinking to launch your own Youtility campaign, take time to really explore your audience. Stop thinking about your needs, and focus on what could help THEM and be incredibly useful. Connect that to your own goal or metric, then set the lions loose.

My favorite thing about Youtility thinking is that it doesn’t only benefit a company in one area, it can drive a company culture of understanding the customer on a deeper level. That’s all good.

REMINDER –> Don’t forget to put the next #PRprochat on your calendar. It’s the first Thursday of every month at 3pm CST normally, but the July chat will be July 10th (bumped forward one week to accommodate the Independence Day holiday). See you then!


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