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It’s time to leave the dark ages behind
Not every industry or business is blessed enough to be seen as forward thinking. For every slick tech firm wowing audiences with its purpose, mission and life-changing problems, there are many organisations stuck in a PR rut.
Ask people about the transport and logistics industry, for example, and the common view is that the sector is stuck in its ways, unlikely to embrace new technology or innovation.
If you do manage to find any stories about the logistics industry in the national press, chances are there are negative connotations.
Take an article from last year in the Guardian as an example. Lead commentator Polly Toynbee wrote about logistics employers “failing to work collaboratively”, only serving to exacerbate the view that the sector is stuck in the dark ages, unlikely to embrace new technology or innovation.
Yet, from our extensive work with leaders in the logistics trade, we know this is not the case. We also know that it is time for the transport industry to speak up and change this negative stereotyping. It should be shouting about their achievements, demonstrating the daily collaboration with multiple industries from retail to manufacturing, construction to aviation.
The work logistics does is critical to the economic success of the UK. Without motor transport, your milk would not reach your kitchen table, and there would be no food on the shelves or clothes in the stores.
While the likes of Sainsbury’s and ASOS gain the media glory as leading retailers, they couldn’t do their job without those silent giants who move their products around.
All is not lost, however, and there are a number of basic things that transport and logistics businesses, in fact all businesses, should be focusing on.
This may seem simple, but it is surprising the number of businesses that struggle to make their online presence visually engaging online. Think of this as your shop front – if the windows are dirty and your doorway is filled with cobwebs, you’ll be discouraging people from walking in and finding out more, let alone part with their cash.
Leadership is hard to define, but an organisation without it is plain to see. It’s not only shareholders that want to see clear lines of expertise throughout an organisation, it’s other businesses and future employees. To be a leading business, you need to embody what that means: embrace innovation, encourage debate and challenge thinking.
It’s not enough to create a culture of leadership, you have to share it, too. There are people within every business who are absolute experts in their field, who have knowledge, experience and ability that others will want to hear about. Showcase these people, and their opinions – true thought leadership is always a marker of future success.
Almost every business is holds masses of insightful data that can be mined to tell a compelling story. What are the trends that can be drawn from the information you hold? With a bit of time, analysis and awareness of broader industry trends, you could find out that you’re sitting on a PR goldmine.
There are so many stories to tell, which could be via any type of content – video, blog, direct mail – and any channel, from social media to online news sites and your own website. Use these effectively, but also efficiently. Don’t overload them. Leave people wanting to hear more from you and your business, because of the quality, insightful content you offer.