Good planning: You just can’t get away from its importance. In this debut you post, one young marketer explains why and where it fits into her approach to effective communications and marketing.
by Laura Page
Mark-ercise – no, not a new form of exercise but the mixture of what we do and which I recently had to explain. For me marketing and publicity are a partnership - one does not work without the other. So I coined the phrase mark-ercise to help me explain why this is so important.
Marketing includes the research - the who you want to reach - and publicity is the how you are going to shout about it.
If you need to sell tickets for an event, exhibition or an outdoor activity we can’t just stick it on social media and our website and hope for the best. To sell a good product takes time and precision. We need to know our audiences, how we are going to reach them, and then achieve the desired outcome.
Having a plan
Within any organisation there is going to be a range of staff - some will move with the times, and other who will become stuck in a rut. There may also be other obstacles to good planning too, such as having sufficient resources, but without good plans how can we mark-ercise effectively?
A common problem I’ve spotted is that some people aren’t sure how to plan effectively and undertake good research.
So sine I joined my new organisation I have driven home the importance to colleagues of having a plan - HAVING A PLAN WORKS! There. I’ve said it.
One of the great learning points I picked up from one Julie Waddicor was the importance of the ROSIE model to planning. And I have found that it can be adapted into any organisation.
I’ve moved from a corporate communications team into visitor economy service where I look after arts and heritage venues, and well as tourism marketing, and the ROSIE model works a treat.
If you’re not familiar with ROSIE* here goes…
You need to carry out your RESEARCH, have OBJECTIVES, be STRATEGIC with your thinking, have an IMPLEMENTATION plan of what you are going to do, and most importantly EVALUATE what you have done.
Why have a plan?
Put simply, so that everyone knows what is happening, when it is happening, why is happening and how it is going to happen.
It also allows you to identify risks, how you are going to overcome them and, if set out properly, allows you to report to senior managers quickly by sending them one document to review, saving you time in the future to work on your next POA (Plan of Attack).
Is it working?
I have implemented the ROSIE approach for exhibitions across the Wolverhampton Art and Heritage sites – and we’ve seen successes already, including for a cracking exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery on Motorbikes: Made and Remembered.
By mark-ercising, it has allowed us to create a strong plan with tactics which have included, taking installation shots for high quality social media posts, speaking to the enthusiasts who have donated the bikes, and engaging with specialised media outlets to add real value to our publicity outputs.
The plan included undertaking research of the motorbikes to feature in the exhibition and from that we have focussed on the ‘Sunbeam’, which is iconic to Wolverhampton. Our resultant media relations work created interest from the BBC. We’ve also created dedicated workshops with local enthusiasts, local youth groups and promote the archive materials (all groups we identified as important in our plan)
The exhibition has only been open a few weeks and visitor numbers have exceeded what we expected and that of what the craft gallery normally receives during the school holidays.
More on the exhibition can be seen at here.
So what next?
My plan has worked well so far. As a young marketer I am still finding the best ways to do my job.
Do plans work for you? How do you implement them? What templates or models work for you? Do share as I’m keen to carry on testing and developing.
Laura Page is Marketing and Development Officer at City of Wolverhampton Council
image via NASA on the Commons
*ROSIE was originated by Alex Aiken whilst leading the successful Westminster City Council comms team