Mothers Teach Us So Much…

Not too long ago, most of us set aside a day to honor our mothers. Depending on your life circumstances, this could have been a joyous or a difficult occasion. My perspective on motherhood up to this point in life has been almost entirely shaped by my own mother – truly a blessing from God. This is about to change due to the fact that, as I write this post, my wife is two short weeks away from giving birth to our first child. Like so many things in my life, my appreciation for mothers across the world is about to change. So, mothers, here’s hoping that this recent day in your honor was a happy one.

Not unlike other holidays in our country, Hallmark and other popular gift spots made a killing. I purchased a Mother’s Day card for almost $8 after tax and was nearly sick. As is my annual tradition, I bemoaned the fact that some schmuck is also making a killing off holiday cards that are subpar at best. Nevertheless, I purchased cards and gifts for my mother and the mother types in my life and proceeded to do the next logical thing…that’s right…wish these wonderful ladies a “Happy Mother’s Day” via social media. Come on – it’s 2014 – don’t tell me you didn’t do the same!

And here, fine folks, is where our public relations reminder comes for the day. PR 101: Consider your audience! It doesn’t matter how sweet or funny or witty your collection of 140 characters was on Twitter – your mother never saw it because she doesn’t use the medium. I observed (and I wasn’t the only one) many great admonitions of love and proclamations of the “best mother on the planet” titles belonging to certain people on Twitter – my social medium of choice. Here’s hoping they also wrote that card or picked up the phone. A few savvy folks in my timeline had the presence of mind to point this out, and I couldn’t agree more.

It’s an easy parallel to your brand, your product and/or your service. Start by knowing your audience or your tribe, as renowned marketer Seth Godin calls it. Where and how do they consume their news? Who do they trust as opinion leaders in the industry? What are they passionate about? What moves the needle for them? If you don’t know your tribe intimately, how will you ever really reach them? It’s 2014, folks. The same old advertising buys and email newsletters aren’t cutting it. Build equity in the form of relationships with your tribe, invest in truly understanding them and yield the currency of trust. Yes, content matters (another talk for another day), but at this point, you’ll know where and how to effectively communicate to a tribe that is truly engaged.

Now, go back and make sure the mothers in your life got your Mother’s Day message – the way they would understand it best!