Okay, we get it. Social and digital media are here to stay and will continue to dominate the communication and marketing forum for companies and organizations. But, it is absolutely vital for PR professionals, companies and organizations to not put all their communication “eggs” into one social media basket. Rather, it is necessary to view it as just another part of your arsenal along with news features, television, radio, print ads, events, speaking engagements and other promotional materials.
With that in mind, I would like to speak out for one of my favorite and most entertaining forms of communicating a company’s message: the old fashioned billboard. Yes, that is right. Even after all of these years and new means of communication, there is still a need for companies to share their message and stories on a billboard.
I am fascinated by the challenges this gives companies. Mainly, I am curious how a billboard is created in a way that will be on-message in a clear, concise way for people traveling by it at 75 MPH. It is definitely an issue.
And, quite honestly, I am still baffled that organizations still spend very good money for billboards that have a large amount of copy on it. Yet, this still happens very frequently.
Instead, the best strategy for making a billboard work for your company is to have a compelling, creative visual image that will earn the average, slightly distracted driver’s attention for 2.6 seconds enough to retain the information offered.
In addition to the image, a two- to four-word phrase can also help shape what message you are looking to share with your broad audience of motorists.
Probably my favorite billboard ever is one from Bloom, a grocery store chain in North Carolina. They actually created a scented billboard with the image of steak on a fork. The really creative part is they were pumping the smell of black pepper and charcoal as drivers were on their way home, pondering what to fix for dinner that evening. This is a great example of how people will remember your brand.
So, when deciding what should be your next major social media or advertising campaign, don’t completely forget or ignore the power that billboards can have in shaping and reinforcing your message to your broad, general audiences.
And, if all else fails, there is always steak