Listen First. Last & Always.
While a lot of agencies out there talk about "engagement," most think primarily about how to talk at audiences, on their client's terms: sharing what the company wants to talk about, highlighting what the company wants its audiences to know about it, and ultimately aligning audiences with what the company wants them to think and feel.
At Peppercomm, we take a different approach. With our work, Peppercomm serves two constituents: the companies we partner with and the communities they want to reach. We listen to our client's audiences, and we look at the company from their eyes. From this perspective, we then help our clients better align their messages to serve their audiences. Our goal is to provide our clients with the strategies they need and audiences with engaging content they find so useful they will want to spread.
But, in order to craft messages that audiences will want to share, we have to understand those audiences: listen to them, empathize with them, put ourselves in their shoes, truly converse with them and serve them with content that fits into the conversations they are already having. We no longer maintain the illusion we can broadcast content at them. We know we can’t “build it” and just “expect them to come” to a microsite, blog or social network site platform. We don’t intend to infect them with our content like it was a virus. And we don’t believe that there are only 5 or 6 “influencers” in a community that everyone else follows like sheep.
Instead, we do the hard work of rolling up our sleeves, getting to know your audiences and acting as their liaison with the company. If you want people to spread your message, you have to give them content that serves their needs. You have to give them something worth sharing to their family, friends and followers. And you can never cease to listen to them, not just to record their feedback but to really focus on how your content is serving them, and how their wants and needs are changing.
That's our approach at Peppercomm, and we believe it sets us apart. It's what provides what our clients' audiences would agree is true and strategic "engagement."