Dora Nikols (pictured below) runs Social Mission a PR and social purpose agency that helps companies build a social purpose into their corporate culture, PR and storytelling, In this guest post, Nikols argues that these trying times can be excellent times for brand and persona introspection…
With the world grinding to a halt with the spread of the coronavirus now is an excellent time to reflect on what our values are? What sort of leader do we want to be? What kind of marketing messages do we want to send out? Now is the time to use our platform as leaders and businesses to show what difference we want to make in the world.
With his famous TED Talk and global best-selling book Start with Why Simon Sinek (main photo) explored what makes some companies and people more innovative, influential, and profitable than others. He also discovered the patterns of how the most significant leaders and companies think, act and communicate.
And the answer could be the secret sauce we are all looking for to succeed in our PR, content marketing and leadership efforts. He discovered all successful companies, marketers and leaders had one thing in common – they all inspire us with their message because they know what their WHY and their purpose are.
To uncover your WHY Simon Sinek introduced us to The Golden Circle, which shows us how people don’t buy WHAT you do, but instead buy WHY you do it. To succeed today, companies need to discover what their purpose is? What cause or belief do they genuinely care about? Why do they get out of bed every morning? Once found, they then need to communicate this through their marketing efforts in a meaningful way.
The most famous and successful companies in the world inspire us to take action, to follow them, to buy from them, and to stay ruthlessness, and passionately loyal to them. What they all have in common is a fierce sense of purpose – Steve Jobs wanted us to put a computer in the hands of everyday people and think differently. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream to end racism.
Both leaders have left behind a legacy that continues to inspire us and shapes the world we live in today. One goes down in history for building the world’s most valuable company. While the other has shattered the notion of a divided world helping us to be more accepting, diverse and inclusive.
These leaders ‘inspired us’ as they had us feel something at the core of our being. Today to be successful in your PR, content marketing and leadership, you need to help your audience feel something meaningful.
Finding your why starts with using your values to uncover what difference you want to make in the world. Once you identify your WHY; this then guides your product positioning, PR and content marketing. Even before the coronavirus scare ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet paper was a phenomenal success, their ‘why’ was to build toilets in third world countries by using 50 per cent of their profits.
Another great leader who both embodies and embraces Simon Sinek’s message is the founder of The Good Beer Company, James Grugeion, who started a beer company to protect The Great Barrier Reef. The company donates 10 per cent of profits to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
On a global scale, all attention has turned to a very bold and brave teenager, Greta Thunberg, who dared to stand up to adults and demand they take action on climate change. And she’s not alone. She represents millennials all across the world who now choose to support leaders and companies who represent their values.
What Simon Sinek challenges us to do is to learn to think, act and communicate like those who inspire us. My business hero is Anita Roddick; founder of The Body Shop who chose to be unlike any other beauty brand. Instead of exploiting people, animals and the world, she left a legacy by not testing on animals and using natural ingredients that supported third world communities.
As a marketer and business leader today in these uncertain times, it is essential to find and promote your why. Do you know what your WHY is? Do your PR and marketing have a bold social purpose that captures the hearts and emotions of your audience? These are the questions we now need to ask ourselves in a vulnerable world plagued with so many problems. Now is the time to connect with our audience in a meaningful way and bring our values to life.