This past Friday I had the opportunity to attend the Kansas City PRSSA Day, at the Kansas City Public Library. This event is sponsored by the Kansas City PRSA chapter every year. This year the guest speaker was Spike Jones who spoke about word of mouth communication.
Spike shared 5 things that he has learned over the years.
1) It’s a passion conversation NOT a product conversation. – Think about when you got your brand new laptop for school, or a car when you turned 16. When you talked about these objects you weren’t trying to sell them to someone, you were just telling them everything you liked about the product and why they were important to you. In other words, why were passionate about your first car?… It may have gotten you away from mom and dad.
2) Inspirational Leaders – Influence can be created but… Passion CANNOT. If you are passionate about a product then you will talk about that item and stand behind them no matter what might happen. Being an influence leader you might stand behind one product one day and their competition the next.
3) Create a barrier of entry – When you are a maker or promoter of an item you don’t want everyone and anyone to promote the item. Spike used the example of Fiskars scissors, they have what they call Fiskarteers who promote their items. By going to their web site you can become a Fiskateers yourself after you send an initial e-mail but most importantly re-ply to the e-mail they send you back. If you don’t then you are not part of this club. By doing this they eliminate the one-time website checkers.
4) Tell Stories WITH powerful identities – This is a simple one. Stories about a certain product or a certain company stick with people better than any commercial or advertisement they see.
5) Think about ONLINE and OFFLINE – To explain this Spike used the analogy of clocks and clouds. Clocks are always running on time they are predictable or this is what we know will happen. Clouds on the other hand are unpredictable they float around in the sky never knowing if they will rain or snow, very much like people. No two people are exactly alike and therefore unpredictable.