What We Do
MT. LASSEN, CALIFORNIA © STEVE JOHNSON
High Concept Development
When we begin working with you, we start by asking the fundamental questions that are critical to your long-term strategic communications, such as: what are you doing, why is it important, how will it impact the world, why will you succeed, what are your “crown jewels”, why are you unique, what’s your “next act”, who should care, and much more. And we help you mold the answers into a High Concept, and supporting ideas, as the bedrock of your communications strategy.
It’s easy to ask the questions. But it is not always easy to reach consensus on the answers, or what they mean – especially if you are racing to develop a leadership product with half the capital and one-third the time that you really need. And it’s the rare startup that each time a new executive joins, puts the whole team in the same room – as we insist – and makes sure everybody is talking about the same elephant in a consistent, clear, and memorable fashion.
That’s where our experience comes in. We know what to ask, how to foment discussion, drive consensus, and surface a common understanding of the answers. We often see trends that are elusive. We help you avoid reactive or “knee-jerk” communications, when instead a non-obvious or contrarian position can set you apart as the market leader.
Your Ongoing Strategic Partner
Once you have worked out your High Concept, what do you do with it? How do you make sure that your communications contribute to your leadership? How does your unique perspective impact everything you say – from short answers to seemingly easy questions – to off-the-cuff questions – to full overviews of your company presentation? Sometimes, developing the High Concept even impacts how you see your product definition, or whom you are targeting.
In this ongoing process, we become your partner. We’re there to help you apply and keep fresh your strategic communications plan, as well as provide insights into the options you might face as your company grows, and as the world changes around you.
Tactical Communications Oversight
For most of our existence, we also implemented the strategies we developed with our clients – including all those launches – so-called “classical” or tactical PR.
As a consequence, we really understand the nuances of boots-on-the-ground communications in widely-, or even wildly-varying situations: How do you encourage the market to see where you are going? What are the tactics that will help get there most effectively? When should you be subtle, and when should you be direct? What does that difference look like? How do you respond to disasters? How do you ensure communications consistency across varying market segments? And much more.
As the strategic-communications “conscience” of your executive team, we’ll help you on an ongoing basis as you work with your internal or external PR team to “get it right”. And on occasion, when you have a need – and we believe we can add particular value – we can consider specific tactical projects that fall outside our main, strategic focus.
After all, chances are we’ve been there.
Call to Action
If you are a startup executive, this may be your first venture or fourth, but as you can see from our Client Roster, we’ve done a few more... This is experience you can leverage.
Our main goal is to assist CEOs and their teams with a communications strategy both now and for the long term, but often the ongoing process surfaces issues and answers in other areas, such as product direction or market strategy. We don’t promise this, but many of our past clients will testify that it happens – repeatedly. Because striving as a team to articulate your High Concept often exposes weaknesses in one’s strategy. We hope there are none, but isn’t it nice to know?
Throughout our history, we’ve been uniquely involved with the executives and key decision makers in a wide range of technology-oriented ventures, including mature companies. We deeply understand many of the issues you face. We can lead, point, ask questions – sometimes tough – provide insight, direction, and help you unearth the answers.
Contact us if you believe that strategic communications are crucial to your business plan, and you’d like to see if we can help.