Momentum. While it’s a physics term, its principles have everything to do with good communication. And if you are trying to spark a change in your organisation, you won’t get far without it.
American business leader and author, Farshad Asl, wrote, “Momentum is the bridge between a vision and its results.”
So, what exactly is momentum? One of the simplest definitions I found is, “Momentum is a measure of an object’s tendency to move in a straight line with constant speed.”
And the key point about momentum is that once it is created, the object becomes very difficult to stop or change course.
When it comes to effective corporate communication, in most instances your goal should be to achieve momentum.
That means keeping your brand in front of your audiences in a consistent way so that you can continually gain recognition and create impact. In a competitive market, a brand with positive momentum is difficult to beat.
Many organisations make the mistake of expending their communications energy in quick bursts. An example might be a product launch or a major company announcement. What many fail to do well is harness the fanfare around a big announcement and devise PR tactics to maintain that same level of ‘buzz’ in the market.
Without momentum, your communications energy expended on one announcement or one event is largely wasted. In our busy, noisy world, people will forget about you and your big announcement quickly if you don’t keep reminding them that you’re there.
You’ll only achieve long-term, measurable reputational gain when your communications efforts continually build upon one another to achieve a positive, forward motion. Thus, momentum.
There are four essentials for creating communications momentum in your organisation:
Create a plan
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? You may have good intentions to keep proactive communications going after a major announcement or event. But the truth is that it won’t happen if you don’t have a plan. Write it down, create a tactical timeline and stick to it no matter what.
Appoint a leader
I’ve experienced many a well-intentioned plan developed and then dropped because no one was appointed responsible for making it happen. Get someone to lead your communications plan. If you don’t have a communications professional in-house, bring in a contractor to be the nag that keeps things rolling along. Momentum falters when no one leads the charge.
Select a kick-off date
If your communications has been lacklustre or non-existent, pick a date when you’re going to start doing things differently. This might be on the back of an announcement or event. Or it just might be the start of a new year. Put a date in the calendar and then don’t let up until you feel that reputational momentum is gaining.
To keep communications momentum, you always need to be looking ahead at potential obstacles in your business, with competitors or in the environment you operate which could derail you. Watch out for risks and mitigate them so they don’t create a hiccup.
Likewise, to maintain momentum you need to keep your communications fresh. Research new tactics and try some new approaches to keep your reputational energy moving forward.