Shop Talk

Change The Conversation

Sommer Grogan Article

Change is neither good, nor bad. It simply is. It can be greeted with terror, or joy; a tantrum that says, ‘I want it the way it was,’ or a dance that says ‘Look, something new.’ PR people understand this, but they can never execute it. If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.

Don Draper, Mad Men

 He looked at me with pleading eyes as I pressed the ‘record’ button. “So,” I asked, “what do you want your story to be?”

As a client-centered marketing firm, this is usually the first question we ask when we meet a potential partner for the first time. “What do you want your story to be?”

As we’ve written before, story is key. The ‘Why’ of your company, of your brand, is the most important question you can ask yourself.

Why do you exist? More importantly, why should anyone care? Knowing your why is essential because everything surrounding that why can change on a dime.

Stories and visions change. People change. Goals change. Change is inevitable. This is especially true in current times, as a global pandemic has forced countless businesses to change tactics and pivot from what their original plan was. Pandemics aside, however, change can happen at the drop of a hat. It’s not only inevitable; in some cases, it’s necessary. Sometimes change happens to a business, and sometimes change is personal.

Recently, I sat down with a client that had been going through a lot of changes, both personally and professionally. We can call them growing pains or trials and tribulations or something else entirely. Whatever we call them, the important thing is that they were affecting their business.

This conversation has stuck with me because it seamlessly transitioned from an apology to a pledge. This client knew that mistakes had been made. They acknowledged them and apologized for them, but also knew that they weren’t what defined the company. We just needed to change the conversation.

 “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” That is what Don Draper tells a client in the hit AMC show, Mad Men. While the show is fictional, many of the ideas, suggestions and strategies are still viable, even by today’s standards. The “change the conversation” line has always been one of my favorites (it may have even snuck its way into a campaign of our own). I like it because it speaks to the power of proper marketing. With the right firm, and the right strategy, you can say whatever you want. You dictate the story that you want to tell.

Maybe your company is a new one, full of bright lights and big ideas. You want to take those ideas to the next level but you might not be quite sure how. These clients are usually our favorites, because they are full of potential. The story hasn’t been written yet, so we get to partner with the client to dictate exactly how the story is going to go, piece by piece, chapter by chapter.

It’s not always like that, though. Sometimes we partner with clients who have been around for a while. They’ve been in the game for however long and they are looking to brand, or rebrand, themselves. They’ve probably seen success- they wouldn’t still be around if they hadn’t. But they want to go to the next level. They want to be thought of first and foremost.

That’s where we come in.

Finding that story, and properly conveying it to appeal to your audience is what we’re best at. We do that in a number of ways, across a variety of mediums, all with the intent of making the conversation what you want it to be.

Does this sound interesting? If so, shut the door and take a seat. Let’s have a conversation