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Gareth Davies is Head of Marketing and Content Discovery at BBC Cymru Wales, responsible for brand development, content promotion, social media and TV scheduling. 

3 things I wish I’d been told about marketing and promotion when I was starting out.

1. Strategy is straightforward

There are countless versions of this, but most strategy docs, plans or briefs are structured like this: 

•             The current situation

•             Where you want to get to

•             How are you going to get there

In comms or marketing, the ‘where you want to get to’ usually involves trying to persuade people to do something differently. So, it’s important to be clear who you’re talking to, and what you’re going to say or do to persuade them. There’s a danger of jumping straight to the tactics - ‘we need a social video’ - without being clear why you’re doing something or understanding what you’re trying to fix.

2. Reach out, relationships are important

One of my main stakeholders was tricky. Difficult to pin down. Wasn’t the best at sharing information, and didn’t really have much time for talking promotion.

I worked hard to impress with stats, plans, being really organised. It took a while to realise that even though I was seeing this person at least once a week, it was always with other people. I didn’t have a relationship with this person. 

Good stakeholder relationships are about trust and understanding – and this takes time.

Be useful, be interested in what they’re doing, and be on the same page.

Influencing and persuading becomes much less of a problem when you’ve got that trust and understanding in place.

3. You need to stand out

You want to land a message? Then you need to grab people’s attention. 

You could be in front of the right people, at the right time but are you being noticed?

THIS ISN’T ABOUT SHOUTING LOUDER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. How you do this depends on who you’re talking to, and which platform you’re using. 

Two things to consider…

Creativity – there’s plenty of evidence to back up the effectiveness of creative campaign work and advertising. A bit of originality and novelty generally goes a long way. Don’t be the same as anyone else.

Relevance – what’s in it for me? Tell me, or even better show me how it helps me with my life.