Media is everywhere. Regardless of if you think about it in a ‘normal’ way such as TV or radio, the first reality we must acknowledge is that media is everywhere. Have a social media account? You are in media (hint: it’s in the phrase!).
From the moment we wake up until we fall asleep at night, media consumes us. It has grown itself into a necessity that we cannot seem to live without. So, like many other elements of life, rather than fight it, we jump into its stream and let it take us where it pleases.
If we juxtapose how media affects our lives in a similar fashion that business does, we discover stunning similarities. No one would argue that a business that fails to plan should plan to fail. In today’s economy, we can take a deeper step to say that any business who fails to plan how they show up (media) will not last long.
This article discusses the importance of understanding that to remain sustainable and thus successful in business, we must have a media plan that threads through our entire business dealings and thus through our business plan. In the past, a media plan was “what can I do to get on TV now” and often a fleeting thought to a business’s overall mission. It’s not enough to have a few paragraphs in your business plan most likely as part of the marketing plan.
Those days are gone if you want your business to last. We used to joke in the last few decades about how quick technology is at replacing itself. Just look at how many iPhone generations there are or updates to Microsoft Office(TM) programs that we ‘have’ to have…not because they are new, but because if we don’t, the current hard shell of that technology becomes obsolete. Let’s explore why this is essential and then what it looks like.
You Media Plan is Your Business Plan
Since we now know that media is everywhere, we cannot afford to not integrate how we show up for our clients, customers, and future customers. They are looking at us and for us daily. Think for a moment as we enter the holiday season. Stores that show up for the holidays will see a surge of business during this time and often struggle with the rest of the year to maintain momentum or steady profitable income.
Now, look at Amazon. Since its inception, it is in our face daily, sometimes hourly to remind us that they are here to service our every need, and often at a lower price point. The team there understands that we as a society enjoy living our lives online.
Not thinking about this reality means that you are tucking away your media exposure to an event not a lifestyle. Not seeing your media plan as a thriving thread in your business is like saying that your changing your eating habits to eat healthier, one meal a week.
When we understand that every action taken as a business has the potential to show up on, in, or through media, how we show up starts to change. Now your marketing plan doesn’t just state “live FB video weekly,” but it begins to show up in your sales strategy along with your overall mission and vision. Your executive summary now eludes to the business making an impact (which is successful through media exposure).
Your forecast sheets now talk about how you plan to show up in new media platforms such as TikTok. Media plays a huge part in gaining a competitive advantage over your competition. Even your products and services play into the media. No longer can media be a second thought, as it should be intertwined with your business plan.
How Do I Make The Switch?
This is easier than you think. It begins with acknowledging that media access is all around us at every moment of the day. Understanding this should help you shift your mindset.
As you are working on your business plan, whether updating it or strategically thinking about how you want your business to show up, weave the thread of media into every paragraph.
Simply asking the who, what, where, when, and why questions to how media shows up is the start. Allow yourself to ponder the concept of ‘what if the news media were following my every footstep of my business for three months’ and answer the question how that would affect and guide your actions. The world is watching you…how are you showing up?