Have Your Facts Straight

I had my Publicity Methods class at Rider University develop a fact sheet this week for the fictional cartoon prop company ACME corporation, featured prominently in the Warner Brothers cartoon classic, Road Runner and Wile E Coyote cartoons.

The only working knowledge was the fact the company, based on the cartoon, serviced props like anvils, cannons, giant blocks of lead, etc. all designed to clobber Road Runner.  Chief spokesman of course was Wilie E. Coyote.

In having the class undertake this exercise my method was to show them how at a moment’s notice, they in the future may need to develop a fact sheet about the company they work for. In that case, would they know enough about their company to put such a document together?

Fact sheets are used every day by companies to direct information about their company, products and services to their customers and to the media.  A fact sheet should incorporate all there is to know about a company such as locale, satellite- offices, distribution centers, key executives, products, history and contact information, among others.  Fact sheets can be creative and feature illustrations, graphs and other artwork. Most importantly, they should give the person walking away with a copy, a full handle on what your company is all about.

Next week, I will have my class develop a fact sheet for an existing client of iMedia Public Relations. They will have access to the client website and will be able to assemble pertinent data needed to come up with a complete document.  The twist will be to see how they punch it up a bit with creative thought and insight.

Every organization should set in place a process so that all employees have an understanding of what the facts are about their company.  Would you want your employees saying the wrong thing about your brand or company?  Does everyone in your company understand what you do?  While a worker in a distribution or call center or an office staffer may never talk to a reporter, they still deal with their own sphere of influencers and represent you to them. If they are communicating the wrong information, that will reflect badly on your company and products.

Make sure everyone has the facts. Think of it as the old elevator pitch. Can everyone you employee describe what your company does in a three-minute elevator ride?  It’s the same process. How you communicate the facts will translate into how they deliver your message.

Tom Cosentino




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