Lisa Shalett: “You have to tell your own story”

LisaShalettGood friend of Generation W Lisa Shalett, advisory director for Goldman Sachs, has been featured in Lean Back, The Economist Group’s marketing blog for top thinkers and practitioners to share ideas for engaging consumers in new ways.  Here is an excerpt:

What were some branding lessons learned from the financial crisis? Did social media and content marketing play a role?

One of the most important lessons we learned is that you have to tell your own story. If you don’t tell your own story, others will tell it for you.  We now live in a world in which no matter whether we are a B2B company or a consumer company, there’s a conversation about our brand that is going on 24/7, and we have to listen to it. There’s no excuse for being tone-deaf.

We also learned that we have an opportunity to contribute to this conversation thanks to these new communication channels. Not participating is not an option.

When I initially started in my role as head of brand marketing & digital strategy in April 2010 we hadn’t advertised and we didn’t have a presence in social channels. We weren’t looking to proactively communicate with the public because our clients are largely institutions, corporations, and governments.

However, through the intensity of the media coverage, suddenly our name became more broadly known. And most knowledge of us was not based on familiarity through direct touchpoints, such as:  “Oh, yes, I know you. I’ve  interacted with you, I’ve gone to your ATM, I’ve gone to your branch,” because those aren’t the services that we offer.

Everybody got on board with the need to communicate, and to do so in new ways. Our advertising campaign, Progress is Everyone’s Business, was one of the first steps we took to try to communicate with the broader public. Often the content that we’re contributing and disseminating is the only touchpoint that we might have with the public and the only way for people to hear directly from us who we are, what we do, and the contribution we make.

We so agree with her statement, “If you don’t tell your own story, others will tell it for you.”  Great, great advice–always be a part of the conversation.

Click here to read the entire feature.