Whether you’re generating support for a new initiative or securing approval for a special project, ensuring your message reaches and resonates with the right audience is central to success in Texas.
As the media continues to splinter and morph, it’s increasingly difficult to influence not just what people see and hear, but how much they understand and ultimately what they believe.
Once dependable tactics like placing an Op-Ed in the local newspaper are evaporating while alternate platforms have seemingly cropped up overnight. Elevating your company’s signal above the noise of social media is almost impossible. And expecting a reporter on deadline to grasp the details and nuances of your initiative is a fantasy.
In Texas, making your point sometimes means making it yourself.
The self-publishing route is an efficient and effective tool for getting your message to the right audience at the right time and on your terms.
What is “Self-Publishing” and How Does it Give You More Control?
When we talk about “self-publishing” in Texas, the term covers a variety of methods, media types and channels.
Broadly, self-publishing means creating a resource that tells your story the way you want it to be told. It’s done on your terms and in your voice. It’s not manipulated. There is not an endless comment section attached to it. It’s a resource that invites readers to develop a deeper understanding of your company’s issue or initiative and maybe even become an advocate.
Self-publishing is a reliable and potent resource, whether you’re trying to persuade members of a legislative body, win approval from an agency, educate a community or even counter efforts from oppositional forces.
Here are a few examples of self-publishing:
Microsites. A “microsite” is a website that exists solely for the purpose of a particular project. Microsites often have a distinct URL that represents the subject or is the name of the project itself. It could even be as simple as a separate page on your corporate website that tells your story [yourcompany.com/projectname] or have a vanity URL that drives home your message like www.weknowtexas.com.
Video. A video outlining the essential aspects and the impact of your initiative can be a powerful approach. Even having your CEO speak directly to the audience makes it easier to cut through the clutter.
Visuals. For more elaborate or complicated projects, developing detailed renderings, visualizations or even virtual reality presentations can set the tone for your efforts in Texas. Data set displays can be incredibly powerful to demonstrate impact.
Successful self-publishing allows you to be the first to tell your story in a comprehensive and compelling way so you can have more control over your message from the outset.
Set the Agenda and Set the Tone With Self-Publishing
There are multiple sides to every story, but don’t expect your side will get covered automatically.
We frequently tell clients, “If you aren’t telling your story, somebody else will tell it for you.” Self-publishing helps you get in front and stay in front of alternate narratives.
Developing your own repository of information also counteracts misinformation. If coverage is misleading or incorrect, you can refer reporters and others to your resource. If an activist group is making false accusations or fabricating claims, direct them to your data.
Self-publishing isn’t a magic wand you wave to make every controversy disappear. Instead, it’s a proven and reliable tactic that increases your odds of shaping public opinion or shepherding support for your initiative.
Give Reporters a Headstart and the Straight Story
Relying on the Texas media to properly convey your story is always a challenge. As newsrooms throughout the state continue to close or downsize, reporters are more stretched for time and resources than ever before.
Self-publishing helps you get important information directly in front of busy journalists. And the more you can produce for them the better. In today’s modern digital age, everyone is a reporter…including you.
Assemble B-roll for TV producers with relevant, dynamic footage. Record an interview with an expert on your issue and send it to a radio station to be carried in the hourly newswheel. Develop a fact sheet or FAQ page that covers all the details and email it to a newspaper reporter who covers the beat.
Tell your story the way you hope to see it covered in the media and make it as easy as possible for the media to run with it.
Self-Publish With Discipline, Customization and Visualization
Ensuring your message makes a difference means putting in the work.
Any resources you produce must be rooted in factual information that is accurate, complete and consistent. No fuzzy math. No hype. No propaganda. Texans can smell a phony from miles away.
The varying geographies, cultures, industries and politics throughout Texas also demand messaging that caters to specific audiences. If you’re headquartered in Dallas and proposing a project in Midland, you need to tailor your approach to ensure it resonates with Midlanders.
Finally, sometimes it’s not enough to tell your story in writing. Some of the best self-published material is purely visual. It can come down to show vs. tell.
What does the diverse Texas landscape actually look like and do your drawings depict it? If you’re considering development and construction of a wind project, where are you going to be able to see the wind turbines? How is the project distributed? What does the view shed look like?
Dynamic imagery, architectural renderings, 3D models or virtual reality walk-throughs can create powerful and lasting impressions. People may not remember the 500-word description about your project, but they’re bound to recall the high-impact visual or video that accompanied it.
Tell Your Own Story to Make Your Message Resonate in Texas
If what you’re planning in Texas is subject to an approval process or part of a public discussion and debate, you need to get in front of it.
Self-publishing can give regulators the data they need to make a decision. It can foster public support with facts. It can overcome misinformation with metrics. It can rebuff opposition with reality.
If you want to determine the direction, the timeline and hopefully the outcome of those deliberations, we can show you how self-publishing gives your company a far better chance of making that happen. Let’s talk.