Business Philosophy and Business History – Barnett Marketing Communications
To understand my business philosophy, I think it’s helpful to look at my value proposition and the history of this business – how it has evolved from BNW to Barnett Marketing Communications.
Here’s my value prop (and what I want my business to do, and therefore what I want to provide):
“Ned Barnett, through Barnett Marketing Communications, provides innovative, high-end consulting services to clients who see the benefit of working with a 30-year veteran of all aspects of public relations, marketing communications and related disciplines. Barnett Marketing Communications provides focused suite of services aimed at helping clients reach their “bottom line” – whether that bottom line is fiscal, image, positioning, advocacy, employee relations or investor relations. With a minimum of “smoke and mirrors” and a maximum of solid, measurable results, Barnett Marketing Communications delivers superior-quality, senior-level services to clients who know and appreciate the benefit of experience, integrity, creativity and vision.”
OK, that’s a little pompous, but it’s also still a first draft. Forget the wording and try to get the vision.
Once upon a time, I was BNW Healthcare Marketing Communications. However, when I found that a number of clients who were outside of the provider-based healthcare arena also wanted to access my services - but were deterred by my business name - I restyled myself and my business as Barnett Associates.
For a number of years – from 1987 to about 1998 – I was Barnett Associates (not Barnett AND Associates). I liked the “hook” provided that the absent “and” provided, but finally realized the name said nothing about what I did.
After the emergence of the importance of the Internet to small consulting business marketing, I discovered that Barnett Associates wasn’t available as a website - so I bit the bullet and became Barnett Communications. That name seemed to say what I did, and I began working on my plans for a "Barnett Communications" website.
But a good friend then noted that “Barnett Communications” sounded an awful lot like one of these pop-up telecom consulting firms created by survivors of the dot.bomb blow-up; by 2001, it no longer “said” PR. So once again, it was time to change – to Barnett Marketing Communications.
But is it the right name? I think so – it is broad enough to cover all that I do, but doesn’t seem to imply much that I do not do. And it focuses on the core of my value prop – me. Ned Barnett. The 30-plus year professional who’s been there and done that, probably more than once, no matter what kind of PR we’re talking about.
I don’t just do PR, though that is my passion and my heritage. I provide to clients:
· Strategic Planning (Marcom-oriented Strategic Business Plans and similar plans)
· Market Research (focus groups, online quantitative surveys and similar research projects)
· Advocacy (all aspects of grass-roots lobbying)
· White Papers, Position Papers, Speeches, “Contributed Articles” and other PR writing
· Ghost written books, AV/Film scripts and other long-form communications
· Web content
· Press release writing
· Annual reports and IR-related PR/investor-oriented communications tools
· Sales collaterals
· Pitch documents, for PR and Ad/Marcom Agencies, including the planning that goes on behind the pitch
· New-product launch strategy and implementation
· Ad copywriting (all media)
· Not-For-Profit Fund-raising planning – I conceptualize and plan, and develop the support tools, but I don’t go knocking door-to-door begging for bucks
· Seminars, workshops – AND Facilitation of Board and Top Management Strategic Planning Retreats (any kind of business planning, education or other kind of retreat)
· Media Relations – local, regional, national and specialty/niche-market media
· Website content (and the specifications of “architecture”) – I don’t “do” coding, I visualize the flow and (hopefully) make it consumer-friendly … this website is a good example of what I do here (for good or ill)
· Crisis PR – Planning for, and emergency execution of crisis response PR
· Investor Relations for US and multi-national corporations
· Sales management – I don’t do sales, but I can manage sales, while creating collaterals, incentive plans, etc. – I’ve even set up a couple of MLMs for clients, though I don’t have any desire to participate in those MLMs myself
I probably do some other things, too. I’ve been either a generalist or jack-of-all-trades in PR (first) then Marketing, then back to PR, for more than 30 years. I’ve won top awards in PR and Advertising (but I don’t place ads any more). Blending this all together, I did my fellowship paper (equivalent of a Masters Thesis in scope, research, etc. – at least that’s the idea ... whether I succeeded is another thing entirely) on the similarities, differences and points of intersection between and among PR, Advertising and Marketing Communications.
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