Old Taskmaster is going to start off this column by coining a new word for a fairly common phenomenon in our society.
The phenomenon? To lose out to your competition despite doing good work, because your potential customers don’t know about it because you lack an effective communications strategy.
The new word? To get “Baillieued”.
The term, quite obviously, is named in honour of the now former Victorian premier, Ted Baillieu, although in truth it could just as easily be named after any number of small businesses, sole traders and start-ups.
Before the hate mail floods in, Ted seems like a genuinely nice guy… especially by the standards of career politicians.
However, one of his first acts was to cut the “spin cycle” by dramatically cutting the number of PR people, which impacted his ability to communicate the government’s message. In theory, this sounds great – after all, who isn’t sick of pollies who are surrounded by spin doctors?
The problem is that politicians are ultimately in the business of selling their products (policies) to consumers (voters) in order to stay in business (winning elections). As with anything else, consumers aren’t going to buy a product if they don’t know it exists – and that means having an effective communications strategy.
In Baillieu’s case, it led to factional allies (such as Jeff Kennett) complaining that the party’s message wasn’t getting out. Meanwhile, Baillieu’s achievements in balancing the budget and investing in infrastructure were nearly invisible, compromising his core mission (winning the next election). Ultimately, Ted lost out to his internal party competition as a result.
In short, Baillieu got Baillieued.
If it isn’t, you need to be aware that while your business can Baillieu along for a while, you can’t survive by Baillieuing forever. So ask yourself “is my business at risk of getting Baillieued?”
Well, Old Taskmaster says this: the way to avoid a Baillieuing is to make sure you effectively use social media, local press and industry press to communicate your business’ products, building brand awareness among your potential consumers.
That way, you can make sure you don’t get Baillieued.
Get it done – before Denis Napthine comes!