PROs and events organisers need to wise up to technology
Marketing is all about attention to detail. To make sure that you don't contribute to the R50 billion that is wasted in South Africa every year because someone wasn't thinking things through. Take functions and events for example. Or even plain and simple meetings.
It probably sounds petty and pretty well unimportant but there is nothing worse than trying to use an onboard satellite navigation system in your car to get to a function or event only to have it laugh in your face and spit in your eye. But in marketing terms this is vitally important because it could have guests or important customers arriving at your venue or office in a filthy temper.
It is hugely frustrating and is becoming an issue because thousands of motorists now have these gizmos and they don't work unless one has the full address of where you are going.
Now, it used to be only people who owned top-of-the-range Mercs and Beemers who could afford these GPS-based navigation aids but portable models are becoming cheaper and cheaper and I would guess that more than half of all the guests invited to your average corporate function will have one in their cars.
So, it is time that the public relations and events industries gave just that extra little bit of thought to the addresses they put on the bottom of corporate invitations. Far too many are just plain wrong. And people who are in charge of company letterheads and business cards.
The first criterion is the kicker - a street number. While some gadgets can simply find a crossroads, most of them need some sort of number.
But, the most vital piece of information is the right suburb. Unfortunately a lot of these gadgets don't work on cities but insist on one entering the suburb name. And this is a killer because I have found that a lot of companies and events destinations have no idea what suburb they are in.
I remember when the IMC first moved to their new offices their letterhead gave the address as Central Avenue, Houghton. In fact they weren't in Houghton at all but some other little suburb next to Houghton I had never heard of before. My GPS system really beat me up over that one.
And this is what is going to drive the PR community crazy. Because it will be no good asking their clients what the suburb is or the street number because my experience is that they won't know.
But, it will make an enormous deference to those high-tech motorists who rely on GPS navigation aids to see information on invitations specially for them.
And, let's face it, good PR is all about attention to detail. So who is going to be first to pick up the challenge? Or, maybe someone has already.
About Chris Moerdyk
Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk
is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom
and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk
Chris Moerdyk, the former head of strategic planning at BMW SA , is an independent analyst and marketing advisor, consulting to several blue chip local companies and multinationals since 1997.