Own your project’s story (HT @MelanieDuzyj and @mkrigsman)

We all should know how critical project communication is to project success.   A compelling story can build strong sponsorship and sustain stakeholder commitment, even in the most challenging of circumstances (also see Michael Krigsman’s project success checklist) .  However, many project managers assume that their audiences — or even worse, key influencers and “re-communicators” — understand the story as well as they do.

The group blog at BlissPR has a useful post by Julie Johnson on “Getting the Details Right“.  I’ve often suggested that project managers leverage what their PR professionals more.  IMO, the ability to influence is an essential behavior for an initiative leader.  Why not listen and learn from people who know?

In this case, the lessons for driving accurate press coverage apply well to any project that needs to own and drive its story.  Simply substitute “project” for “company” or “industry”, and “stakeholders” for “media”. 

  • It’s more important than ever for a company to take control of its reputation – after all, you either control your reputation or someone else will
  • Educating media about a company or an industry can be even more important than garnering coverage
  • The story you tell must be simple – especially when the truth is complicated

Synching customer value and product/service units

This management tip from The Intelligent Leader is worth noting (here).  I like it because it’s a concrete example of how a firm moved from product to value-based pricing — Cemex is differentiating what is often considered a commodity product.

Differentiation by combining basic product value with another attribute(s) — in this case a firm time commitment — is the key to this transition.  Whether it is more service, less risk, tighter time windows, there usually is another attribute that your best customers value.  More importantly, they’re usually willing to pay for it.

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