Lenny Rachitsky | Lenny’s Podcast – Lulu Cheng Meservey (Substack, Activision Blizzard) Podcast Summary

Navigating comms and PR | Lulu Cheng Meservey (Substack, Activision Blizzard) | Free Podcast Summary

Lenny Rachitsky | Lenny’s Podcast – Lulu Cheng Meservey (Substack, Activision Blizzard)

Lulu Cheng Meservey was formerly head of comms at Substack (where I host my newsletter and podcast) and is currently the Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer at Activision Blizzard.

She also writes one of my favorite newsletters, “Flack,” where she shares tactical advice for company comms, PR, and messaging. In today’s episode, we dive deep into the world of PR and comms. We discuss why taking risks is crucial, how to gain attention as an underdog, and why it’s important to have a super-specific audience.

The message and the idea

Tailor your message to fit into your audience’s passions and worldview to create a bridge from what they care about to the message you want to convey. It’s easier to convince them to care by showing a connection to what they’re already passionate about.

Simplify your idea and turn it into a relatable and memorable sentence with imagery or a story. Focus on making people feel good about sharing it and projecting their own identity.

Minimize risks

To minimize risk, it’s important to embrace mistakes and not succumb to the status quo. Taking risks and making mistakes is necessary for growth and improvement.

When communicating, it’s important to understand your audience and create a bridge between their passions and your message. Knowing their cultural erogenous zones can make your message more relatable and memorable.

Fit your audience to your story

For startups with few resources, it’s essential to focus on building your own distribution, crafting a clear message, and shape-shifting your story to fit your audience. Start by identifying influencers in concentric circles, starting with co-founders, employees, and investors, to save time and effort.

When spreading a message, focus on your inner circle of employees and power users, as they have the most influence. Incentivize them to gain their feedback and support. Consistent communication and controlling the message are crucial.

The best way to handle a crisis is to be proactive and transparent. You have to acknowledge the problem, apologize if necessary, and explain what you’re doing to fix it

The best way to identify your audience is to use the concentric circles framework. You have to start with the core group of people who are most passionate about your product or idea, and then expand from there.

Effective communication

By ranking audiences based on their potential to influence a company’s success and mapping out their interests, it becomes easier to determine the best messaging and communication strategies. Establishing a mathematical formula also helps track success.

To effectively communicate, understand your audience’s pain points, influencers, and media habits. Focus on a smaller subset of individuals for greater impact. Target specific groups with the right message to achieve your goals.

Being authentic

When marketing, it’s better to focus on a specific audience rather than trying to appeal to everyone. Being authentic and building trust with customers can help businesses capture a small but loyal fanbase, which can lead to great success.

Founders and executives need to communicate directly with their audience in an authentic and vulnerable way through a chosen platform. Focus and invest in one platform to build an audience and connect with like-minded individuals.

Building a loyal audience

Building an audience and direct communication channels is crucial for both defense and offense reasons. It helps small startups or founders stand up for themselves when under attack while also allowing for a unique and innovative story to be told in a consistent manner.

Focus on building a loyal and engaged audience on Twitter through consistent posting of enriching content instead of chasing short-lived viral fame. Consider the trade-offs and ensure your content matches your audience for a successful long-term growth strategy.

The importance of understanding cultural erogenous zones in effective communication

To effectively communicate your message, it’s important to understand your audience’s cultural erogenous zones—what they care about and are passionate about. Trying to change someone’s worldview or passions is a big lift, but shaping your message to fit into their passions and worldview is a light lift.

It’s important to create a bridge from what they care about to the message you want to convey. It’s hard to create a message so powerful that it suddenly makes someone care about something they didn’t care about before, so it’s easier to convince them to care about your message by showing them the connection to what they’re already passionate about.

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