No business is too small to make a difference

Posted on 4th March 2020 by Rebecca Brown

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If you have been keeping up-to-date with our Skout social feeds, you may have realised that we have been sharing our favourite books in-keeping with the theme of National Storytelling Week. And, with World Book Day just around the corner, we’ve decided to carry on the fun by writing a trilogy of blogs all devoted to…you guessed it – our best reads.

Greta Thunberg has been making headlines across the globe with her powerful speeches around the impact of climate change. This begs the question, why is one teenage girl able to highlight more about this issue than some of the world’s most powerful institutions?

In August 2018, Greta and a few of her classmates decided to go on school strike to protest outside the Swedish Parliament about the disastrous effects of greenhouse-gas emissions. This ignited a fire which swept the planet. Suddenly, and quite out of nowhere, millions of people from every country were standing up for the cause. Since then the climate crisis has been breaking headlines like never before, and Thunberg has been in high demand.

In a short space of time she has addressed world leaders at the UN climate change conference, become the youngest Time Person of the Year and replaced Kim Jong-un as Donald Trump’s arch nemesis. This teenager has certainly proven you can be small but mighty. Reading her collection of speeches in ‘No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference’ has got me pondering how this ethos can be used within the B2B world. Here are some of my key takeaways:

Don’t be put off by the size of your business

As an SME, it can be a little intimidating sometimes trying to get your voice heard, especially when there are many big businesses doing a lot of shouting – don’t be discouraged.

When it comes to the media, there are many publications that are interested in the expertise of spokespeople from smaller enterprises and, what’s more,  these media outlets normally get circulated to the audiences you wish to target. For example, if your business sits in the  procurement industry there are a wealth of publications such as Procurement Leaders, Supply Chain Digital and IT Supply Chain who are always looking for blogs, tips and articles.

Alternatively, if your business wants to make a wave in the bigger publications such as national news sites or renowned business titles, this is also within reach. There are a few ways to achieve this:

  • Actively look for opportunities: This could include responding to journalist requests or keeping an eye on market trends – if there is a hot topic in the news right now, can your business add value to the conversation?
  • Produce quality content: It goes without saying that the better the content the more likely it will get picked up by publications. However, this can be tricky sometimes as it also needs to be friendly for the media; this can be done through careful selection and adaptation.
  • Building relationships with key journalists: Trying to establish rapport with journalists can go a long way. They’ll recognise and/or become familiar with your name, story and business and will be more likely to publish your content.

 

Be persuasive and have a strong message

If you have had the chance to read Greta Thunberg’s book, you may have noticed the type of language she uses to influence her audience: “Our lives are in your hands”, “we can still fix this”, “I want you to act like your house is on fire”. These are all powerful, emotive words and statements that grab people’s attention. They are also consistent with the message that she wants to deliver i.e. humans need to act now to combat climate change, while also providing readers with a call to action – an important step when trying to influence your audience to do something important.

To establish your business’ spokespeople as relevant thought leaders within their respective industries, these skills need to be translated into the content produced for the media. For example, blogs should use sector experience and expertise to inform, advice and persuade readers. Tell them something that they need to know! While this may not need to be as drastic as “our house is on fire”, you can deliver your own call to action on the topic you are talking about.

While it may not be conventional to take tips from a teenage activist, there are many lessons businesses can learn from Greta, especially if you’re an SME wanting to make a big impact.

If you’re interested in the Skout story collection (which is a one-off special) then check out Fiona and Alex’s blogs.

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