As a child, my parents nicknamed me M&M. Not for the sweet chocolate candy. I earned the alias of motormouth for my nonstop talking. I talked to anyone within earshot. I talked to my family. I talked to friends. I talked to my dolls. I talked to my dog. I even talked to strangers–under my parent’s watchful eyes of course. What can I say? I was a curious kid who grew into a television reporter and communications director. At times, my parents tried to buy my silence! I usually lost the quiet games and didn’t get their dollar bets.
Funny, I know get paid to share my opinions! Nonetheless, the older I got, the more I learned to listen. I know when to bite my tongue and when to quickly get to the point. That’s why Motormouth Multimedia is launching a new blog series called #ToThePointTuesdays. We ask five questions to top communicators in the Pittsburgh region to quickly share ideas, give tips and spark conversations, especially among nonprofits, small businesses or others who can’t afford to hire a communications director but want their messages to reach their audiences.
David Atkins is first up. A multi-faceted marketer with more than 25 years of experience, David possesses a unique and well-honed ability to communicate even the most complex concepts to any audience. He possesses a business acumen validated by both his proficiency as an entrepreneur and his leadership in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Simply put–David understands what it takes to succeed. In his current position as Vice President of Digital Marketing for VisitPITTSBURGH, David applies his decades of marketing knowledge to the promotion of America’s most livable city–Pittsburgh. Like the city he lives and thrives in, David is edgy enough to be hip but cool enough to make ‘hustle’ look effortless. Check out the insight he offers.
What’s the best communications and marketing advice you’ve ever received?
Always tell the truth, but know when to shut up! Sometimes silence says everything needing to be said.
How do you create content that stands out from the competition?
Always educate. For yourself: Take the time to know your competition and your audience, because you should already know your own product. For your customer: Review those three collected data points (competitor, customer and product), and you can successfully navigate any customer communications engagement with the goal of providing data-backed, valuable knowledge and insights.
How can someone build an engaged audience?
Any audience starts with one person. Be compelling, informative, brief and creative. Provide “snackable” content that is consistently brief, compelling, informative, timely, and of course, creative. Soon, a singular engagement becomes multiple engagements, because your content is so shareable. You remain consistently engaged with your audience across all available marketing channels. You must tend to your channels for engagement to grow and prosper.
If you could only select and leverage one social media platform for a communications campaign, which one would you pick?
Research your audience, and leverage the platform where YOUR customers are. If you don’t know, then select Facebook. It is certainly the most versatile platform on the social media frontier–at the moment, that is.
What’s your favorite no- to low-cost communications & marketing tool & why?
I believe in high quality visuals, and VSCO helps people become better creators of both still photos and video. If you are not versed in higher-end photo and video editing tools, this app will help you make your visuals better.