Strategy

Strategy is the art of seeing through a new lens.

Strategy first.

You’re close to your project—so close it might seem blurry. We help you to step back to see the features, benefits, risks, and opportunities from your audience’s perspective. You understand the complexity of what you do. Your audience doesn’t. Yet. You’re passionate about your value. Your audience isn’t. Yet.

Strategy first. It’s been our calling card since the beginning.

Strategy starts as fact finding. We ask important questions about what you’re trying to say and to whom you want to talk. We gather information and details to help you make something fabulous and reach your audience in the best way.

You shouldn’t have to choose.
And it’s better not to.

Navigating the world of communications, marketing, and PR requires decision-making. You need to start somewhere. You reach out to a marketing firm, an ad agency, digital company, or PR group.

But any form of marketing, communications, or PR should start with strategy. Forget about the end product. Hold off. Put aside your ideas about a website, social media, billboard, or brochure. Press pause. Stop scripting that video or sketching that logo design.

Paid. Earned. Shared. Owned. (PESO)

In top agencies, the walls between PR, marketing, and advertising have come down.

Enter the PESO model.

Not too long ago, public relations and advertising were disconnected. Sometimes, they still are. Right hand, meet left hand.

Public relations pros managed reputation through good relationships with the media and public. Advertising agencies created ads and placed them in newspapers, on TV, and with other media. Writers and designers worked in the background.

Then everything changed. Public relations became digital. Advertising and marketing went online. Suddenly, the public had its own tools. Everyone could post stories and images on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. Anyone could cobble together ads and upload video.

Crises spun out of control. The media cycle was too slow compared to the speed of social media. Traditional PR couldn’t keep up. ‘Citizen reporters’ were broadcasting what they knew on social. Reputations lived and died in a few hours. Facebook and Google ads started upstaging TV commercials. When our followers shared and liked us, it boosted trust and amplified paid ads.

Stories became currency. Tell a good one that tugs on heart strings, and you might go viral. Followers and friends became the best way to boost trust. Shares and likes had real power. Infographics displayed the facts, while words told shareable stories. Short, live video captured unforgettable moments. Tweets replaced media releases.

In this complex environment, clarity is difficult to find.

Focus believes in the PESO model, which stands for Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. Paid is the advertising you buy. Earned is the publicity you net by pitching media stories and managing media relations. Shared is all the likes, shares, and retweets that occur on social media. Owned is the material you publish and control—your website, reports, brochures, videos, and channels.