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Be your own public relations spokesperson

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I’m sure we all know the phrase If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a noise?

I take that phrase and flip it like this If you plant a tree in a forest and no one sees you, were you the one that planted it?

What do I mean by that?  Basically, if no one knows you planted a tree, where you planted the tree and why you planted the tree, then it may never have happened.

Questions that may be asked;

  • Will the new tree be expected?
  • Are you planting the right tree?
  • Does everyone know the tree is being grown?
  • Will anyone know to help identify where new trees can be planted?
  • Will anyone in the company come to help when the next tree needs planting?

Maybe I’ve taken the tree analogy too far there, maybe not. In the original question above the tree represents a new feature or change. From its inception as an idea you’ve been helping it to grow, nurturing it until it’s planted (delivered) and if you’re a good Product Manager, you’ll keep going back to it to make sure it’s growing (performing) well too. A bit like an arboriculturist tending to their plants.

The bullet points above translated to product would be;

  • Will the new feature be expected by others in the company?
  • Are you making the right change?
  • Do they know why you’re creating the feature?
  • Can anyone help identify new possible features?
  • Will anyone in the company come to help with new ideas?

What has all of this got to do with public relations, you may ask?  As a Product Manager you need to also be the Products PR Spokesperson. 

  • You need to make sure everyone is onboard with a change 
  • Everyone needs to know it’s coming and why it’s coming
  • Everyone needs to know what kind of impact it could have
  • Everyone needs to know the hypothesis you are trying to prove 
  • Everyone needs to know when it’s released
  • Everyone needs to know you’re keeping an eye on it 
  • And, everyone needs to know the final results of the change

Ultimately you need to find your own way to get this information out there, you need to make sure you’re influencing the right people. In my next blog I’ll talk about some of the channels and media you can use to help you with internal public relations.

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