Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What The Blue Angels Can Teach About Captivating An Audience

This guest post is by John Foley, former lead solo pilot of the US Navy's Blue Angels. He is the founder and CEO of John Foley Inc., which provides keynote speaking, coaching, and hands on training services for Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, healthcare service providers and beyond. The core of his teaching is The Diamond Performance Framework, which translates the Blue Angels’ culture of excellence and peak execution for the World of Business.

Social media and content marketing have changed the way that companies share themselves with the world. The speed of that interaction continues to increase, and new channels of communication are born every year. However, those advanced techniques are still grounded in basic principles that have been in use for at least a century. At the end of the day, people still like doing business with companies and individuals who are open, honest, and especially those who share.

Sharing Creates Goodwill

The Blue Angels are bound to their audience by a definitive congeniality.  It's part of their overarching mission to act as ambassadors of goodwill.  Even as my journey has carried me into the world of business, I still meet people on a daily basis who are eager to share their fond memories of Blue Angel air shows. From a business perspective, the Blue Angels mission to share that goodwill with the world solidifies a very effective campaign for public outreach and recruitment.  

Sharing ourselves with our audience is a great way to create that same sentiment. And creating that mutual feeling of goodwill opens up our environment.  On a fundamental level, people like doing business in an open environment; it creates a space in which they can learn, interact and contribute. Unlocking that feeling of 'open-ness' is a valuable tool on multiple levels.

Sharing Accelerates Learning

Let's look at a classic example from a familiar brand: Jell-o. In 1904, Orator F. Woodward led an initiative by The Genesee Pure Food Company that produced and distributed free promotional cookbooks featuring Jell-o themed recipes.  These books became incredibly popular, and by 1909, gross sales for Jell-o exceeded one million dollars.
By 1913, that number was doubled, and Jell-o was on the way to becoming a household name. Look at the success of that campaign, and just imagine the speed of that kind of success in today's world. In 1904 it took a long time and huge amount of effort to deliver those cookbooks. Today, using social media and aggregators like, we can complete that B2C circuit, almost overnight.

What It Means For Companies:

In the midst of the new media climate, our job is to find the most effective ways to exercise that fundamental idea. Lately, I've found that information hubs like offer some very effective opportunities for execution. The Spoke system allows you to follow, post, and collect stories from around the web in order to create an entry point that can allow your company to begin sharing in new ways. So use these strategies to inspire a unique approach to sharing within your own organization.

To learn more about John and his novel approaches to bringing excellence into the organization, visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

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