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5 lessons Adele taught us

Adele has now gone from our lives in Auckland. Our social media feeds have resumed normal service - free of the barrage of 'I'm at Adele' posts we were subjected to last weekend.

It was touted as the biggest concert New Zealand's ever had and by all accounts it certainly lived up to the hype for the 130,000 odd fans who saw her at Mount Smart.

I don't recall an artist ever getting as much publicity on tour in Auckland as Adele did last week. The wave of positive publicity Adele enjoyed certainly surpassed Justin Bieber's concert the previous weekend. Aside from her phenomenal talent there are a few reasons why that was.

And there's a lot that organisations can learn from Adele's personality traits and behaviour that can be applied to their own communications.

Here are the five lessons organisations should learn from Adele:

1) Let your audience see themselves in you

Whether it's getting boozed in the park over summer with her friends or taking off her heels and going barefoot, Adele undoubtedly comes across as one of the people.

How does that translate to organisations I hear you ask? Your company images, brochure, website, social media posts and the like need to allow your audience to see themselves in you. So if your clients live on construction sites, tell stories that show you and your staff out on worksites – living in their, make that YOUR shared world.

2) Connect with your audience

When the rain poured down last Sunday and the audience got soaked, Adele got soaked with them –donning a poncho and braving the elements. She took selfies with fans, something Justin Bieber now refuses to do, and earlier on this tour Adele even helped a man propose to his boyfriend live on stage.

On top of that she bares her soul and sings songs that people can relate to. Throughout her concerts she tells stories about her personal life and builds a connection with her audience that few other artists can replicate.

For organisations, engendering that level of loyalty is no mean feat but the first step towards it is by understanding your clients' pain points and finding ways to address them. This can be done by talking to the people in your organisation who are on the front lines and customer facing. It can also be done by conducting a perception audit – which is qualitative research that involves a series of semi-structured interviews with your clients – the output of which is a deeper understanding of your clients' needs and how they view you. You can then design a communications strategy which directly addresses those needs and allows your audience to see you as an organisation that 'gets them'.
3) Be human

"Touring isn't something I'm good at – applause makes me feel a bit vulnerable. I don't know if I will ever tour again," Adele told the Mount Smart crowd last Sunday. During her first show in Auckland she was rolling around on the stage fighting off a beetle that was biting her. While some celebrities just seem so cool and so polished, Adele is the rough around the edges girl you'd meet down at the pub.

Now from an organisational standpoint, you don't want to reveal your fragility and insecurities the way Adele does at the expense of conveying confidence. But you can talk in a language your audience understands and come across as a real person, not some far removed, straight-laced corporate square. Although overused, the saying that B2B marketing is actually people to people has never been more applicable than it is today.

4) Leave them wanting more

Adele rarely tours but when she does she breaks all kinds of attendance records. She doesn't bombard her fans with social media posts but when she does post she gets a phenomenal response. While it's important for organisations to have a regular content programme, you don't want to drown your audience with content. Too many newsletters is a sure fire way to get me to unsubscribe from organisations that I would otherwise have been happy to hear from.

5) Have fun!

Love what you do and let your audience see that – it's infectious.

For assistance with media relations, content programmes, social media or perception audits, feel free to get in touch with The Clarity Business on 09 950 2690, on LinkedIn or via Twitter @ShapeTheMessage.

By Daniel McCabe