If ever there was an institution deeply rooted in the offline world, it is the British Monarchy.  The pageantry and traditions are significant, beautiful and historic.  Yet, as today’s history is made, the House of Windsor is demonstrating a modern flair of which many businesses searching for relevancy should take note.

Whether your business is just starting out and building a brand following, or well established and serving thousands of raving fans, Clarence House’s handling of the arrival of the latest heir to the throne offers great lessons and reminders.

 

Embrace and Showcase Tradition

Despite embracing social media and communications technology, the announcement of the arrival of the newest monarch was made by town crier, then traveled by hand from the hospital to Buckingham Palace to be framed and placed upon a gold easel used previously for this purpose for the birth of His Royal Highness Prince William.  No email blast, no Facebook announcement (at least not at first) – a simple declaration of the healthy delivery signed by the attending physicians.  Today, the baby enjoyed a 41-gun salute in his honor in advance of leaving the hospital.

Even the smallest of businesses can create and execute consistent and repeatable ways to handle breaking company news and everyday customer service.  Royal Watchers and your customers alike will relish in your commitment to creating an impactful brand experience they can expect and will most certainly appreciate.

 

Engage Fans

As the thousands flanking the gates at Buckingham Palace yesterday demonstrate, fans want to share in exciting news and milestones.  Yesterday, Brits not only got a new future King, but also an opportunity to be a part of the story.  Clarence House leveraged social media to allow fans to engage in the historic event – posting a signable Google+ e-card and creating a Storify highlighting many a “Royal” baby born yesterday (sourced via Twitter and the #WelcometotheWorld hashtag).

Your loyal customers want the opportunity to be a part of your story.  They want the chance to sing your praises, deepen their relationships with you and provide feedback.  Social media provides a great opportunity to execute campaigns that truly engage.  Consider going beyond a simple “click here to enter” contest and make customers a part of the marketing – give them a real chance to participate and you’ll reap substantial word-of-mouth rewards.

 

Tell a Consistent Story

From the news release to the Facebook posts, the proclamation and information provided about the Royal Baby was consistent across all media platforms – “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm.”  Despite the varying audiences across media types, the message and tone remained steadfast while each platform pointed back to the others – creating a well-crafted, organized communication that drove response.

For small businesses, the value of integration of online and offline media, one-to-one and mass communication is often overlooked.  Online media offer substantial value to support in-store experiences and print media can drive social media traffic.  The key is to leverage each platform in your marketing and communications toolkit to reinforce your message and collectively build a full story and program.

Congratulations, Will and Kate!  While you were satisfying millions of Royal Watchers the world over, your PR team did you proud.  And, Kate, if you ever need advice from a boy mom, don’t hesitate to ring us on the blower.