"The value of top-of-funnel content really comes down to elevating two aspects of your communication," Hirsch Leatherwood CEO and co-founder Steve Hirsch tells Doug Simon.

Those aspects both center around eductaion. "One is marketplace education, creating a source of truth for what your brand stands for," he says. "How do you give your different stakeholders a sense of what it is your company does every day and the role you play in the industry?"

Also, "when you're a head of communications, you need to be talking to partners, employees, investors, sponsors, customers. And all of that warrants its own set of top-of-funnel content marketplace education."

Because of that, comms pros need to give a lot of thought to how they incorporate a business perspective into their work,

"It creates a more bespoke approach. Whether it's analysts, whether it's employees, all of those stakeholders need a bespoke intentional communication strategy. And that always starts with top-of-funnel content."

But despite that variety of perspectives, Hirsch stresses the importance of a unified message. "A CMO's worst nightmare is mixed messages, and we try to avoid that at all costs. For any company that we're working with, there is generally what we call an enterprise narrative that sets the tone and the foundation for everything the company says for how they describe their product."

He also discisses the challenges involved in responding to rapidly changing business conditions. "Every messaging point comes up for debate three, six, nine months down the line when an acquisition has been made or a funding round has been announced, or a product's being unveiled that we didn't know about three months ago. And so, the narrative needs to be relooked at and refocused on every few months."

Effective comms leaders, he says, need to be able to put themselves "in the role of the CEO and think about what is it that's going to affect the bottom line, create impact."

Hirsch also talks about the value of stocking a comms team with "well-furnished minds." He says that Hirsch Leatherwood "really strives hard to find the most culturally literate and diverse perspectives that we can find. That's been our secret sauce into putting together teams that really moved the needle."

The pitfalls of mixing business and politics also come up for discussion."I would challenge companies and communicators to think about the value of the words they're putting out there and making sure that it's really in service of the greater brand and long-term growth."

In general, Hirsch is bullish on what the rest of year has in store for communicators. "It's going to be a big year for the comms world. A lot of growth—already seeing it."

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