The next step is to organize slides into a library that tells an even bigger story: the story of your enterprise. Apply the same methodology of “every slide is a scene; every presentation is a story” to your enterprise. If you work for a large enterprise, there are probably many departments divided by discipline, product or geography. Each department has a story. Here’s how we built a presentation management solution for cable TV company Scripps Networks, which had a mission to improve their viewers’ lifestyle and community. Its portfolio of networks included brands like Food Network, HGTV, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country. Each network answered a So what? that mattered to viewers. Furthermore, each program, each slide, had a more specific So what? that mattered to a particular demographic. For example, Rachel Ray showed people how to cook a great meal in 30 minutes, so we can eat well even when we don’t think we have the time. That was important to time-strapped parents who worked outside the home. We organized content into chapters for each network and slides for each program. Each network told its overarching story: why it exists, what it means to the viewers and the value for advertisers and cable operators.
Then each program did the same, but on a smaller scale. The stories included factual information about the programs and their ratings, and also a human element about viewers and how that program changed people’s lives. Each slide or set of slides told its own story. We didn’t just create a chart comparing audience delivery of women 25 to 54 years old -- we stated why women 25 to 54 are such a lucrative target for advertisers, and included pictures and videos to bring that audience to life. The slides showed real people with real emotions who were affected by those programs. Even though it might be safe to assume that the advertisers in the room knew their target, Scripps went the extra mile and reminded them why their target is important. Finally, to keep the audience engaged, Scripps introduced different presenters to present the different networks, each with his or her own personality and character. And, the presenters broke up the slides with videos. The changes added energy to the Upfront roadshow presentations room and kept the meetings flowing. In doing so, Scripps demonstrated that it intrinsically understood the marketplace and how it affected its advertisers’ business.
This approach “allowed all of our salespeople to speak intelligently, whether talking about the details of one program or the value of working with Scripps in general,” said Jon Steinlauf, who was at that time, in 2005, Senior Vice President of ad sales for Scripps Networks. (He is now Chief Advertising Officer at Discovery Communications.) “Presentation management gave them the ability to cross-sell the networks, which translated into higher revenues.”
In the Scripps library, each piece of content met the criteria for a good presentation management strategy. It was formatted to present; it told a relevant, memorable story; and it was branded and compliant. The 150 Scripps ad sales reps had a range of stories that they could repurpose and customize for their individual meetings. Because they were telling better stories, they became better presenters, and ultimately better brand stewards for Scripps.