“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to?

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to?

You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the {expletive} do you think you’re talking to?” +Travis Bickle

This quote is featured on virtually every top 100 movie quote list. The scene from Taxi Driver has become a pop culture icon since it’s release in 1976. Roger Ebert called this quotation “the truest line in the film… Travis Bickle’s desperate need to make some kind of contact somehow – to share or mimic the effortless social interaction he sees all around him, but does not participate in.”

The line didn’t even appear in the original manuscript and was improved by De Niro. In his 2009 memoir, saxophonist Clarence Clemons said De Niro explained the line’s origins when Clemons coached De Niro to play the saxophone for the movie New York, New York. Clemons says De Niro had seen Bruce Springsteen say it onstage at a concert as fans were screaming his name, and decided to make the line his own.

So the question that I would pose to you is, “Who are you talking to?”

The answer isn’t hard, just take a look at your marketing, what media platforms are you using and who is the demographic that are using those platforms?

What most people suffer from is that they believe that they are talking to all of their demographics, but rarely are. Most haven’t taken the time to sit down and go through a real plan for how to reach all of their demographics. I find this especially true in communications by not-for-profit organizations.

Many of them are faced with needing to reach the masses, but they are only using a few media platforms to really get their message out.

Here’s the strategy that I’ve been proclaiming from atop my soap box for the past few years:

A) Have your website built onto WordPress so that it is easy to create new blog posts

B) When you have a new piece of content that you want to tell your constituency about, post it on a blog post

C) Share the link to blog post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

D) At the beginning or end of the month, drop an excerpt of your 2 best posts into an email

E) When you have something really good, reach out to the local media to see if it could run in the newspaper or television

Why?

Because here’s the deal: Grandpa reads the newspaper, my dad (Harley Hank) gets his news via email, my older sister is on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, and by the time you get down to the high schoolers if your not using mobile you aren’t reaching them AT ALL.

Maybe your not counting on high schoolers or even my generation at the moment for dollars, but rest assured…you will someday. I’ve seen a groundswell of interest in my demographic from organizations who were once closed off to most people, but now because of drops in interest from Generation X and the boomers, they are trying to skip down to my generation and form bridges. Because the real truth is that if you aren’t capturing new people, eventually your base will all be in the morgue. This must be all to easy to see from some of the staple restaurants in Dayton that have closed because of their inability to reach out to new customers.

I know too many organizations who are talking about this, but refuse to do anything about it. I encourage all of you reading this, to reach out to me or even another marketing firm and start getting these pieces moving, because the day that your organization closes it’s doors won’t be because of a big blow, it will come in the form of a thousand paper cuts that you ignore.

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