In the Midwest, summer is finally approaching. For many of us, this means planning for cabin season. Let’s say you really want to escape the city this year, so you plan a trip up the North Shore of Minnesota (yes, after Grand Marais is finally thawed out from its spring snowstorms). If you live in Chicago or even Milwaukee, you could fly into Duluth and rent a car to head north. What about a train? Or a bike?

How you reach your destination depends on your priorities. And different modes of transportation (or channels) allow us to have different experiences.

When it comes to communications, finding the best channel for your message can work the same way. We have so many channels to choose from, and each one offers a different experience. The problem is, many of us get stuck in the same old rut: media relations.

That’s not to say that media relations shouldn’t be one road on the interstate system of communication channels. In fact, we pride ourselves on media relations – we have an entire group of experts (over 30) that are dedicated to excelling in it. But a marketing program that relies only on media relations means you’re missing out on all sorts of opportunities to reach buyers through other channels – giving them a whole universe in which to experience your brand.

To truly understand the best channels for your buyers, you’ll need to do some work. Talk to them, survey them, gather other research and create your own insights. Find out which channels they use most, which ones do they trust or avoid? How and when are they gathering data? What kind of road blocks do they face on a daily basis?

That’s just the beginning. But once you understand your buyer preferences you can more easily match up key messages to preferred channels. Like the person who chooses a protein breakfast shake versus one who prefers a maple bacon long john – the same thing won’t resonate with each of your different buyers. Customizing is key.

So, get out of that rut. Explore new roads and make stronger connections with your buyers – not only through media relations but on all the channels buyers are using to learn about your brand. And, if you’re heading to the North Shore, don’t forget to make a stop at the World’s Best Donuts bakery (no, but seriously they are). It’s one stop on the road you just simply must make.

Ready to see more? Download Padilla’s full guide: “Are You Forcing Your Brand to Carpool?”

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