The business of effective communications

Adrian Bagnoli (left) and Brad Charleswor

Adrian Bagnoli (left) and Brad Charlesworth

Some businesses know the value of effective communications better than others. You can normally spot them. They’ve got rock solid foundations, a loyal following and success seems to come easy for them.

But scratch the surface and they work hard – probably harder then most – and the success is normally the result of years of work.

Nothing has pleased me more than to help develop the rise of Cubana into one of the region’s biggest independent bar/restaurants/ live music venues.

Late comers will only know them following their move into Leopold Square in 2014. If you were an early adopter you’ll remember their arrival on Trippet Lane in November 2000.

The roots of the operation actually started five years earlier courtesy of a club night – Viva Salsa!

Writing their press releases way back then was the first PR job I ever did outside of the local Government press office work I was doing at the time.

Sheffield had seen nothing like the regular mid-week event that visited various nightclubs in the mid-1990s with live salsa, international artists and dancing lessons.

There was no social media to help things along way back then. Photos had to be printed and posted to newspapers, press releases were sent by fax  and the only luxury was the odd mobile phone.

But we worked hard and even had the odd slot in The Guardian.

Cubana recently celebrated its 15th birthday and what a bash it was. They even brought in troupe of Brazilian Samba dancing girls.

There’s no doubt they’ve moved with the times. You Tube clips, social media on overdrive, banks of photo to tag and share on Facebook and more.

It came as no surprise when we got Cubana shortlisted at the Sheffield Business Awards – their high profile has helped attract visits from Latin luminaries spanning Buena Vista Social Club to Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara

Communications is a minefield in 2016. Too many channels, too little time.

The key to success is using the right  ones ultra effectively. But for all social media channels that come and go the strongest endorsement will always be real people.

Cubana has built an enviable following over the years and consistently delivered a quality product. They have the ability to generate incredible word-of-mouth publicity – that’s as good as it gets.

Many venues and businesses could learn a lot from their example.