As Bryan Haviland recently wrote in an outstanding article on why PR is everything in brand management: ‘Boards of Directors, top-level executives and brand managers take heed: If you don’t yet have a PR counsellor in a position of power within your organisation you’re playing Russian roulette with your brands reputation.’
PR is not and never has been simply media relations. Brands are waking up to the fact that deploying PR to create, manage and refresh their ever-present online brands is essential to ensure a successful user experience and to maintain solid relationships. However the way we form, engage and maintain these relationships is changing, and as result so has PR. So what does PR offer us today?
If ‘Content is King’ then PR is its rain maker!
Nobody does content better than a PR professional. As Haviland wrote ‘PR has always been about testing the audience waters; researching & listening then expertly crafting and packaging stories designed to inform, persuade and solicit reaction.'
This is about a two way conversation and recognising that no one likes to be sold to so blatantly. Instead ‘that real value is created when brands form genuine authentic relationships with all audiences vital to their successes’. This is also the very essence of Community Management which is essential in engaging and understanding your user.
So what does content offer a brand?
‘Attract, engage, convert’ Lee Odden TopRank Marketing;
When executed properly, content marketing creates and distributes valuable, relevant and consistent content to the right audience at the right time. This defines, attracts and retains audiences driving profitable customer engagement and acquisition.
As Haviland says ‘content marketing puts PR professionals at the top of the brand management food chain’ as understanding your public or audience and establishing good relationships has always been central to PR.
How do you navigate and steer your way around the ever evolving marketplace?
The digital world doesn’t sleep, with more content being generated every day than had been previously generated from the dawn of time up until 2003. Every minute there are 350,000 tweets, 2.5 million Facebook posts of content and 220,000 photos posted on Instagram! Influencers also now come in many shapes and sizes and no longer simply live behind desks of large publishing houses. As a result we have had to re-think how we engage and maintain those solid relationships
Yet the rules of effective engagement are the same:
1. Understand your customer’s viewpoint 2. Provide relevant observations on conversational topics that are of interest to your audience. 3. Build trust through participation in those conversations 4. With time earn a reputation of genuine value.
As people buy from people they like, trust and can identify with PR has always put people at the front of brands campaigns. This helps create ambassadors for the brand, and builds connection with the audience they wish to engage with.
This is the essence of good PR.
Protect and promote reputations
With on average 6000 tweets every second, reputations that might have taken ’20 years to build can take 5 minutes to ruin’ as Warren Buffet once famously said. PR has always been about doing the right thing, then making sure the right people know about it at the right time through the most relevant media channel. So if you are looking to build, protect and maintain your brand and relationships with your audience invest in good PR. The Work Crowd connects some of the world’s most innovative companies directly to our trusted network of independent PR and Communications professionals.
For free tips on how to do PR and get your business in the press download our PR Toolkit.