Tag Archives: brand

The PR Story: Why controlling the narrative matters

image-93“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.” Errol Flynn

For professionals in the public relations industry, a part of our job description is storytelling. We’re tasked with the goal of creating a story to go behind a brand, a product, or our client. It is a chance for us to think strategically about how we want our clients to be represented in their industry, as well as to their target audience.

The story that is created is a valuable asset. It is a unique representation of your client that helps differentiate themselves in the market, and to help establish ways for their audience to identify with their brand. Alongside any valuable asset come potential threats that could
compromise its worth.

Whether you’re facing a product recall, an offensive commercial, or a political candidate that has alienated a group of constituents, you lose control of the story. The story is now in the hands of the public, and how they view the narrative from the outside in is the only thing
framing their judgment.

As PR professionals, we are responsible for regaining control of the story. In other words, telling the narrative as it is within the organization. It’s about being transparent and honest to regain the respect of your most important stakeholders. Every hour in a crisis is crucial time. The longer you take to tell your side of the story, the more time the public and the media has to
create the story for you. It’s natural for humans to logically create reason, when reason isn’t given.

The point to drive home in this article is why controlling the narrative matters. For every minute you spend analyzing the crisis, your audience is losing faith in your ability to tell the truth. “Tell it all, tell it fast, and tell the truth” is the crisis management motto. As PR professionals, we have the skill-set to create the story. The story that is created for you isn’t always going to be the truth, making it difficult for you to reestablish trust with your stakeholders. The challenge is to tell the story before it’s created for you.

Why else does controlling the narrative matter? Sound off in the comments below or tweet me @Sam__Dickson.

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New Year, New You: Keeping your brand alive

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Whether you are your own brand, or you have a constructed a brand separate from your
identity, it always seem that as you grow your brand grows with you. Enter the “new year, new you” mantra. Although it is important to keep parts of your brand consistent, it never hurts to hit refresh and improve areas of your brand in order to stay ahead. Keeping up with trends, whether it’s technology or industry related changes, also means shifting your brand to reflect those changes.

With a new year ahead, it’s a great time to start benchmarking goals for 2014 and planning out strategies for where you want to take your brand. If you’re looking to gain more awareness for your blog, perhaps you can start brainstorming new topic ideas. This might also mean taking a look at what generates the most amount of traffic to your website. The great part of a new year is being able to reflect upon what has worked in the past and what hasn’t.

Another way to keep your brand alive may be to consider ways to incorporate new elements into your brand. Using a blogging brand as an example, if you mainly focus on reviewing makeup and beauty products, consider other topics you enjoy that you could include as a new segment. If you enjoy staying active, create a segment on looking and feeling your best. A good reminder is to keep content fresh and exciting to encourage your readers to come back for more. This advice also applies towards product brands. In order to keep you customers returning, as well as capture new ones, you have to reinvent the face of your product sometimes to foster new appeal. Revitalizing an old product or brand gives it a new look, but still maintains the essence of what it’s trying to offer.

My “new year, new you” mantra serves to remind yourself of the possibilities, and encourage you to make changes even if they aren’t needed. Sometimes getting wrapped up in the idea “if it’s working, don’t fix it” is only preventing us from making something better. Instead of being afraid of change, embrace the potential it holds for your brand. It might be risky, but it might also be worth it!

What are some of your 2014 goals?

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Content Strategies: Creating Quality Material

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
- Maya Angelou

It goes without saying that everyone loves an easy and enjoyable read. Connecting with your
audience is a pivotal part of brand building and engagement. One area of struggle individuals, companies, and/or organizations run into is creating good content. More specifically, there is
always difficulty in conjuring up new and refreshing content that makes your audience want to act on. Whether it’s an article for your company blog, or a Facebook post promoting a new
product line, being strategic about your material can help boost interaction. But, how?

First, it’s important to research and understand your audience. Sometimes companies can make the mistake of assuming they know who their audience is without really taking the time to look into the demographic breakdown. A simple error made in promoting aspects of a company is reaching out to individuals who aren’t necessarily your largest audience. Take time to create
surveys, focus groups, and scan your platforms to see what ages are interacting with your
services. If you understand your audience, messages and content can be tailored towards them.

As well, it’s important to monitor and track what content is drawing in the most engagement. When you first begin producing content, take note of which articles and posts get the most
interaction. If topics that focus on social media monitoring get more attention than say, topics on employee management, perhaps your audiences want more messages tailored towards
social media usage. Also, be sure to use your analytic tools and metrics. These are a valuable
resource for determining which posts get the most interaction from users.

Another suggestion is to think outside the box. This means producing content that is creative and fun. In order to encourage your audience to participate with your content, you need to make sure that its worthy of engagement. If your company isn’t the type to usually make videos, perhaps it’s time to vary up the method of content production. To measure what your audience engages with, you need to vary up the methods for producing the content. Sometimes the least expected methods draw the most interaction. Creativity also means changing things up. Maybe have guest posts, interviews or Q&A sessions with industry professionals. The goal of your
content is to give your audience more reasons for interacting with your brand.

What are some of your suggestions for creating good content?

Sound off below, or tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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