Tag Archives: branding

Why a coherent brand message is so important

image(17)Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” – Malcolm Forbes

Building a brand identity today is a strategic part of developing a business; it’s the defining
difference between having something people can relate to, and just having a standing product or service.

When it comes to branding initiatives, the early stages are the most critical – the stages where developing a story and persona that your audience can attach to the product or service will set the stage for what happens next.

The problem companies find themselves in is not clearly defining these objectives before they get to market. Many times over, products, services, or businesses will make their break in the market and fail because of a lack of coherent messaging. More often than not, the lack of clearly defined objectives is exhibited across all communication channels. Inconsistent tonality, different visual assets and varying language will lead to confused consumers – ultimately, causing a break in the chain from market to consumer.

Whether it’s the company website, social media, or promotional material that’s being
disseminated to the public, all messaging needs to sound consistent. For a product or service
to sell itself, it has to sell an idea to the consumer, but capitalize this across their
communication channels. In other words, the messaging and brand identity should sound the same on your website and Facebook, as it does on Twitter and Instagram.

Although each platform sends out communication in a different manner, what makes these
vital to growing an audience is the specific way it interacts with those audience members. If you call your brand fun, engaging and emotionally driven, but don’t respond to customer inquiries or interact with them on Twitter, your brand isn’t holding true to its values. Platforms that look inconsistent, or do not communicate certain values to the public, will not amplify the brand identity.

In the initial stages of development, a critical component of building a brand is to seek the
advice of communication professionals who can help develop core messages to accompany the launch. These messages can be used to build your platforms, and can ensure that all individuals working on the account understand exactly what the company stands for and where it will progress in the market.

Thoughts on how to build a coherent brand message? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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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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Social Media & the #GoldenGlobes

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From trending #hashtags, to selfies, to live updates on red carpet couture, this year’s Golden Globes were no exception towards the social media craze. Everyone watching the red carpet event experienced just how influential social media can be for a night at the Globes. E! coverage even went as far as to predict potential trending hashtags prior to the beginning of the red
carpet, all pertaining to the fashion expected throughout the night.

So what makes the use of social media unique in this instance? In terms of the Golden Globes, capitalizing on the use of social media throughout the entire night not only gives great
opportunities for earned media, but also enables viewers at home to be apart of the night.
Influence inspires influence! Trending topics throughout the night helped to frame the best and worse dressed lists for fashion mavens across the blogosphere today. Not to mention the overuse of the Mani Cam. By being able to voice your opinion on not only the fashion, but also the coverage and award winners brings a new experience towards the show.

Furthermore, actors and actresses live tweeting throughout the event generates buzz and
anticipation that sometimes will foster more media coverage. This also includes how quickly events of the night can spread onto the worldwide web. Viewers took to twitter to voice their opinion on a pop-up bubble presented by E! which informed the year in which Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – wrongfully labeled as a “Fun Fact.” This proves that earned media comes in the form of both negative and positive reviews. It is important to keep in mind that your viewership is a stakeholder, and can dramatically impact coverage by their share of voice online. Skipping over this distasteful wording is just the thing to spark controversy and negative coverage. While social media can be useful, it’s also beneficial to remember that the time-lapse is much shorter for correcting mistakes that may occur.

How else did you see social media being used? Join in on the conversation @Sam__Dickson!

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