Se­cret PR brand build­ing weapons

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

IN times past, public re­la­tions (PR) was a fairly pre­dictable dis­ci­pline. Stan­dard strate­gies like press tours, tradeshows, press re­leases and launch events drove the bulk of a com­pany’s brand story.

Then like many other in­dus­tries rapid in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy dis­rup­tions changed the way sto­ries were cre­ated, told and shared.

Through­out it all one con­stant re­mained un­changed. At its core, the art and essence of PR comes down to one thing: sto­ry­telling.

Ev­ery brand, tech­nol­ogy, prod­uct, and per­son has a story to tell. Whether you are a busi­ness of five peo­ple or a For­tune 50 com­pany, you need to know how tell your story the right way, at the right time, to the right peo­ple.

How do you do it? Be­low are three PR prin­ci­ples.

1. The story comes first. PR prac­ti­tion­ers need to be sto­ry­tellers that un­der­stand ev­ery nu­ance of the busi­ness. There are both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions benefits when they are en­grained from the start. What is the com­pany’s vi­sion? How do the prod­ucts peo­ple cre­ate bring that vi­sion to life? What is the busi­ness po­si­tioned to do that no­body else can do? How will you make the life of your cus­tomers and part­ners bet­ter? What is the mission ev­ery­one will make pos­si­ble? Ev­ery one of th­ese ques­tions must be ad­dressed as a com­pany works to builds its brand and its cul­ture. How do you do this? You lit­er­ally need to take the time to write the sto­ries you want tell. What do you want peo­ple to feel when they read or hear about your brand? Sit­ting down and writ­ing the story will help you iden­tify gaps and weak­nesses. Be bru­tally hon­est. If you don’t have all the pieces to tell a great story, then you should not be telling the story yet. 2. The three cru­cial lev­els to pull PR is more than just me­dia re­la­tions. That is still an im­por­tant el­e­ment, but there are at least three ma­jor levers ev­ery com­pany needs to con­sider when it comes to telling their story: tra­di­tional, syn­di­cated and owned. How do you do this? Tra­di­tional: You still need to de­velop re­la­tion­ships with key press fig­ures that fol­low your in­dus­try. Whether it is The Wall Street Jour­nal, USA To­day, The New York Times or a trade pub­li­ca­tion, you need to cul­ti­vate and main­tain press re­la­tion­ships so you can help them tell the sto­ries and re­port the news to their read­ers. Syn­di­cated: Syn­di­ca­tion oc­curs when com­pa­nies have re­la­tion­ships with on­line prop­er­ties to pro­duce tai­lored or spe­cific con­tent for their reader. Ev­ery day thou­sands of brands syn­di­cate as the world of 24/7 on­line me­dia re­quires fresh and in­ter­est­ing con­tent. The best way to do this is to un­der­stand what you have to of­fer that a me­dia en­tity would find valu­able. Data, sur­veys, cus­tomer in­sights and other as­sets you have might be per­fect for oth­ers to lever­age. Owned: The fu­ture of PR will be owned con­tent. As­sets you cre­ate that bring your story to life in a way that cre­ates some type of emo­tional con­nec­tion with your cus­tomers. Whether it is a blog post, a pod­cast or video con­tent, this trend will con­tinue as more com­pa­nies look to have a di­rect con­ver­sa­tion with their cus­tomers.

3. PR is a profit cen­tre, not a cost cen­tre. The ROI on PR is off the charts. When you think about all the places your story goes and the im­pact it has, you sim­ply can’t af­ford to not in­vest in the dis­ci­pline. Be­cause it’s not some­thing that can be hacked and re­quires tremen­dous pa­tience to see the pay­off, some com­pa­nies tend to look at PR as an over­head ex­pense. In re­al­ity PR should be seen as a profit cen­tre. From re­cruit­ment to SEO growth and busi­ness devel­op­ment, PR can serve as a cat­a­lyst that gets your brand in front of the right peo­ple as you scale your busi­ness. How do you do this? Like any other part of the busi­ness suc­cess comes down to one as­set: the peo­ple. At Porch we are a very small team (me and three oth­ers) and we don’t use an agency. At the end of the day your story is your in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. Through the ups and downs of a busi­ness the one thing that never fades is your story, and that is not some­thing you should put in ex­ter­nal hands and it is not some­thing you un­der in­vest in. — En­tre­pre­neur.

You need to take the time to write the sto­ries you want tell about your brand.

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