“Make sure that if you are redistributing budgets that it’s done strategically, thoughtfully and without silencing your brand’s voice at a time when it should be heard. Use this time to build your PR and brand to be stronger for the future.” – Jade Roberts
In the essence of the situation we are in right now, I wanted to spotlight the importance of PR at times like these or more specifically, in dare I say it a ‘crisis’. The brands that survive on the other side of this will be the ones we want to buy into because we connect with them and because we believe in the cause that we’re advancing by investing with them.
Regardless of whether you run a small business and your public relations is managed by you or someone in-house or you run a multi-national and need to redistribute or slim-line budgets; these ideas will help you keep PR activated at a time when your voice needs to be heard.
I want you to consider what makes things shopped. People support brands they know, like and trust. And a big part of this comes from third party endorsement – either from friends or placement in the media (and social media). Mostly though it comes from friends and peers. And your friends discover brands through other friends, who discover products and services through content. A form of PR is content. And PR is what might save your business right now. But that content needs to be giving and not selling. It needs to be value based. And it needs to be centred on a cause beyond yourself. As we look for more connection, more meaning, and more purpose; we will shop with the businesses that deliver this.
Brands are shopped for the most part by word-of-mouth. And businesses are talked about when their unique stories within the brand are shared, connected to and remembered. The story comes first, the product or service comes second and then the word-of-mouth through visible content supports the purchase cycle of that business.
The businesses that become enduring brands are the ones that are consistently visible through content centred on story. In order to effect behaviour and achieve perpetual growth or sustain your brand position you need to continue sharing your brand story, especially now. It is not the time to be silent when people are looking for connection and for trust in brands. And it is the authenticity and human side of a business that helps to build trust and connect us to the brands we love and continue to shop with.
So, while your business might need to pull back on media spend, SEM and ad words, campaign shoots and asset rich marketing campaigns you definitely shouldn’t be kyboshing your communications (social media, blogs, linked in articles, regular newsletters, content ideas that give back to your audience and generate user generated content etc.) or at least not completely.
And make sure that if you are redistributing budgets that it’s done strategically thoughtfully and without silencing your brand’s voice at a time when it should be heard. Now’s the time, as always to build your PR and brand to be stronger for the future.
By Jade Roberts.
Jade Roberts is the founder and creative director of raraPR, a boutique creative PR agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade is dedicated to changing the discourse around what PR is, how it works and educates and implements sustainable PR strategies for businesses doing good in a kind PR environment centred on mentorship. Jade is a published writer for both national magazines and retail brands and has extensive agency and in-house consumer-led PR and brand strategy experience across two decades.