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June 2018

275 183 Emma Macharia

Building your brand through Public Relations

With the pace of the technological innovation, the needs and desires of consumers change faster than ever. Companies need to keep up with these changes, adapting their brands to the ways people are communicating.

PR professionals understand this more than anyone and are always on the lookout for new ways to shape the brand strategy around the latest trends.

An essential aspect of a modern comms strategy is timing; it’s now more vital than ever that a company knows when it’s time to shift their brand message, with buy in from the C-Suite and that companies agree to consider a PR communications-first approach.

How Brands Have Changed

Historically, the idea of branding was a static concept focused on the way a company looked—the logo, the style guide, etc.—and how it made people feel. Nowadays, brands are dynamic; they breathe, live, and grow with the market and consumer preferences.

A comms team can encourage a brand to evolve by using some of what Dan Hill calls “PR Superpowers,” which include:

  • Leveraging influencer relationships
  • Understanding the new industry trends
  • Gaining insights from listening to their audiences, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more

The job of a communications team has gone from telling stories, to crafting one based on real data from their customers and market.

How to Be a Brand Leader

If PR professionals want to lead their company’s brand strategy, they need to assume the role of a “brand leader,” and not just a “brand manager.

Here’s how Dan breaks down the differences between one and the other:

pr can lead

The key to becoming a brand leader is to be an active member of the communications team, think strategically, focus on the vision, and on the people that make the company.

Active Communication

In order to be able to listen to what the market and consumers are saying, a PR professional needs to implement an active communications strategy.

Active communication means that the PR professional needs to stop broadcasting messages and focus on creating an opportunity to listen to what their audience has to say, what they like, and how they behave. It means taking those insights and making actionable business decisions.

Brand Analytics

A communications team needs to be able to base its decisions and craft their brand’s story based on real data. To this extent, there is a suite of media intelligence tools that allow PR professionals to:

  • Find the right tone around a conversation, see the number of people having a given conversation, and their geo-location
  • Track key themes
  • Measure share of voice

This data allows a PR and marketing team to pinpoint and broadcast messages based on what an audience says they want to hear.

How to Build a Brand in Motion

If a brand wants to stay up to date with trends, it needs to stay competitive by:

  • Formulating clear and defined goals
  • Making data-driven decisions
  • Striving for continuous improvement
  • Focusing the mission on what it’s best at

You can see the differences between a brand in motion versus a static one:

pr can lead


Brands will continue to evolve. Instead of guessing what they need to do to create change, PR pros have a variety of media intelligence options that allow them to listen to their audience to evolve organically and market more actively. This opens up an opportunity for active audience engagement; find what your audience likes and with this information, improve the way you communicate messages.

PR can lead the way by implementing these tactics. Soon you’ll be on the road to cultivating a brand that is able to adapt, change, and grow exponentially.

By Ivan Kreimer


1024 683 Emma Macharia

The real power of a brand lies in memory

I have seen ‘brand’ referred to as if it were something to rank alongside production, supply chain and capital; a part of doing business rather than something reflective of how people remember their interaction with a brand. But to do so diverts attention from the importance to shaping and framing those memories to best effect.

The real power of a brand comes from its ability to alter future category choices in its favor: to make people more willing to buy the brand than they would be otherwise and pay the price asked. This is why it is so important to establish motivating feelings, ideas and associations linked to the brand in people’s memories, so that when they try to make up their own minds about a purchase those impressions shape the way they respond.

Brand is not just a thin veneer created by a distinctive logo, a nice design and some carefully crafted ads; it is everything that people experience, which means that whether a brand adds value to people’s lives is paramount. Experience of the product or service is ultimately going to trump anything else the brand owner says and does. But like everything else that experience is mediated by memory.

“There is confusion between experience & memories, we actually don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences.” Daniel Kahnemann

Only exceptional experiences make a difference to future behavior, most people do not think about their use of a brand, and most interactions leaves people’s memories unchanged, even if it might habituate them to using the brand. In the absence of a really positive experience that makes a customer feel valued marketing can frame their experience, influencing what people remember and guiding future purchase behavior.

Similarly, marketing activities that create positive memories before people even think about shopping a product category can influence what people remember when they do come to buy. The influence of this marketing is all the more powerful because exposure is decoupled from the purchase decision. People do not fear being manipulated by advertising because they cannot remember when or where their impression was formed.

Of course, this does not mean that marketers can forget about search marketing or sales activation, but now the challenge becomes one of triggering positive and motivating memories rather than trying to make a sales pitch, helping people respond to ideas and feelings that already exist rather than trying to create them on the fly.

So why do you think that so many people relegate ‘brand’ to being one more thing to do than encompassing everything people experience?

by Nigel Hollis


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4 Marketing Tasks You Can Automate

Save time and amplify your brand with marketing automation tools

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