In a world of fake news, personal data storage and product placement in our favourite Netflix shows, it’s easy to understand why consumer trust is becoming an ever-increasing concern for business owners.
Public relations, branding and reputation management are now more important than ever â€“ in order to attract new prospects, retain customers and boost brand loyalty.
Although winning customer trust and loyalty may seem simple, it often involves a tedious game of media engagement, social media prowess and reputation management. Therefore, having a robust branding and public relations strategy, with the patience to build your reputation over time, is pivotal to ensure your business stands out from the crowd.
While advertising may be a key component of promoting your business, it’s integral to have a comprehensive branding and public relations strategy focused on long-term business goals. This is because ill thought-out advertising promotions often create a knee-jerk campaign that lacks cohesion and lasting benefits.
One example of an incredible advertising campaign that fell short of any long-term branding goals is the Old Spice ads from 2010. The ads featured a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa shifting from one paperback-romance scenario to another, suggesting â€˜your man’ could be far more appealing if he stopped using lady-scented body washes and switched to Old Spice.
Although the campaign was a raging success and saw sales increase exponentially, Old Spice forgot the golden rule: creating a sensation is easy, but maintaining it is hard. Where they fell short was failing to utilise the massive social media engagement the campaign inspired. It was the perfect opportunity for the brand to engage with its customers on a personal level, however, the opportunity was lost, with the sales spike soon plateauing and no long-term brand growth achieved.
So, how can you make the most of your brand?
Pairing effective advertising with a public relations strategy is not always as easy as it seems. A few key points to consider when developing your strategy include:
- Determining what your long-term business goals are and how public relations and branding can help achieve them
- Objectively assessing your current branding and communication efforts to determine where there is room for improvement
- Knowing your target audience and how to reach them by ensuring you are active on all platforms and mediums relevant to your industry
- Developing your messaging to suit each of your different stakeholder groups
- Ensuring your branding style is consistent from the type of font you use to the conversation style you adopt
- Developing quality content or activities of interest to your customers and timing them as part of a comprehensive and thought-out strategy to maximise results
- Considering potential reputational risks and crises, so you are fully equipped to handle them if they arise
- Ensuring you measure what works and what doesn’t, so you can continually improve
- Listening to and engaging with your customers.
So, when considering how to promote your business, remember the age-old adage, “Advertising is saying you’re good, PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”
Get in touch to discuss how to grow your business.