Intelligent comms: the secret to successful brand PR

By
HEATHER-ANN CODY


From media drops with exploding glitter bombs and lighting up global landmarks, A-list celebs and star-studded launch events, brands are competing for every millisecond of your attention.

But when the average person can only stay focused for a second less than a goldfish (just eight seconds), how do we keep our heads above water, build an effective brand PR strategy, and more importantly, shape consumer attitudes and behaviour?

Enter intelligent communications. The brand PR landscape has seen rapid change and development in recent years. So how do we stay ahead? Here’s how.

1. Think strategy

Every strong brand PR plan starts with a clear objective – what is it we want to achieve? The answer lies in the overarching business strategy. Put simply, when it comes to brand PR, the end goal is to sell more product or services.

A strong brand PR strategy flows from your business strategy, where clear objectives are met with meaningful, outcome-driven tactics. This eliminates what we often call ‘tick-the-box PR’—matching a popular celebrity face with a product or service for the sake of it. The wrong partnership eats budget with little return.

2. Think social, but be social

Social media is shaping the world we live in—and reshaping public relations as we know it.

In a rapidly evolving digital age, social media is an integral part of any brand PR campaign. However, even with the rise of social media, traditional media (newspapers, broadcast and online news) still add value, always.

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Understanding the media and how it works has never been more important. This starts with a good conversation and bringing a good story.

Knowing what works for each individual journalist is crucial. While follow up calls have received backlash in the past, a strong news angle, tailored and personalised to the publication is a win win for both sides.   

3. Think influential, not influencer 

2017 saw the rise of the influencer. With a focus on reach, we saw everyday women and men shoot to stardom with some exceeding 150,000 social media followers.

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In 2018, this wild growth will normalise and we will see the rise of the micro-influencer. This influencer has a much smaller, niche following, but a highly engaged one. Engagement is what counts in brand PR—it drives action. 

It’s imperative for brands to get back to the fundamentals of relationship building, trust and transparency. Authenticity shines through every time.

Note: We have another #PR360Insight about how to work with influencers who align with your brand values and messaging.

4. Think data measurement—it adds to PR value

Beyond the basic fundamentals of measurement like data analysis, media monitoring and reach calculation, artificial intelligence software has the potential to capture tangible results and demonstrate the value of not only brand PR, but PR functions across all PR pillars (corporate, health, tech, public affairs etc).

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Put simply, it’s now possible to not only capture coverage, but provide analysis on share of voice against competitors, track conversation topics, and provide audience insight.

Combine this data with professional insight and we now have the capability to predict consumer behaviours, and inform businesses what they need to do, how and when, with tangible results.


HEATHER-ANN CODY

Heather-Ann is a Senior Client Manager on the brand team at PR360. She develops and executes strategic communication plans to build brand profile and reputation through creative flair. She brings the positivi-TEA to the team!