Part 1: Building a brand begins with PR
According to ‘The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding’, “today, brands are built with publicity and maintained with advertising. The cart is now driving the horse.”
There was once a time when building a brand was as simple as creating a catchy slogan or an eye-grabbing advert, but the situation today could not be more different. The increasingly savvy consumer is seeking out ‘realness’, online platforms are proliferating and heightening the white noise, and competition to secure share of voice is fiercer than ever before. Billboards, newspapers and TV adverts are no longer where we find our news; they are being replaced by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other digital channels that have provided the world with a 24-hour, real-time, user-generated news-room.
In this context, traditional methods for building a brand hold almost no sway. So what has set PR apart and made it the go-to method for building a brand?
I believe this shift is based on the lasting credibility of PR, and the long-term role it plays in creating a positive and memorable perception for brands. While advertising now feels skin deep, PR goes deep into the client and consumer psyche to create all-encompassing strategies that are not only multi-channel but also multi-dimensional. Spanning print and online media, as well as on-ground events and activations, PR caters to the growing diversity of the global audience by crossing all touchpoints and meeting the consumer in the right place, at the right time, and with the right content.
Our work is not about slogans but about ‘lovemarks’ — a concept developed by the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi to describe brands that command both respect and love, and redefine the relationships people have with products, services and entities.
So what are the practical steps that PR professionals must take to build such a brand? I’ll be telling you exactly how in the next part of my blog.
Khaled Abu Hishme is Account Director at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA. |www.cbpr.me