08 Apr The angels of PR
Looking at effective PR techniques through world leaders
What do Oprah Winfrey, President Obama and Richard Branson have in common? Bloody good PR skills.
While President Obama really changed the way we receive political information by way of embracing both traditional and new media opportunities – did you know that he has thousands of images on the White House Flickr photo-stream? Other leaders who follow in his stride include Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson. Oprah is coined as America’s media mogul and uses personal experiences, candidly revealing her vulnerabilities, to reach her viewers on an emotional level. This technique makes her viewers connect with her as they would with close friends. The trust developed between Oprah and her viewers sets a solid foundation for brand development. And Richard Branson, who is a PR master uses outrageous, over the top public stunts to his favour. He dressed up in a wedding dress to launch Virgin Brides, drove a tank down Fifth Avenue in New York City to launch a soft drink and appeared as a Qantas flight attendant after losing a bet that was amplified on social media.
All in all, these leaders always seem to be ready with a quotable quip and isn’t this why we love PR? The sheer brilliance of it all! PR can deliver a brand credibility because the media help propagate the message. PRs are clever at communicating the messages about a brand without explicitly appearing to sell it.
In the absence of have these world leaders at our finger tips, why not try considering our top three techniques to elevate your next PR activity.
In a digitally disrupted world there’s so much white noise that consumers often can’t remember what they read yesterday yet alone this morning. Brands that exercise traditional communication tactics often hide information they feel is vulnerable to their reputation. But this shouldn’t be so. Transparency means companies should no longer appear to be hiding anything from their customers or stakeholders and it should be a staple to their brand promise. Why? Doing so will help create new levels of trust between you and your stakeholders, and that will lead to a great, long lasting marriage.
Allow your brand to be the expert
A great PR strategy enables a brand or company to have its messages placed among key media in a variety of different ways. We’re not referring to tailored media releases for different outlets rather having a variety of bloggers, reporters, industry experts and influencers cite the brand or company as an expert for your “story.” This approach can achieve optimum exposure – both in visibility and value.
Let’s take an example. It’s fine to say your yoghurt tastes delicious and is the highest source of protein than any other yoghurt on the market – this may get you a product supplement but will the content really convert into sales? Why not offer your audience something or someone that is inspirational for the brand and tell your story on an emotional or authoritative level. Invest in clever endorsements or partnerships like a well-known fitness guru or dietitian who appeals to your brand personality and audience. Building trust and relevance between a brand and consumer is paramount in PR.
Tell your story creatively
Data is necessary, but people respond to stories, not numbers. You don’t need a large budget to be creative. Use your smartphone and tell a story through a slide show of images or video. Match your content to platforms and audiences – LinkedIn is best for business; Twitter serves a more general audience, and Facebook is more personal. To tell your story, collaborate with people. Work with passionate leaders and organisations who are fighting for the same story.
Last but not least, communicate with your audience. If it’s a journalist pick up the phone; if it’s a consumer, why not suggest calling them and ask if you could do anything better. Personification and traditional relationship building is a wonderful PR practice that is often over shadowed by today’s digital overload.
So, are you ready to be brave and bold in your PR execution? We’d love to hear from you and welcome your comments in the feeder below. But for now we’ll leave you with a bit of Branson inspo:
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group.