Why authenticity is essential for long-term business success

“At the end of the day, we want to ensure what we’re doing is supporting the business goals of an organization,” says Anna Crowe, founder and CEO of Crowe PR in her interview for the PR Profiles podcast. “And if we get too far down the line of tactics and don’t stand back to look at strategy, we may end up doing things that aren’t important or impactful but keep us busy.”

Aligning with the goals of an organization is essential in an economic downturn if you want to avoid becoming an “expense” that gets cut. Anna says for PR that means “identifying ways to monetize what we do” and “making sure that we’re communicating the value of public relations; making sure that we have an analytics piece to PR and integrated marketing in general.”

While quantitative analysis is often essential for proving ROI—particularly to the C-suite—Anna says qualitative is just as important. “Is the messaging getting through? Are we making an impact? Are we seeing increased interest? Those are things that truly matter, especially when there are tough economic conditions ahead.” Indeed, Anna thinks such conditions are when organization’s need to “double down and invest for the long-term [in] the sustainability of your company or your brand.”

To help highlight the importance of long-term thinking to her clients, Anna uses ads as an example. “You can spend $10,000 and make back $15,000, and that’s great, but when you turn those ads off, you see the impact.” Ads are often a short-term gain. They get your product or brand in front of someone, but as the saying goes: out of sight out of mind. On the other hand, PR and communications focuses on building relationships that go beyond the ad experience. “You have to think about the qualitative and the long-term potential of your company and your brand in addition to the short-term gains,” says Anna.

An essential component of building brand to Anna is the compelling story communicated in an authentic way. Authenticity is a topic she discusses in her book, Get Real: The Power of Genuine Leadership, a Transparent Culture, and an Authentic You. “I cover brand authenticity and how to craft brands that stand for something that have a powerful why that is consistent, and you’re able to communicate.”

An example of that authenticity is the work Anna has done with client, Skrewball Whiskey, the original peanut butter whiskey. “For us, it’s all about authenticity and how do we really identify the right stakeholders—who are the drinkers, the brand aficionados of this customer—and then speaking to them in the right way. So [that means] messaging, storytelling, the right outlets, the right methods of delivery, and the right influencers as well.”

While having the fastest growing spirit brands in America in the last two years has been rewarding, Anna says “having this company contribute to the economy, create jobs, give back to causes, has been really impactful as well.” Skrewball Whiskey stands for something. “During Covid, we helped execute a Skrew COVID campaign that gave money to those people who lost their jobs in the hospitality industry and the restaurant industry. Being part of that bigger story in addition to the brand itself, has been really rewarding and powerful for our entire team.”

The full interview with Anna is available as a podcast or on the Agility PR Solutions YouTube channel.