In today’s communication environment, with its round-the-clock social media and perpetual news cycle, investing in public relations and narrative marketing is a fundamental aspect of brand success.
Recent studies have indicated that more businesses are investing more in PR and targeted marketing. That’s a good thing, but how can you be sure your investment will bring you optimal returns?
Invest in more than communication
It’s terrific to get excited about marketing communication and delivering brand narratives, just be sure your internal infrastructure is prepared for both the task and the results. You need the right people in the right places on the team to create, deliver, and maintain your narrative, and you also need people who can act to protect that message and maximize the impact without ceding control of the narrative to opinion makers outside of your team.
The lesson here is to think of public relations as a distinct budget line item, rather than just one more bullet under “general marketing.” When considering resources, you need the time and team to manage your message optimally.
PR is not just about telling your story as you would like it told—it’s about telling your story in a way that your target audience will connect with, then act on. For some brands, this is simple. They have a dynamic and interesting story imbedded in their DNA. For others, this can be more of a challenge. They don’t have an immediately connective bio to promote, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a story.
For some companies, narrative is about explaining “who” they are, rather than “where” they came from. Your “authentic” story could be where, when, and how you’re brand and the people who make it run are working to invest in the local or global community.
Understand what is and what’s not newsworthy
Not everything your company does is newsworthy. Sure, it might be interesting or important to you, but, will your audience really care? Learn how to differentiate between stories that will get immediately deleted and those that will catch the attention of you audience, whether that audience is your customers, or the opinion maker connected to them.
Invest in building relationships
Fundamentally, public relations is about relationships. It’s about connection, investment, interaction, and exchange. It’s about offering people something to grab onto, a message or narrative that creates emotion, a story that makes sense and adds value to the audience. If your stories are too self-absorbed, if they reek of self-aggrandizement rather than authentic connection, you will just add to the noise. But, if you’re message is authentic, connective, and audience-focused, you can cut right through the white noise and bluster and get right to the heart of your market.