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The role of humanization in successful PR campaigns

by | Apr 2, 2018 | Analysis, Public Relations

One of a business’s biggest hurdles is “relatability.” In order for people to connect with your brand, they have to understand it and see it as human.

Fortunately, you should be able to humanize your company through strategic PR and marketing.

Humanizing your brand to make it relatable

At a basic level, we all seek community, relationships, and healthy interactions with other people. At the very core of the human experience is the desire for person-to-person connection.

The problem from a business standpoint is that many organizations focus so much on corporate branding that they forget about the central role of relatability. Thus, they develop crisp, clean brands that look terrific on the surface, but fail to resonate with the individual consumer.

From a PR perspective, brands can respond to this innate desire by humanizing their image. Happily, this can level the playing field for small firms that have significantly fewer resources than large organizations that command massive PR and marketing departments.

Humanizing a brand is nevertheless a challenging task. It requires you to breathe life into an inanimate object that’s essentially a conglomeration of logos, color schemes, and abstract values.

But if you dig in and study the organizations that have done an effective job of humanizing their brand, you’ll recognize a few things you have to get right if you want to be successful.

1. Fresh content

Content is the currency of digital marketing. If you want to engage people online (which is a must these days), you need a content strategy.

But more than pumping out a bunch of generic blog posts and press releases, you need content that is fresh and engaging to your audience. What does fresh, engaging content look like? This article from Healthy Hemp Oil is a good example.

It tells the personal story of an epileptic 6-year-old girl who was suffering more than 300 seizures a week and couldn’t find a cure … until her parents stumbled on a CBD oil that healed her almost overnight. Talk about heartfelt content!

You might not be able to come up with a story quite this compelling, but surely elements of your brand are relatable to your audience. Zero in on them and get these little anecdotes to propel your brand forward.

2. Social listening

Content is a highly visible example of how organizations humanize their brand successfully in the marketplace. But it’s not the only way. In fact, it’s just a minor example in the grand scheme of PR and branding.

“[It’s] about 70% listening and 30% content,” says Joe Strupek, assistant VP of public affairs at State Farm Insurance, which has made tremendous strides in humanizing its brand over the past decade. “I think we would all agree that you learn more by listening and helping than you do just publishing.”

Thanks to social networking—and the rise of powerful tools—listening to customers is easier than ever. You simply have to be proactive.

3. Strategic use of humor

One of the things that sets humans apart from inanimate objects (and even animals) is that we possess a sense of humor. If you want your brand to connect with people, you need to respect this and find a way to leverage a characteristic and strategic sense of humor that connects with your target market. Social media platforms such as Instagram are the perfect place for this.

Breathe life into your brand

There’s nothing easy about bringing a brand to life and shaping it into something that thousands of people may connect with. But don’t let a lack of resources hold you back from trying to devise a relatable brand.

By focusing on the principles highlighted in the above article, your business—regardless of size—can stand out and engage people on a meaningful level.

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Larry Alton
Larry Alton is a freelance tech and computer writer

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