Branding “Brand PR”
Public relations is changing radically and becoming more dynamic. As social media strategy and content marketing are rapidly informing and influencing corporate communication practice, visual storytelling is increasingly dominant as a means of conveying brand meaning to all audiences. More and more, direct-to-consumer and traditional media campaigns are becoming one and the same.
But this new media shift did not come out of a vacuum. Emerging professionals need a strong foundation in the fundamentals of PR. Clients expect it and need this journalistic lens for their messages 1) to have multilateral impact and 2) to remain effective in conveying their brands in an ever-changing media landscape.
Fineman PR practices a unique and highly focused approach to public relations that I dubbed “Brand PR,” which informs the framework of everything we do. Indulging in some agency history for a moment: In the early years of Fineman PR, there was a widely trending idea among marketers about everything Brand: brand advertising, brand identity, brand marketing, package branding and so on. However, there was a category void; no one at that time was talking about how public relations could effectively help a brand stand apart. I coined the term Brand PR and introduced it to the communications industry in order to, well, brand this intuitive approach which bridged market/consumer research and brand positioning to effective media relations. It was an exciting time; I went around the country – visiting potential clients, speaking at various forums, and publishing a newsletter to present my interpretation of how public relations could be an effective marketing option to win consumer trust and brand loyalty.
Today, Brand PR is a common professional communications concept and one that Fineman PR still specializes in. Throughout the years, I have been asked many times…what is Brand PR?
Brand PR takes category ownership of a message and value and provides authenticity, editorially and experientially. Its practice captures the brand’s distinctiveness and appeal, encapsulating the need it fills and what’s memorable; Brand PR defines the WOW.
At its core, Brand PR is the projection of a solid image – the basis on which we can apply new tools and techniques to have success. It is about parlaying an organization’s primary messages with a compelling story, emphasizing attributes that engage consumers and creating an “experience” with the brand. It is based on a set of values – what the brand’s “trustmark” adds to the product. Brand PR helps to make the brand promise so viscerally meaningful – in language, stories and messages – that other factors (price, for example) lose relevance.
While the core of our signature approach remains the same, the nuances have changed to adapt and evolved to meet the needs of today’s marketers.
With tactics aimed at integrating the brand into conversations about consumer trends and issues, our work is aimed at making the product a part of the rhetoric for any discussion of the need the brand fills. Of course, the storytelling and contributing tactics must be compelling, provocative, entertaining or, generally, communicated with visible activities and thought leadership.
Why else would anyone pay attention?