Tag Archive for: brand trust

Purpose-driven public relations means the brand proactively builds incorporates values that impact social, cultural, and environmental issues. A true purpose-driven company makes corporate choices within its purpose framework, even when it means purpose over profits.

Truthfully, public relations aren’t purpose-driven, a brand is purpose-driven. Public relations is simply a lever a purpose-driven brand can use to improve the world around them. Building a purpose-driven brand is an inside-out job. They aren’t PR campaigns or PR ideas; they are a cultural way of thinking that’s internalized by everyone in the company.

[3 minute read]

The Importance of Internalizing Purpose

There are lots of ways a brand can support its customers, community, and the globe meaningfully. Cause partnerships, and donation campaigns, are all relevant PR campaigns, but they aren’t purpose-driven. Purpose-driven companies take the long view on purpose and impact.

Internalization distinguishes purpose-driven brands. When everyone from the Board, to the CEO to the janitor walks the talk of purpose, then a brand has authentically implemented a purpose-driven brand. This also means when employees face choices, they incorporate the purpose into their decision-making. This can include employee hiring, employee programs, purchasing, and product decisions. It also means employees feel safe in making a purpose-informed choice because they know they’re acting within the company’s ethos; their choice is supported and even celebrated.

 

Should Purpose-Driven Initiatives Even Have a PR Component?

The deciding factor on this issue is the “why,” behind the initiative. Every day, businesses from Fortune 500 all the way to emerging industries are making decisions that have a social impact, and most of the time, these decisions don’t get the credit they deserve. But it’s not one decision, or one campaign, or one person who makes purpose – it’s people moving in unison making decisions that impact millions.

For example, let’s take eggs. When you go to the grocery, you face a lot of buying choices. Cage-free eggs, organic eggs, local eggs, inexpensive eggs. Many of these egg producers are balancing product, purpose, and price. Even though the organic or cage-free eggs are more expensive, it’s likely the margins on those eggs are considerably less than the mass-produced eggs. It’s also very likely that the producers of the cage-free or organic eggs are making other choices that cost more – maybe they buy the more expensive food, maybe they supplement their electricity with solar power. These are all purpose-driven decisions that are really important, but they won’t make news. What may make the news is the impact or the multiple steps they take for their purpose might make news. The people behind these choices may have interesting stories to tell. There will be PR opportunities, but they require real storytelling. Therefore, it’s important to have experienced purpose-driven PR agencies who can tell ethos and purpose stories.

Brands should have PR at the table when incorporating purpose-driven ethos, but PR should be part of the purpose, not the purpose of the purpose.

 

Are Purpose-Driven Brands Born or Made?

Both and neither. Some brands are founded in purpose, we can all name a few. Other brands grow into purpose. Both are as legitimate as their ability to stick to their ethos. It’s important for both types of purpose-driven brands to be authentic. Just because a brand is founded in purpose doesn’t mean it won’t lose its way. And just because a brand develops purpose doesn’t entirely absolve them from past actions. All brands should be very careful with their initiatives because consumers are getting fantastic at sniffing out disingenuous missions. These disingenuous missions create consumer distrust and may even run afoul of today’s cancel culture. A brand is better off doing nothing than taking on duplicitous or insincere purpose-driven initiatives.

 

If your company is considering a purpose-driven plan, please download our guide and call us. We can help you and your team navigate the exciting opportunities – and avoid the pitfalls – for purpose-driven brands.

Hyper growth DTC brands appear to have some things in common. If you’re a DTC brand or the CMO of a DTC brand, the future looks bright. We also wanted to connect a few dots about emerging industries we think are going to be increasingly important.

  1. Average Order Value (AOV) is a Key Indicator of Hyper Growth DTC

    RetentionX has discovered the fastest growing DTC brands have a 55% higher AOV than everyone else. They attribute this high AOV to customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is a holistic and multi-discipline objective.

    But this is where DTC PR really shines.

    Brand loyalty comes from trust. Trust in the product and trust in the brand values. If you’re the CMO or founder of a DTC brand, customer loyalty is your key KPI for revenue growth. One strategy for increased customer loyalty is premium branding, and PR delivers. According to Morgan Stanley’s research, Apple’s premium DTC branding came through a sustained PR campaign that helped deliver  90% brand retention.

  2.  Voice Search: DTC’s Premier Opportunity

    55% of American households own a smart speaker in 2022, according to Juniper research. And according to Navar, slightly more than half of consumers use voice-activated search for things like groceries, and by 2030, the global AI-based and voice recognition market should reach $27.3 billion (insightSLICE).

    Voice activation is likely to take advantage of a multitude of signals, just like SEO. A great start, if you haven’t already gotten there, is making sure your product FAQs include “how,” “why,” and “what” questions. The type of questions your buyers are likely to ask in various stages of product consideration.

    While you’re at it, look at Google’s Review requirements, because these types of reviews are likely to play into voice search, at least on Google. From a trust perspective, combining your owned content with trusted third-party reviews is a home run. Also, remember the added benefit of media coverage is stickiness – what Google can count on when creating its interpretation of your online reputation, which will undoubtedly play into your voice-activated reputation as well.

  3. Partnerships For the Win

    From collabs to join placement and pop-ups and the metaverse, DTC brands can double their exposure by partnering on campaigns. These campaigns can get a huge amount of lift from PR initiatives like media relations and events.

    Forgetting the PR component of these opportunities really misses the chance to secure customer retention and new acquisition. While social media, especially social advertising, is a must-have for DTC brands, DTC brands can look at the PR around partnerships as an opportunity to decouple their dependence on social media.

Purpose-driven brands value PR, but it requires emotional intelligence and keen cultural sensitivities. Never has this been more true than in today’s divided political climate. Before we get into purpose-driven PR, let’s establish what a purpose-driven brand is.

A purpose-driven brand is one that has authentically and thoroughly instituted a larger social benefit into their company culture and business model. Purpose-driven brands exemplify values, not just talk about them or use them in advertising. Brands like Toms, Patagonia, and many B-Corps are good examples.

So why is purpose-driven PR important for these brands?

Purpose-Driven Values Require Courage

While consumers are increasingly demanding brands and companies take a stand, it’s not all roses for purpose-driven brands. Successful purpose-driven brands value PR firms for their independent perspectives.   Sometimes a purpose-driven brand will need to defend its purpose, or explain why it made a choice inconsistent with its stated purpose. Sometimes a brand should double down on its purpose, and sometimes an exception can and should happen. Sometimes a brand’s legacy reputation needs to catch up with today’s cultural expectations.  Having PR executives at the table during these discussions ensures brand reputation and brand value are part of the decision matrix. PR will ensure that the message is clear, and brand consistent with the press and consumers. The more consistent a brand is in its purpose, the more noteworthy it will be when it’s inconsistent. PR will help you navigate those sharky waters. More and more consumers are expecting candor when brands make mistakes, but this kind of candor is antithetic to many executives, but when PR has a seat at the table from the start, they can avoid many expensive pitfalls.  

 

Speaking of Purpose-Driven Apologies

In PR, we often talk about “getting ahead” of a problem. Purpose-driven brands, for all their glory, are imperfect, so well-considered and authentic owned media and earned media can really make a difference. Purpose-driven brands value PR firms for the ability to get an apology to the right place at the right time. Recently, Patagonia’s CEO wrote that Patagonia is imperfect, even as it remains committed to its sustainability purpose. The piece was incredibly well executed and a brilliant example of leadership, but it was also incredibly well executed. CEOs deserve credit for this kind of leadership, but it’s often PR that puts the resonance into a big, bold, statement like this.

Communications Needs to Reflect Internal Purpose

Purpose-driven brands value PR’s ability to collaborate across departments. No matter the size of your company, if you’re a purpose-driven brand business decisions and internal communications should consistently reflect this purpose. Sometimes authentic purpose will require training for purchase managers. Sometimes purpose-driven brands need to incorporate legal and compliance into their purpose. And purpose-driven brands consistently incorporate their purpose into internal employee communication too.

Purpose in Partnerships

It isn’t only internal comms that should reflect purpose, but sponsorship and ad buys too. A PR professional knows corporate responsibility isn’t defined by a single cause-marketing sponsorship or corporate donation. Today’s consumers are very aware of greenwashing, a good PR agency will help you find opportunities right for your purpose, and keep you out of the fray of disingenuous choices.

This is also true for earned media. Purpose-driven brands want to be sure that their earned media is consistent and that it occurs in the right media outlets at the right time.

Purpose-driven brands can evolve while remaining consistent, such as the Patagonia example above. As more and more U.S. brands look within at their internal culture, it will surprise many to find there was purpose there all along, all it needs is a dusting off and perhaps some polish.

4 Reasons Why PR Boosts Marketing Results

 

[Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes]

One thing is for certain: These are only 4 reasons why PR boosts marketing results almost immediately.  Brands, business owners, and entrepreneurs often overlook PR as part of their marketing strategy. That’s a shame because one thing you’ll notice about any top-level brand in any vertical is a cohesive and integrated PR plan. Savvy CMOs whisper to one other that PR is their magic bullet, the secret sauce to their most successful marketing campaigns.  Put another way: PR is only useful if you want to be recognized as the best of the best.

Why then do emerging brands ignore PR? It’s often a case of not really understanding what PR’s role is in the marketing ecosystem. That’s understandable because it’s a more nuanced form of marketing. PR and marketing are very complimentary siblings.

So how does PR boost growing brands and their marketing initiatives?

PR CREATES TRUST and SOCIAL PROOF

With competition higher than ever, and trust in businesses lower than ever, this is perhaps one of the most important roles of PR. Whether you’re in an emerging industry or an established one, PR helps your investors, bankers, stakeholders, and customers understand you better and trust you more.

It’s because you give up some creative control in PR that the reader assigns enhanced trust. You don’t WANT your press coverage to sound like an ad, you want your press coverage to sound authentically observational.

 

Advertising conversions go up when paired with PR.
Investment easier to secure once you’ve been in a top-rated business publication.
Customers proactively advocating for you once they see you in their favorite magazine.

 

That’s because everyone understands the difference between a third-party endorsement, like press coverage, and an ad. The additional layer of trust secures new opportunities and reinforces existing ones. If you’re spending money on advertising, why not boost those marketing efforts with PR?

PR BOOSTS YOUR GOOGLE RANKING AND VISIBILITY RESULTS

A modern PR firm like Avaans Media understands that PR and Marketing work together and a critical connector is your reputation on Google. Anyone even thinking of connecting with your brand whether through purchase, investments, or partnership, will absolutely begin their research with a Google search. Here’s the good news, you are in control of your Google results!

The News Section of Google is the most credible section of a Google search and that’s where you want to be. PR does that for your brand and company.

It’s “only” that. It’s those valuable inbound links to your website. Google evaluates the credibility of your inbound links and news outlets rank towards the most important of those signals. But don’t take our word for it, Google your brand and Google your top competitors, you’ll know right away that there’s the opportunity for you to create an advantage.

When your brand is in the press, you’re telling Google you take your digital reputation seriously.

 

360 DEGREE PRESENCE WITH PR

We live in a complicated multi-channel world. It used to be said that it took 7 touch points for people to recognize your brand. In today’s multi-channel, dual-screen world, we believe it’s closer to 12 for consumer engagement and in B2B, it’s said that up to 90% of the decision is made before a client ever talks to a salesperson. Those touch points can come from any channel you choose, but what’s most important is that it’s visible to those looking for it and that they are credible sources of information for the client, customer, or potential stakeholder.

PR is stickier, more credible, and easier to find than an ad. 

In today’s digital world, if your brand has grand ambitions, you simply must allow PR to support your paid media. It’s the ultimate buying equation.

BOOST YOUR MARKETING WITH PR ACTIVATION

This one is a bit more strategic, but the perspective PR brings boosts marketing initiatives. Have you ever seen an advertisement or an event covered in the press? How amazing is it to take a piece of earned or paid media and activate with press coverage? It instantly elevates all your marketing efforts. Have ave you ever wondered why some things get press coverage and others do not? That’s the magic of an integrated PR and marketing perspective. PR can often give that strategic edge that creates a press-worthy event or advertisement. This is true in consumer and B2B marketing initiatives. Throughout the years, we’ve secured millions of dollars for marketing-driven initiatives because there was something notable or timely, or intuitive about the marketing initiative.

PR is like the midas of marketing, it adds value to everything it touches.

Alternatively, we have helped our clients avoid embarrassing pitfalls that could have generated negative press or created a social media firestorm. PR agencies maintain that 3rd party that is so important to helping CMOs cut through the noise. These 4 ways PR boost marketing results aren’t exhaustive, the opportunities are endless.

 

At Avaans Media, we take a truly holistic look at your marketing efforts and constantly identify ways for emerging and ambitious brands to maximize marketing and PR. Yes, we consistently secure press for our clients, but we’re also always looking for ways to maximize paid initiatives like SEO and advertising. Contact us today for valuable insights you can start using immediately. 

5 Must-Know GenZ Insights for CMOs and Marketers

[5 minute read]

GenZ vs. Millenials: What Marketers Need to Know

GenZ is coming and CMOs and marketers need insights now. After a decade of news about Millenials, here comes GenZ, they make up 25% percent of the population. GenZ is here and CMOs will need to take notice if they haven’t already. It might be easy for marketers or PR professionals to assume this generation is similar to Millenials, but that’s untrue. GenZ, the oldest of whom are turning 23 in 2021, is a generation with distinct preferences and personas. This is also the most diverse generation ever, almost half of GenZ is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). And marketing and branding experts should know: their projected spending power, according to a late 202o Harris Poll, is $143 billion.

While both generations are purpose-driven and feel misunderstood and unseen by brands, especially BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ+, GenZ believes cancel culture is thier weapon against feeling unseen.  Millenials grew up as digital natives, but GenZ grew up as social media natives. In contrast to the hopefulness of Millenials, GenZ is are more practical and politically polarized, and view social media with skepticism.

 

Our GenZ insights for CMOs and marketers take into account both the data presented our team’s decades-long PR and marketing experience.

GenZ:  Take Us Seriously

Grounded GenZ is taking control of their destiny, they are more likely than the general population to have already bought investments (65% vs. 45%). They feel adulthood has been delayed for them and that mental health is extremely important. They are also incredibly invested in social change and see their response to brands as a way to take back their power. GenZ also enjoys thrift shopping – perhaps because of economic uncertainty, sustainability, or simplicity – they aren’t as moved by flashy streetwear and fashion drops as their predecessors.

 

  • 58% of GenZ women prefer to work in a freelance job or have their own business for flexible hours over working a traditional 9-5 job with a reliable paycheck.
  • GenZ watched their parents “burn themselves out at work” and want to find more balance in their lives said 74% of GenZ women.
  • 70% of GenZ said they have or plan to put more money into savings
  • GenZ pioneered cancel culture (50% say they have personally called out a brand), yet,
  • 73% of GenZ women say “social change does not actually occur on social media-it occurs with action in the real world.”
  • 65% make purchases through a brand’s mobile app
  • 52% say they have prioritized shopping at a small or local business to support them after the COVID outbreak.
  • 3% of Gen Z have or are considering upgrading their car to make themselves feel more safe or comfortable during the pandemic
  •  GenZ is expecting a return to travel, with 32% saying they will increase spending on travel.

GenZ Work & Financial Preferences CMO Insights:
Having experienced recessions and pandemics to say nothing of student loans, GenZ has grown up with uncertainty.


For marketers, this means this generation’s patterns may be harder to track down and be ever-shifting, particularly because they want a more flexible lifestyle. This, of course, may change as GenZ ages, but for now, keep your eyes on the shifting sands of time, because GenZ is flexible, self-reliant, and eager to control their own destinies. 

GenZ Purpose Driven CMO Insights:
Purpose-driven communication to a cancel culture generation is a double-edged sword.

It will be incredibly important for marketers and brands, large and small to understand the GenZ audience because while GenZ knows real change happens in the real world, they revel in making brands feel uncomfortable. This generation also has zero tolerance for racism from brands and society at large.

GenZ Shopping Insights
Shopping to make a statement or to self soothe. 

Perhaps because of their polarized and turbulent upbringing, this generation is longing for simplicity, therefore they’re already nostalgic for childhood brands and why they embrace thrift shopping, despite being native digital shoppers. They’re craving balance, escape, and their own experiences. They see mental health as its own reward, and they’re actively seeking coping mechanisms. Marketers will need to balance escapism with fantasy for this generation because right now, they’re an extremely grounded bunch, even when they escape.

GenZ: Social Media Isn’t an Escape

It’s so easy for marketers to assume the best way to reach GenZ is through social media.  For previous generations, social media represented an escapist world, but not for GenZ.

 

  • 70% of GenZ women say “they are tired of the “Instagram aesthetic” that projects a certain lifestyle.”  BUT GenZ isn’t rejecting influencers entirely,
  • 67% said “influencers are more important for showing brands, than brands themselves.”
  • 70% of Gen Z women say it’s more important for people to “prioritize their mental health over their physical health.”
  • 56% of Gen Z women say, “I believe social media is built to be addicting and I’m working to curb my behavior”
  • At home, they find driving soothing, with 38% claiming serenity through driving (compared with 28% of the population).
  • They also derive a sense of comfort and escape from food, 70% say that “snacking helps me take my mind off the issues of the world (compared to 65% of the general population).
  • 48% of Gen Zs miss being able to listen to music or a podcast on their daily commute (33% total)
  • 60% of Gen Zs plan to spend more or maintain spend on connected fitness equipment in 2021
  • 63% of Gen Zs say they have been buying nostalgic snack brands from childhood during the pandemic (63% Zs, 53% total)

 

GenZ Social Media Marketing Takeaways:
As social media natives, they’ve grown hardened to the communication style of social media.

Social media isn’t so much of an escape for GenZ. GenZ seems to understand life is messy and that garner a sense of authenticity from “reality.” They seem to want brands, influencers, and advertising to represent life’s realities a little more closely. Expect GenZ to view social media the way GenX views email: as a tool. Social media will increasingly be something GenZ seeks to have control over.

This generation absolutely craves escape ,and serenity, they see travel and mental health, and fitness as vital to their well-being.

 

GenZ: Escape CMO Insights:
Realistic and approachable escapes for a practical generation

Expect this generation to seek out authentic and approachable experiences until their finances are more secure. They’ll seek out comfort foods, nostalgia, and friends for comfort. When they’re alone, they’ll listen to music and podcasts and stay connected, but it’s likely that there will be variation in their entertainment choices. This is in part because they view certain activities as relaxing (driving) and others as required (social media and fitness), watch those motivational purposes and pair messaging accordingly. Marketers will also need to be alert and flexible to the on-the-go lifestyle of this generation.

*All statistics referenced here came from The Harris GenZ 100 Poll Round-Up. 

Why Social Media and Your PR Must Work Together

[5 minute read]

Many brands use PR and social media, but so many miss the opportunity to align these teams. Companies use social media to create relationships with their consumers, promote their products, and gain exposure to their key demographic. If that sounds a lot like what a PR specialist would do, you’re not wrong.

 

However, while a social media expert speaks directly to consumers, a PR strategist will cultivate a company’s positive reputation through various means, such a distributing press releases, arranging speaking engagements, and influencing traditional media to cover your story.

 

Although social media and public relations are each unique types of marketing, you can combine the two to generate interest in your brand, create trust, and engage your audience.

 

The media experts at Avaans PR explore the many returns you can enjoy by aligning your social media and PR strategies. Learn more by contacting us today.

 

Aligning Social Media With Public Relations

 

We are living in an age of technology. It’s everywhere. Marketing is no longer only about direct mail, signs, and flyers. Digital marketing has become more mainstream, and it seems like the options are unlimited. Not only can you choose individual strategies, but you can also combine various social media platforms and different types of marketing to get your message across and reach a much larger audience than you would with some of the “old school” methods of marketing.

 

Integrating your public relations efforts and social media marketing is an excellent example of how advertising has changed over the years. At one point, companies used PR to promote individual people, such as business partners, investors, or shareholders, within specific industries.

 

However, with the rise of social media and its undeniable influence, people, brands, companies, and others use these marketing platforms for public relations purposes. Both are useful in building trust between a business and its consumers, so it makes sense that the two should come together to achieve a company’s marketing goals.

 

The Influence of Social Media On Public Relations

 

Social media has had a significant impact on the world of PR. The most notable are:

 

  • Although communication is the cornerstone of both social media and PR, social media allows businesses to engage with their customers in real-time. This can allow for a more impactful PR strategy. When you’re publishing content using emails, news releases, and other platforms associated with PR, you have an opportunity to post a related update on social media, which will help your message live longer on the internet and spread faster than ever before.
  • Business stakeholders may find PR to be more “friendly” thanks to social media. Relationship marketing is a new marketing area helping companies seem approachable and warm despite the seriousness of their services or type of business they have.
  • With the help of social media, public relations can reach a larger audience than usual. Previously, PR would target specific people, such as investors or journalists. However, you can use social media to expand your target audience to anyone who can grow your business and help it become more successful.

 

The Differences Between PR and Social Media

 

Even though your company could benefit from using PR and social media together, you should understand the major differences between the two. They include:

 

  • Audiences might react differently to social media than PR. Whereas social media audiences are typically interactive and engaging, public relations audiences might take a more passive approach when interacting with content. This is because many see PR as one-sided, while social media platforms are two-sided. When you put out content for social media, your goal is to engage the public to maintain active communication. Conversely, PR content reaches the audience – through traditional media, for example – and may receive little to no engagement.
  • The way you communicate is also different between PR and social media. Companies use social media to begin conversations with their customers and increase sales. It’s crucial to use a consistent tone while engaging with the audience, so they don’t lose trust in the brand. On the other hand, PR may target their messaging more specifically to influence brand expansion and media coverage.
  • The impact social media has on your business, sales, and other marketing activities is easy to measure. You can analyze the data to determine what areas need improvement and what strategies are working. However, it’s sometimes more challenging to determine the return on investment with the PR strategies you’re using.

 

How to Use Social Media & PR Strategy

 

You can use particular social media platforms to improve your public relations plan and meet your company’s specific needs.

 

  • Instagram – Many companies use this platform to engage with their audience and bring awareness to issues and causes. Instagram is also perfect for promoting your business and keeping people engaged during an event you’re participating in or hosting.
  • Facebook – This is an excellent choice for brands or companies that regularly communicate with their audience. You can use various tools to assist with your PR activities, such as mentions, groups, and call-to-action buttons.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is another excellent platform for connecting with other people. You can circulate information relevant to your business, gain the attention of influencers to help promote your products or services, and gain an insight into what other companies are doing within your industry.
  • Twitter – Social media marketing is sometimes about getting your message across using a short and to-the-point post. Twitter restricts users to 140 characters, perfect for providing a quick update to your consumers, launching a new product, or promoting your brand. You can use hashtags to reach your target audience and find comments from others about your company.

 

There’s no doubt that PR and social media together can maximize a company’s online presence. Knowing how and when to use these marketing strategies is crucial. That’s where an experienced PR and social media agency comes in.

 

Contact Avaans PR Today

 

At Avaans PR, we dedicate our time and effort to creating brand trust, building and maintaining reputations, and growing businesses for our clients. Our team knows the most effective marketing strategies that can positively impact your target audience and generate interest in your company and brand. Since 2008, our PR and social media agency has helped clients expand their digital reach, and we’re ready to do the same for you.

 

Reach out to Avaans PR for more information by completing our contact form or scheduling a phone call.

Related articles:
Successful Influencer Campaigns in 5 Steps