Though the ways in which companies gain exposure have changed throughout the years, one thing remains the same - every brand wants to tell their story to as many people as they can. Sharing your voice and positioning yourself in the media can help to establish your company, knock down misconceptions, and avoid someone else painting your company’s picture for you. Here’s more insight on why having your voice in the media matters, and how PR initiatives can help establish your company’s presence the right way:
Position yourself in the world- whatever your world is
From a PR perspective, it’s important to outline what the company’s goals and visions are and find the respective ways to get yourself there. For instance, if you’re a hedge fund seeking exposure in an institutional space, it’s important to target these areas and establish a voice in front of an audience that suits you. These are great opportunities to share your company’s key messages and stand amongst your competition.
Though promoting your brand is the objective in being a voice in media, it’s equally as important to knock down trust barriers and to connect with your audience. One of the best opportunities for engagement and for humanizing your brand is to weigh in on current events that are related to your company, its values and to the audience you’ve established. This could include making a social post for a holiday, or offering a spokesperson’s perspective on a trending topic in your space. A company must ask themselves the question “how are you embracing your brand values?” and make the decision of how they want to go about this and through what medium. As long as the message is authentic, speaking to broader perspectives can make a company relatable to a wider audience.
Make personal branding for your spokespeople a priority
It goes without saying that for better or for worse, the perception of the leaders in your company will shape the perception of its entirety. The way that key spokespeople of your brand represent themselves plays a role in the trust and connection experienced from the company to the consumers. Focusing on the voices of the respective employees of the brand, creating engaging content, conducting media training, and other initiatives to prevent a crisis from occurring, can make or break a brand’s image.
A Voice During Crisis Communication
We’re all familiar with several of the PR crises that have plagued major companies so far this year, from the accusations of a racially insensitive hoodie ad from H&M, to the mayo-ketchup-hybrid from Heinz whose name translated into an unfortunately vulgar phrase in Cree languages. During these times, a company’s voice in the media is often the first and most important way of responding. Responding in a composed and timely manner is the priority, and many companies will turn to places like traditional and social media to speak to their audience on the matter, and tell their side of the story.
For instance, when two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend in a Philadelphia Starbucks, the hashtag #BoyCottStarbucks went viral, used more than 100,000 times in just three days. Starbucks responded very quickly with a response on Twitter. See below:
And it didn’t stop there- the company followed up with several more statements on social media and in traditional media, with spokespeople making TV appearances and offering statements to online and print media as well, announcing mandatory sensitivity training for every single Starbucks employee across North America. While the Starbucks brand undoubtedly took a small hit from the issue, without that positive response in the media, it certainly could have been much worse for the company.
How You Can Get Your Brand in the Media
While Starbucks, H&M, Heinz and Microsoft of course all have nearly unlimited resources, and highly trained internal PR teams whose entire job is to manage their company’s brand, a company doesn’t need millions of dollars to have their voice heard in the media.
Social media is a relatively easy, and certainly cost-effective way of sharing your brand’s message with a wide audience. Further, a concerted public relations campaign focused on media relations can also go a long way towards amplifying your company’s voice. While many companies have devoted a substantial portion of their budgets to advertising and marketing, there is still an incredible amount of value in good, old fashioned traditional media exposure.
Having your company’s spokespeople appearing in the media consistently, and speaking plainly and honestly about your brand can have a hugely positive impact on how your brand is seen, and most importantly, trusted, by the public.