When we talk about brand identity, every brand has its unique identifier(s) and that always need to be improved, sustained and protected. Most often than not, some brands believe their brands can never be touched and even if it is, the stain will wash of by itself and that is a myth worth dispelling.
Public Relations (PR) exist to position a brand or organization in a positive light and this is hinged on a solid strategy which has plans and activities right to the implementation stage of the story telling mission to salvage the brand or peak it.
Head of Public Relations (PR) at leading Integrated Media & Entertainment and foremost PR Consultancy Company in Ghana, Paa Kwesi Forson, asserts that one’s brand image stands out because of a service or product they offer, and that image can suffer a huge blow if their services and products are attacked, without the company taking any conscious efforts to repair it or get their version of events out there.
“A company may have been selling a particular product for years without incident until a one customer has a bad experience and decides to escalate the situation, plunging the brand in crisis. When this happens, PR becomes the tool used to position the brand, telling its story. With this in mind, you will look for the various touch points and start working and looking at the communication process.”
The PR professional now acting as the sender of the information on behalf of the brand affected will highlight the benefits associated with the product in question. With messaging being critical at this stage, the PR professional has to ensure the credibility of the message, by carefully selecting the mediums being used, also paying critical attention to relatability of message.
After this stage, the channels through which the message is being transmitted must be carefully selected. “Some people listen to you via radio, watch you via television, YouTube and Facebook streaming so you have to know the right channels to use because if you fail to do that the message will not achieve its objective, hence being ineffective.”
The next stage after this is assessing feedback of the work done so far. You sit back to evaluate the advertisement, press releases, interviews and features articles you placed in the various media outlets to know if they were understood and achieved the desired results. “If the message was not received then this is where the brand image starts and one goes on to controlling the narrative.”
As a brand you have the right resources and information about you brand, products and services, and you do not expect someone else to tell your story. “If you don’t control the narrative someone else will. Sometimes there is a crisis situation and you desire to hear the brand affected addressing these concerns but they will do no such thing, letting the rumors taint them. So, controlling the narrative is really important.”
And all these used together effectively and efficiently have a bearing on building a positive brand image.
As a PR professional, you should always show the client results after the successful execution of the campaign as they expect return on their investments. “Make sure the results is always quantifiable.”
The last bit of positive brand image is preparing for change. Circumstances can take a turn without warning and you always need to prepare for the unknown. No one expected the COVID-19 pandemic to hit the world 2 years ago but it did. Some of us never knew working from home was a thing until after the pandemic. With some companies already having a work from home model, they managed to transition with ease but those not prepared took months to recover.
There are always changes in business and we always need to factor the change in our planning so business processes are not disrupted.
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