Turn-Key is a Turn-Off

August 28, 2008

A wise owl once told me that brand is the promise you make and reputation is whether or not you live up to that promise. Being in the communications industry, I still take that very seriously.

When I think about all of the companies we work with here at BPR, I think about all of the unique promises that these organizations are making to their stakeholders: employees, customers, investors, reporters, etc.

And, even though this group of people seems large, there are likely no more than one hundred people total who really control and shape the perceptions that effect a particular company’s reputation… one hundred people who evaluate expectations against actions.

The reputation campaign seems simple: identify this distinct group of people, get the word out – and run a good company. For a good PR person though, it is far more complex than this.

The quandary becomes less about the group of people we’d like to reach – or even the message we’d like to deliver and it becomes more about why and how.

Why do potential new recruits care that Slalom Consulting was voted as one of the top 10 firms to work for by Consulting Magazine? And, how do we deliver this message in a very targeted way?

When searching for the most effective vehicle for dropping off this information, we need to be knowledgeable of hot new trends like social media, but smart enough to know that it isn’t the answer just because it’s the new “black.”

We also have to recognize that transparency and openness have proven to be effective in strengthening reputation, particularly as company’s listen to and engage in dialogue with customers. However, it can also be a double edged sword – and tactics like blogging sometimes are better left alone when public interpretation can sway or change quickly.

So, when doing your homework – talk to PR agencies about how they really cultivate connections and enhance brand loyalty and reach. Whether it be by opening the kimono through genuine and honest discourse, traditional media outreach or the hottest social media craze, good PR firms will recognize that every campaign should have a customized and blended approach for reaching the company’s heavy 100.

Always remember – turn-key is a turn-off. A good PR strategy will be as unique as your company’s

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