The very basis of our work in public relations is to build relationships — with our clients, with journalists and, most critically, to foster those between our client and their audience.
To truly cultivate connections with customers beyond a simple transaction, a company needs to resonate through authenticity. While simple in theory, navigating how to be authentic as a brand can be tricky. Here are a few basic principles we at Comprise value for ourselves and in the work we produce for our clients:
Know Your Audience
As humans, we all have a desire to create personal connections and foster community. In today’s networked world, it’s more vital than ever for a brand to cultivate a community of its customers and initiate a dialogue via social media. However, many companies unintentionally tune out their audience by failing to demonstrate that they know them — their values, pain points and needs. Putting these things into a personal context with consideration for race, age, gender, etc. shows respect for your audience’s time and will help shape insightful messaging that will resonate.
Mistakes are relatable, but mishandling them can deal a blow to a company’s credibility. Much like the humans that run them, at some point or another, a company will likely make a mistake or find itself in a crisis of someone else’s making. Whether it’s a visible faux pas on social media or a customer service issue handled one-on-one, acknowledging the situation with transparency and following through on steps to rectify it is imperative. This vulnerability humanizes your brand and, in turn, builds the trust of your audience.
“Be Sincere, Be Brief, Be Seated”
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s adage says it all — genuine, concise communication followed by a pause to let your audience absorb your message is the most effective way to engage people. Flowery language will only confuse your audience, or worse, give the impression that you have something to hide. The words we use matter — so edit for brevity, be clear and take the time to listen to how your messaging is received.
Have a Little Fun
All business all the time is just dull. To breathe life into a brand, you need to engage your audience in thoughtful, clever ways — without looking like you’re trying too hard. First, ensure that your messaging and actions align with your company’s values and those of your audience. If you want your content to captivate your audience, your enthusiasm has to be genuine. A few playful responses on social media when appropriate or highlighting company initiatives that demonstrate care for the community can go a long way to keep things interesting.
Want your brand to HAVE an authentic presence and not just be a presence? Comprise can help you stand out and engage your audience on a meaningful level.