Telling your brand story with PRPosted on February 03, 2021 by Sarah Robertson
In this instalment of our brand storytelling series, we invite Hayley Griffith – the PR power behind Creatively Hayley – to debunk a few myths surrounding PR and share her insights to help you feel empowered and inspired to tell your story.
If your brand is your identity created to represent your values, then consider PR as your voice to deliver that story. The great thing about PR is that you can tell that story (we’ll call this your narrative) from lots of different angles (we’ll call these your key messages).
You can call it public relations, PR, media relations, communications, outreach. Ultimately, PR is placing your narrative in front of your target audience on the channels that they’re consuming. It’s like placing a menu of your meals in front of your ideal customer as they’ve taken a seat in their favourite restaurant.
By the way, the analogy game is strong with this one so do bear with me!
The beauty of PR is that you can tweak your direction and your messaging as your business adapts and grows. It’s like rewriting the chapters of the story as they happen. The first and most important thing to do is to ask yourself – what do you want PR to do for you? Let me offer a nudge by saying that in my 14 years of applying my PR wizardry, I’ve found the two most common go-to reasons for PR are:
- To raise your brand awareness
- To gain media traction for awareness of a specific campaign
Alongside this, ask yourself what do you want PR to feel like for you – do you want it to feel comfortable and smaller scale or do you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone? How do you want people to feel when they’re reading about you, your business or products in the media? Do you want people to feel educated, inspired, empowered?
Getting to grips with this will help you when you come to define your messaging, your narrative and what media you want to be targeting. By starting to piece all these individual ingredients together, you’re starting to build your wider picture.
By incorporating PR into your business, you’re leaving a trail of breadcrumbs on the platforms that your audience is using.
PR can sometimes have an outdated media-projected image of big-city agencies with funky sounding names employing young and trendy people to schmooze journalists. The truth is, anyone can do PR, even you! It doesn’t need to be difficult and it doesn’t even need to cost anything. What it does take is commitment, practice and the right mindset.
While we’re here, let’s also dismiss another misconception about PR. It’s not just for multinationals and large corporates – sure they need it but so do the small businesses, the one-man-band creatives. It’s can make a huge difference to them too.
There are no qualifying criteria for PR – you don’t need to have been up and running for a certain number of years, your business doesn’t need a specific turnover. Goodness, you don’t even need to be particularly newsworthy!
By incorporating PR into your business, you’re leaving a trail of breadcrumbs on the platforms that your audience is using. All these breadcrumbs will be delivering different messaging that all reinforce your narrative and support what you want PR to achieve for you.
When is the best time to incorporate PR? Well, now! PR is a long-term game and the seeds you sow now will come into fruition months down the line.
A solid campaign should be running alongside your business during the peaks and troughs. During quieter periods, you could find new clients make their way to you through one of the many breadcrumbs you’ve left. During the busier and more abundant times, you could use it to strengthen your profile and shout about your expertise and wins.
Smaller creative businesses have great stories to tell, even if you don’t know what they are yet! They deserve to be told; your voice deserves to be heard and PR is a great and effective way of doing this.
*About Creatively Hayley*
Hayley Griffith helps creative businesses secure media coverage, trains people to take control of media interviews and provides mentoring to enable you to master your PR. She runs the Creative PR Collective, offers, 1:1 mentoring and PR audits, and has several valuable blogs on her website: www.creativelyhayley.co.uk