Building Brand Equity with PR


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A presentation I gave at a GE event in San Francisco for Silicon valley startup CEOs about the value of PR.

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Building Brand Equity with PR

  1. 1. It’s PR not ER Building Brand Equity Through Public Relations September 17 2007 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications
  2. 2. Public Relations Definition: [Public Relations] is a management function which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures and interest of an organization followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance. - Edward Bernays (November 1891-March 1995), considered as “one of the fathers of the field of public relations” (Wikipedia)
  3. 3. <ul><li>Why Should You Care About PR? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Because When Done Well, </li></ul><ul><li>PR Can Build Brands </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The media and word of mouth inform most people’s decisions about what is good, bad, best and worst </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3.5 billion WOM conversations take place in America every day; 3.1 billion of them are offline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Typically, if one doesn’t know anything about a product or service, they will likely believe what they read about the subject, especially when the information comes from a credible media source </li></ul><ul><li>Brand recognition develops over time as messages take a position in the prospect’s mind </li></ul>How PR Can Build Brands
  6. 6. Made-up Example: <ul><li>Advertising alone, especially for emerging media companies can’t tell the whole story </li></ul><ul><li>Vs. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> “ Skidaddle, a new social utility that allows users to trade homemade widgets, profiles and playlists has already signed up more than one million users and is poised to become what many believe to be the new Facebook.” </li></ul>S K i d a d d l Get Connected!
  7. 7. <ul><li>Amazon </li></ul><ul><li>eBay </li></ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Linux </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft </li></ul><ul><li>Red Bull </li></ul><ul><li>Segway </li></ul><ul><li>Starbucks </li></ul><ul><li>*PR used as part of overall strategy </li></ul>Brands Built With PR
  8. 8. <ul><li>Digg | Pownce | Revision3 </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Linkedin </li></ul><ul><li>Meebo </li></ul><ul><li>PerezHilton (No, I’m serious) </li></ul><ul><li>Pinkberry </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Zipcar </li></ul>Under Construction but Looking Good
  9. 9. <ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does Your Idea of PR Xanadu … </li></ul>
  10. 10. Look Like This?
  11. 11. <ul><li>Here’s What It Takes </li></ul>
  12. 12. First: A Proper Assessment <ul><li>STRENGTHS </li></ul><ul><li>Technology still an economic and consumer darling </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 tools and services seen as “useful” to consumers and businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging media and technology companies receiving massive amounts of publicity </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>Saturated market makes differentiation increasingly difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Skeptical media can be dismissive of tech and emerging media startups </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability potential unproven in many cases </li></ul><ul><li>THREATS </li></ul><ul><li>Journalist fatigue: “How is THIS social network different?” </li></ul><ul><li>Economic volatility may make VCs and advertisers gun shy, so establishing brand equity now is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a bubble? </li></ul><ul><li>OPPORTUNITIES </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging media categories all projected to grow over next few years </li></ul><ul><li>Divergence making way for new categories and brands </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a bubble? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Secrets of the Press REVEALED! <ul><li>Consolidation of mainstream publications (moment of silence for Business 2.0 ) means fewer beat reporters to write about you </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters (especially in tech/emerging media) receive hundreds of calls and emails per day about new companies looking for ink </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You have 10 seconds to position your company as new and different and convince a reporter why you’re worthy of a precious column inch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reporters will only write about what’s new, innovative or terrible; not what’s better or similar </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters cannot resist comparison when explaining who you are to their readers; expect some manufactured rivalries between companies that don’t really compete </li></ul>
  14. 14. Three Questions for Every PR Firm <ul><li>Can you explain my business to me? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PR professionals are consultants; aside from their communications acumen, they must have the ability to learn everything about your business in order to properly tell your story to the media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do you read? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a PR pro doesn’t have an existing understanding of the media most important to you, how will they know which reporters are most appropriate to tell your story to? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which reporters do you have the best relationships with and what’s the last story idea you pitched them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The best way to prove the PR pro has the “great contacts” they claim to have </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good PR person will answer this right away </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. PR and Measurement <ul><li>Sorry, there is no exact science for measuring return on any PR program investment; but there are some methods that come close: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literally measure the size of your mention in any given article and calculate what that blurb would have cost as an advertisement in the same publication; all media outlets have their rate cards online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track things like increases in site traffic, incoming sales calls during the established PR campaign; set agreed-upon start and end dates and analyze activity between them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did your sales team use the PR results to…sell? Can any new engagements be attributed to a particular article or Tv segment about your company? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Hubris </li></ul><ul><li>Elitism </li></ul><ul><li>Being overprotective </li></ul><ul><li>Ignoring the press </li></ul><ul><li>Inauthenticity </li></ul>Jar Jar Says… Avoid brand killers like ME!
  17. 17. <ul><li>Here’s How to Start: </li></ul><ul><li>PR 101 With or Without a PR Firm </li></ul>
  18. 18. PR 101 Establish Thought Leadership Engage the Media Develop Messages Identify Audiences
  19. 19. <ul><li>Every PR program is executed to reach a variation of three key audiences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyers (VCs, Shareholders, Advertisers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influencers (Analysts, Bloggers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End-users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once groups within each specific audience have been identified, focus on what brand messages will resonate with each </li></ul>Identifying Audiences
  20. 20. Developing Your Media Messages <ul><li>Create succinct, media-friendly messages that correct any foreseen misperceptions and establishes an identity within the industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[Brand] is the company that _______ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Refine messages for each target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Always practice delivering your company’s media messages in your own voice to ensure they are understood and may be conveyed when appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>If necessary, create new company fact sheets, press release boilerplates and other communications collateral to reflect messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Media messages are not cut and pasted from your company’s mission statement or business plan </li></ul>
  21. 21. Engaging the Media <ul><li>Journalists and bloggers are the vessels for delivering your company’s story and hold the most influence over your target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a strategy for approaching journalists so they will devote time and interest in writing about you or your company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start by building a relationship with the media; offer them your expertise and insight on industry trends or breaking news stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always know how to creatively position yourself or your company as being new, different and relevant to that outlet’s readership </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Establishing Thought Leadership <ul><li>Being quoted or profiled by reputable media outlets certainly builds a positive brand perception, but credibility can be established more directly by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaking at industry conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Submitting bylined articles to key trade publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applying for industry awards and recognitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging, Blogging, Blogging! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Producing podcasts, vidcasts, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Case Study
  24. 24. Babelgum: Background <ul><li>Situation: Babelgum, a privately-funded, European peer-to-peer Internet TV company in early beta testing, retained CJP in March 2007 for support in accomplishing the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce the company to U.S. audiences via coverage in top-tier business and lifestyle media; sponsorships of major film festivals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support business development by facilitating meetings with independent U.S.-based producers and entertainment entities to build Babelgum’s content library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate anticipatory buzz among U.S.-based users, compelling them to sign-up for the open beta version of the platform </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Babelgum: Challenges & Strategy <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief competitor Joost had first-mover advantage; cornering the p2p Internet TV market in the top-tier media with high-profile deals with Viacom, CBS, Warner Music and others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiate within growing online video market </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Program Strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Position Babelgum as bringing democracy to the film studio/distribution system; championing lesser-known filmmakers and aligning with industry mavericks rather than just media conglomerates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate the differences between Babelgum and Joost; acknowledge similarities but prove the differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forego typical “invitation only” closed beta and give access to anyone that wanted it </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Scheduled three media tours (NY, LA and SF) for Babelgum CEO, Erik Lumer </li></ul><ul><li>Arranged briefings with 12 top-tier business and technology publications including The Wall Street Journal , New York Times , Fortune , Newsweek and Time , among others </li></ul><ul><li>Eight Babelgum profiles resulted from meetings conducted during the tour; articles further resulted in a collective 500 blog mentions in the days that followed </li></ul><ul><li>Succeeded in visually demonstrating the differences between Babelgum and Joost; getting on the radar of target journalists </li></ul>Babelgum: Engaging the Media
  27. 27. Babelgum Results
  28. 28. Babelgum Results
  29. 29. Babelgum Results <ul><li>Digital Hollywood: Secured CEO position on a panel joining VP, NBC Digital; GM, Yahoo! Video; Former CEO, The WB and Jon Fine, BusinessWeek media columnist </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger Exclusives: To get covered on top Web 2.0 blogs and build pre-launch buzz, CJP offered GigaOm and Mashable readers free beta invites; collective readership: 2 million </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks : Created Babelgum profiles and groups on Facebook and MySpace </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
  31. 31. Contact <ul><li>Contact: Wilson Cleveland </li></ul><ul><li>CJP Communications </li></ul><ul><li>O: 212.279.3115 Ext. 207 </li></ul><ul><li>M: 917.446.2707 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>New York Office: 350 Fifth Avenue </li></ul><ul><li>Suite 3901 </li></ul><ul><li>New York, NY 10118 </li></ul><ul><li>212.279.3115 </li></ul><ul><li>Connecticut Office: 3241 Main Street </li></ul><ul><li>Stratford, CT 06614 </li></ul><ul><li>203.378.1152 </li></ul><ul><li>London Office: 30 Coleman Street </li></ul><ul><li>London </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 32. Thank You Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications