I recently read an article in AdAge where the author made the case for launching a brand with PR and not advertising.
Well, that’s a shift.
When launching a new brand or product, most companies focus solely on advertising – get the most eyes on the product. While this has been an effective time-tested approach, times are changing. We now live in a world where consumers are extremely distrustful of corporate brands and are increasingly looking at ways to find relevant, factual information.
Using a content-focused approach is a unique way to build consumer loyalty and tell your brand story in a more meaningful way then just a fancy billboard. (Although, for the record, I’m also a big fan of advertising campaigns.)
We had the opportunity to test this approach when the Children’s Healing Center, a first-of-its-kind recreational facility for sick kids, came to us to help with the launch last fall. Our strategy: pure PR.
Using traditional media, social media and compelling storytelling, accompanied by interesting visuals, we were able to successfully launch this new brand. The results were phenomenal and landed us strong local and regional headlines, as well as national coverage.
This recognition helped establish CHC as a trusted information source and, in return, made it a desirable brand to interact with. We now have newspapers in Michigan regularly picking up articles on the benefits of play authored by CHC experts.
The thing is, most people don’t want to be told what to do, what to buy or what to support. PR allows you to share your brand story without shoving it down their throat – it’s a softer way of saying, “Hey, look what I can offer you.”
While there will always be a place for advertising in the world, I was pleasantly surprised to read this article. It makes me hopeful that brands are continuing to shift their focus from themselves and their needs to how they can truly impact the consumer.