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.

Transcript of Building Brand Equity with PR

  • 1. Its PR not ER Building Brand Equity ThroughPublic Relations September 17 2007 Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications

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.

  • Why Should You Care About PR?


  • Because When Done Well,
  • PR Can Build Brands


  • The media and word of mouth inform most peoples decisions about what is good, bad, best and worst
    • 3.5 billion WOM conversations take place in America every day; 3.1 billion of them are offline
  • Typically, if one doesnt 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
  • Brand recognition develops over time as messages take a position in the prospects mind

How PR Can Build Brands 6. Made-up Example:

  • Advertising alone, especially for emerging media companies cant tell the whole story
  • Vs.
  • Skidaddle, a new social utility that allows users to trade homemade widgets, profiles and playlists has alreadysigned up more than one million users and is poised to become what many believe to be the new Facebook.

S K i d a d d l Get Connected! 7.

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Google
  • Linux
  • Microsoft
  • Red Bull
  • Segway
  • Starbucks
  • *PR used as part of overall strategy

Brands Built With PR 8.

  • Digg | Pownce | Revision3
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Meebo
  • PerezHilton (No, Im serious)
  • Pinkberry
  • Twitter
  • Zipcar

Under Construction but Looking Good 9.

  • Question:
  • Does Your Idea ofPR Xanadu

10. Look Like This? 11.

  • Heres What It Takes

12. First: A Proper Assessment

  • Technology still an economic and consumer darling
  • Web 2.0 tools and services seen as useful to consumers and businesses
  • Emerging media and technology companies receiving massive amounts of publicity
  • Saturated market makes differentiation increasingly difficult
  • Skeptical media can be dismissive of tech and emerging media startups
  • Sustainability potential unproven in many cases
  • Journalist fatigue: How is THIS social network different?
  • Economic volatility may make VCs and advertisers gun shy, so establishing brand equity now is critical
  • Is there a bubble?
  • Emerging media categories all projected to grow over next few years
  • Divergence making way for new categories and brands
  • Is there a bubble?

13. Secrets of the Press REVEALED!

  • Consolidation of mainstream publications (moment of silence forBusiness 2.0 ) means fewer beat reporters to write about you
  • Reporters (especially in tech/emerging media) receive hundreds of calls and emails per day about new companies looking for ink
    • You have 10 seconds to position your company as new and different and convince a reporter why youre worthy of a precious column inch
  • Reporters will only write about whats new, innovative or terrible; not whats better or similar
  • Reporters cannot resist comparison when explaining who you are to their readers; expect some manufactured rivalries between companies that dont really compete

14. Three Questions for Every PR Firm

  • Can you explain my business to me?
    • 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
  • What do you read?
    • If a PR pro doesnt 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?
  • Which reporters do you have the best relationships with and whats the last story idea you pitched them?
    • The best way to prove the PR pro has the great contacts they claim to have
    • A good PR person will answer this right away

15. PR and Measurement

  • Sorry, there is no exact science for measuring return on any PR program investment; but there are some methods that come close:
    • 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
    • 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
    • Did your sales team use the PR results tosell?Can any new engagements be attributed to a particular article or Tv segment about your company?


  • Hubris
  • Elitism
  • Being overprotective
  • Ignoring the press
  • Inauthenticity

Jar Jar Says Avoid brand killers like ME! 17.

  • Heres How to Start:
  • PR 101 With or Without a PR Firm

18. PR 101 Establish Thought Leadership Engage the MediaDevelop Messages Identify Audiences 19.

  • Every PR program is executed to reach a variation of three key audiences:
    • Buyers (VCs, Shareholders, Advertisers)
    • Influencers (Analysts, Bloggers)
    • End-users
  • Once groups within each specific audience have been identified, focus on what brand messages will resonate with each

Identifying Audiences 20. Developing Your Media Messages

  • Create succinct, media-friendly messages that correct any foreseen misperceptions and establishes an identity within the industry
    • [Brand] is the company that _______
  • Refine messages for each target audience
  • Always practice delivering your companys media messages in your own voice to ensure they are understood and may be conveyed when appropriate
  • If necessary, create new company fact sheets, press release boilerplates and other communications collateral to reflect messaging
  • Media messages arenotcut and pasted from your companys mission statement or business plan

21. Engaging the Media

  • Journalists and bloggers are the vessels for delivering your companys story and hold the most influence over your target audiences
  • Develop a strategy for approaching journalists so they will devote time and interest in writing about you or your company
    • Start by building a relationship with the media; offer them your expertise and insight on industry trends or breaking news stories
    • Always know how to creatively position yourself or your company as being new, different and relevant to that outlets readership

22. Establishing Thought Leadership

  • Being quoted or profiled by reputable media outlets certainly builds a positive brand perception, but credibility can be established more directly by:
    • Speaking at industry conferences
    • Submitting bylined articles to key trade publications
    • Applying for industry awards and recognitions
    • Blogging, Blogging, Blogging!
    • Producing podcasts, vidcasts, etc.

23. Case Study 24. Babelgum: Background

  • 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:
    • Introduce the company to U.S. audiences via coverage in top-tier business and lifestyle media; sponsorships of major film festivals
    • Support business development by facilitating meetings with independent U.S.-based producers and entertainment entities to build Babelgums content library
    • Generate anticipatory buzz among U.S.-based users, compelling them to sign-up for the open beta version of the platform

25. Babelgum: Challenges & Strategy

  • Challenges:
    • Chief competitor Joost had first-mover advantage; cornering the p2p Internet TV market in