Why do fish need water? Why do giraffes have long towering necks? And why are Ibex completely at home on near vertical inclines? Whilst Charles Darwin put forward the scientific framework to explain all of these questions, I believe that parallels can be drawn between the theory of evolution & why brands need Public Relations.
Now, I know I’m no scientist by any stretch of the imagination – Isaac Newton would awake from his grave & have a laugh if I even attempted to come across as one – but clear similarities between these two concepts can be drawn if we accept that they are both products of their environment.
2020 was one of the most eventful years in recent memory. Whilst in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the #BlackLivesMatter movement & countless other seismic happenings, brands have had to adapt to the current flux in the environment they live in.
Thanks to social media & the current global climate, consumers, now more than ever, expect brands to take a stance on societal & morality topics, particularly issues revolving around gender, race & legislative transformation. These topics can be murky waters to navigate, and quite honestly, topics brands would prefer not to partake in, but here’s where Public Relations earns its stripes.
The following points highlight why brands need PR as a tool to strategically position brands in a favourable light:
PR offers brands social listening
We all know that at its best, the communication process is a two-way mechanism, it allows all the parties involved to send information & receive feedback. Social listening, through ‘Environmental Scanning’ provides brands with the opportunity to check the external environment or any feedback it might get from its audience to gauge the context & climate in which it currently operates. This is particularly useful as it allows brands to ‘read the room’ & absorb information which can be beneficial for them in order to curate their communication efforts more effectively.
PR allows brands to effectively communicate with both internal and external audiences
You might be thinking that I’m about to wax lyrical about how brands need to convey the right messages through their strategic communication efforts in relation to the end consumer. Whilst this holds true, internal communication channels, aimed at a brand’s employees, management & other internal stakeholders, constantly need to be kept up to speed as well. Public Relations makes this possible. Through crafting a favourable organisational culture aimed at its labor capital, partners and collaborators, a business can cement a reputation as being ‘hip’ to work for and increase its appeal both internally and externally.
Lastly, PR offers brands the opportunity to constantly develop its story
Human culture is a very fluid thing. Every so often it progresses, morphs and evolves. What used to be the norm back in the day might be the new taboo in today’s society. Issues such as global warming, labour relations legislation & data security are just some of the hot societal topics that modern-day consumers care about in relation to the brands they support. Every time a brand strives to keep up with societal culture & standards is a chance for it to develop and amplify its story to the public. Whether it pledges to deliver its products and services in an eco-friendlier way or abolish outdated work environment practices, through PR, it gains the opportunity to mirror its environment and be relatable.
For me, it’s clear as daylight why brands need PR, especially following the upheaval of 2020. PR allows brands to be personified and be present, within the present. Even if it is applied in its most basic form, Public Relations will always be a tool needed to reach mutual understanding and perpetuate meaningful stories.
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