Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Listen to Your Audience for Crucial Insights

Connecting with the right audience can be a daunting task but for a business to succeed and remain relevant in today’s social age, public relations professionals must find a way to forge a relationship with their target audience and maintain that connection. Corporations and organizations should focus on understanding what their target audience wants, thinks and feels. Growing your business and exceeding your bottom line goals can depend on how well you connect with your audience. Gaining crucial insights to their needs and demands and staying abreast of any changes to these variables is what helps businesses remain ahead in a changing market.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we explore various ways for companies and organizations to sustain their business practice and maintain fresh, relevant content all by developing a strong connection to their audience and keeping a pulse on changing wants and demands. We will also take a deeper look at two brands, one that has successfully made that connection with their audience through their content strategy and one that clearly missed the mark in trying to connect with their target audience.

Articulating Your Content Strategy Like A Child’s Storybook (Edelman Digital)

Edelman Digital’s Michael Brito discusses how developing content strategy that tells a visual story can more effectively deliver messaging in a way that your audience will understand. Brito explains that while learning visual storytelling has become a top priority for most marketing execs, the process requires much more than simply attaching a picture to every piece of content your team produces. There is also a great deal of planning and collaboration that goes into creating real-time content. Brito shares a Slideshare presentation from Stefanos Karagos that makes the case for content strategy with a storybook quality.

Sustainable Business is a Must for PR, Says Forster Communications’ Jo Foy (PRmoment)

Sotheby’s Institute of Art assistant director Joanna Foy discusses sustainable business and what that means to various stakeholders, including staff, suppliers, clients, community and the environment. While most creative businesses do not see the value in sustainability and would rather focus on profits, Foy argues that there is room to combine the two and generate better results while maintaining profit goals. What has yet to be seen by a number of businesses is that sustainability policies significantly affect employee engagement, productivity levels, which ultimately have a major impact on the bottom line. It may take time for small-to-medium enterprises start to connect these dots but Foy encourages agencies and corporations alike to look at the benefits that they may gain from investing in sustainable practices.

Nobody Really Cares About Your Brand (Ad Age)

Ad Age’s Tom Denari offers unique reality-check for brands: “People don’t care about your brand nearly as much as you do.” Here is a brief explanation behind his somewhat abrasive sentiment. While brand execs spend countless hours thinking and planning around their brand, Denari questions whether these same execs are taking the time to truly get to know their audience. It is exceedingly important for brands to stay relevant and many brands look at factors like sentiment, reach, and mentions as a relevance measure. Denari suggests that brands have to assert themselves as visionary companies in order to stay ahead of the competition and be seen by their audience as the best in their category. Denari urges brands to look at the bigger picture, not just the present circumstances in front of them.  

The 3 Types of Content that Drive Disney’s Blog (Ragan’s PR Daily)

Shel Holtz offers his take on why Disney Parks’ blog can act as a guide for any business when it comes to engaging employees and delivering original content. Holtz discusses three types of content that help drive Disney’s blog and are easily translatable to any business no matter the industry. The three types of content include:

  • Humanizing your business.
  • Purposeful storytelling.
  • Remarkable experience.

Read more for examples and ideas on how to apply these content strategies to your business model.

Branding Fail: Tablet for Women Met with Cries of ‘Sexism!’ (PRNewser)

ePad Femme, manufactured by the Dubai-based Eurostar Group, is a prime example of a branding “fail” in terms of getting to know your audience and their product needs. The company recently marketed a new tablet targeting women. The tablet is comes with preloaded apps that they say every woman needs including, “Women’s Assistant,” “Finest Perfume for Women,” “Clothing Size Conversion”, “Shopping List”, and “Our Groceries.” These apps paint a very antiquated picture of women and what’s even more suggestive are the apps that don’t come preloaded, including anything career or education related. This is a clear example of a company that did not take the time to research their target audience and inadvertently turned their target audience off from the product and the brand in general.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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