PR Firms Know the Importance of Public Relations for Brand Adoption
Public relations firms know when a brand has made it. The public reacts with enthusiasm to merely seeing the logo, and uses the brand’s message or tagline in everyday speech – think “Just Do It!” They mold their buying habits around the lifestyle that these brands portray, and they feel good moving through life with specific brands in tow. Public relations is one key driver of massive brand recognition and adoption, and can marry effectively with advertising plans and quality product offerings to create a brand that truly dominates.
Some Brands Know How to Reach the Public
There are key similarities between brands that truly know how to utilize PR to reach their targeted audience. All of these brands utilize PR firms that understand the importance of:
• Knowing your public and what gathers attention • Knowing which channels generate the traffic necessary to provide brand awareness • Understanding the impact of specific branding characteristics • Developing a strategy to maintain growth and support through a product’s lifespan
Powerhouse brands that excel, in terms of PR, are massive companies with national and even worldwide recognition. The following are ten brands that are truly PR giants.
1. Southwest Airlines: Southwest is a PR leader in the airline field in because of their crisis management (it grounded its entire fleet of planes when one showed a structural flaw, exceeding the expectations of federal regulators and the public alike), customer focused rewards programs, and much-publicized, environmentally conscious practices. With the airline industry suffering from negative public opinion – Southwest Airlines’ PR efforts have increased profits and brand recognition.
2. USAA Credit Union: Serving the needs of military members, military spouses, and dependents for decades, USAA gives support and stability to these proud members of the Armed forces. Campaigns aimed at establishing a financial partnership for life, coupled with a staunch support for those in uniform, lends credibility and public support to this organization.
3. Coca-Cola Corp: Coke means “Classic Americana,” and they haven’t strayed from this campaign strategy in decades. Coke has emerged as an organization that elegantly combines old-school trust and quality with cutting edge technological advances in PR. Digitally reaching out to the public, Coco-Cola Corp quarterly conference calls with the Chief Executive team are available to all as a podcast. Including their customers creates lasting loyalty to the brand.
4. General Electric: GE is a legacy brand across the world. This mega brand understands that we all are interconnected and interdependent. GE, a company with a massive carbon footprint, has led the “green” movement understands that the environment is a common cause for all. With firm roots in the “green energy” field and utilizing the iconology of “protector of our planet”, GE has built trust in generations of consumers.
5. Disney Corp: One of the largest brands in the world, Disney manages images. Images of their products, their movie stars, their movies, and their theme parks - all adding up to a wholesome image that parents can wholeheartedly endorse and support. This image of safety and wholesomeness means consumers will buy more films, more merchandise, and take more trips to Disney-themed destinations. Deftly defusing detractors or critics, the PR team for Disney protects the brand, at all costs.
6. Honda Motor Company: Harnessing the power of social media - Honda has launched Pinterest and Twitter-based campaigns that have been wildly successful and cost very little. With PR campaigns aimed at emerging power-consumers, Honda has captured a new loyal base of customers who feel personal call-to-action and recognize the benefits of Honda products.
7. Nike: Nike is all about innovative partnerships, seductive marketing (see any of the “first-person player” World Cup-based short films), and massive social media involvement. Blending publicity and celebrity – Nike harnesses star power to strengthen their brand. Major press involvement is normal for the launch of a new pair of shoes, and getting your own line of shoes is considered a benchmark of stardom for an athlete.
8. Apple: Apple isn’t shy about realizing the power of its brand. Apple can be relatively quiet as an organization, until time to launch a new product. Then, the normal PR game of press releases, tech journal write-ups, and social media frenzy takes over. Apple has always garnered good PR by stressing the lifestyle benefits of its products versus tech talk.
9. Red Bull – Its founder famously scoffed at the notion that 50% of taste-testers found the drink revolting, and launched a PR campaign to convert the world. With a full one-third of its revenues allocated to events and sponsorships, Red Bull is the lifestyle brand for those engaged in extreme sports.
10. Microsoft: Experiencing a public relations renaissance – Microsoft managed to escape their public image of an evil-empire of bloated corporate excess. Microsoft has endeared itself to the public by promoting a softer, less businesslike image. The extensive charity work and generosity for CEO Bill Gates has generated extensive positive press for Microsoft.
While these companies may shift in and out of the top ten lists each year, they all have done an admirable job of capturing the public’s desire for an enhanced and fuller life experience. These companies aim to make people happy, to integrate into consumer’s lives seamlessly, and to support a particular image that many of us attempt to portray. Whether classic in design or cutting edge, the products put out by these organizations are an integral part of our lives.