Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the PRSA Western District Conference hosted by PRSA Colorado at Coors Field in Denver. Besides the amazing views and familiar faces, I had the opportunity to attend two days of sessions focused on the latest trends and insights in the public relations industry. Here are my three takeaways from the conference.
1. Be relevant, but to the right audience. Brands spend thousands of dollars trying to think of creative and innovative ways to be relevant, and while sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t. Rather than latching onto the latest trend, take the time to understand who your target audience is and research what they want and why, tailoring any messages and outreach, accordingly. Taking the time to create a message that really resonates with your target audience will be more impactful in the long run than chasing the next trend. Three different speakers touched on this topic, emphasizing the importance of doing audience research first.
2. Create your own meaningful content. The media landscape is evolving, and new content is being pushed out at a faster rate than ever through a variety of different sources. Inserting your brand or company into the pipeline can be a challenge. Rather than pushing content to sources that may not be interested, use your own channels and develop worthwhile content. A company’s website or social channels can serve as a newsroom with quick facts and information about the brand.
3. Be likeable. Words like genuine, authentic and likeable float across the room in strategy and business meetings. But, how do you know if your brand truly is likeable? According to keynote speaker Peter Shankman, it must be embedded in your company’s objectives from the ground up. It’s a customer service employee who delivers a truly exceptional experience because that’s just who they are, or it’s employees who proactively volunteer in the community because they want to, not because management thinks it will improve the bottom line or the next CSR report. As companies and brands continue to look for innovative ways to reach customers and stay top of mind, the ones that continue to rise to the top are those that are genuine and likeable. Embed authenticity into company values, within the brand identity and through hiring practices from the CEO to entry-level positions. Being likeable, authentic and genuine needs to come from a good place in order to be real. As Peter Shankman said, “stop chasing the likes, and start doing more likeable things.”
PRSA Colorado has a lot of great professional development opportunities – visit its website to learn more about what’s coming up.