The success of branded content is more contingent now on PR pros’ ability to crunch numbers and analyze data.
Kelly McGinnis became executive VP and CCO of Levi Strauss & Co. in 2013. The move came 18 months after Levi Strauss hit the reset button following years of no growth. From the get-go McGinnis—who reports directly to Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh—instituted four principles that have guided communications strategy and enhanced integration.
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When PR takes a backseat to lead generation efforts in an organization, the strategic value of communication is masked behind a larger marketing umbrella. Don’t let this happen. PR needs to bridge what is a chronic disconnect and take its seat at the revenue table.
Unlike some audiences that brands and organizations cater to, influencers are not monolithic but are a loosely affiliated group of individuals who can have a pivotal influence on PR’s ability to drive conversation and spread the word. But getting people online to share information about your company’s products/services or values requires a different mindset than blasting a press release to a similar demographic or giving a presentation to like-minded people.
Spring is in the air, and so are significant changes at some of the most popular brands. These are not marginal changes where a press release and a few media hits will suffice to get out the message, though. They are major breaks from the branded past that require long-term communication strategies and a sustained effort by PR pros.
Two major international brands—Dolce & Gabbana and Lenovo—screwed up big time in the last month. How each handled its crisis is a classic lesson in ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ communicate after a misstep.