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Building brand relevancy and credibility – What can PR really do?


Last week, Racepoint Global UK attended the PRCA Consumer Group event: Building Brand Relevancy and Credibility – What can PR really do?

Panellists Joan O’Connor (Coca – Cola), Lauren Winter (FleishmanHillard), Eleanor Sullivan (Golin), Kinda Jackson (MSL UK) and Sam Matthewson (Fresh Planning) made up the panel, chaired by Chairman of the PRCA Consumer Group, Ruth Allchurch.

The group passionately discussed and debated the role of brands in our ecosystems, within marketing in general, and the importance and value of being relevant in today’s competitive market.

Some key points from the lively and open interactive event included:

- Trust, credibility, and authenticity – the panel encouraged the audience to acknowledge that whilst as professionals, we allow ourselves to be hooked on our client’s every word, the average consumer will not always be naturally as responsive and need to be targeted in line with their motives.

- Are your audiences going to buy or use your product or service in order to engage with the brand, or just use them with no frills attached? As the panelists concluded at the end of the Q&A segment, the brands they personally favoured were those that give them what they need, using their personalised behavioural data to provide value to their lives. Be this Ocado, Spotify or Amazon, as consumers, they can get what they want, when they want, and how they want it.

- Agencies exclusive to advertising and PR services have been known to focus on footfall and sales or engagement and reputation respectively. The world of marketing is changing however, with brands starting to appreciate a 360˚ philosophy through an integrated marketing approach, combining earned, owned, paid, and social media, with a holistic plan at the forefront of all activities.

- Relevancy may be disputed when a given brand enters a cultural conversation that they are not ‘invited’ to. Whilst the room was split on the recent Greggs Sausage Roll-Gate, there was mutual agreement that there must be corporate and creative internal debates on the battle between taking risks for your brand against waiting for permission to be relevant.

- PR professionals and agencies who are briefed to be brave by their clients to earn attention from their target audiences don’t need to peddle controversy and risk. By being unexpected, but strategic, brands can thrive and connect to their audiences in ways that differentiate themselves from the competition.