PR does work.

PR is not dead. Vanessa von Bismarck, Founder and Partner at BPCM, writes on why the relationship with the public is more important for brands than ever.

This morning I woke up the subject of my morning news email reading PR doesn’t work. Click bait that falls in the same category of Retail is dead, Media is dead etc… The premise of the story is that traditional fashion product placements in magazines do not result in consumer engagement and that bands are now turning to “different” strategies like influencer/celebrity placements, owned content, events etc. The term ‘public relations’ means so much more now.

We founded BPCM 20 years ago, originally with a focus on fashion, and it is true that the way we work has completely changed. To say that PR does not work anymore is inconsistent with my experience not only these past 20 years, but now as well.. The relationship with the public is more important for brands than ever. The emotional connection with the consumer is achieved by telling compelling and relatable stories through whichever medium be it online, print, TV, radio, podcasts, through influencers, IRL or through brand-owned media channels, and all of this is directed through the brand communications agency or in-house representative.

It is also important to note, before writing of an entire industry, that media placements can actually be very effective if placed in the right context and in stories that readers can connect with. We just had that instance where one of our brands was mentioned in a WSJ story about travel. As a result, the brand tripled their sales and the effect lasted for an extended period of time.

It is true that there is a massive overload of information, products and messages out there and the consumer is more fickle than ever, so strategic communications agencies like us need to look at all venues and start the conversation with what are we trying to say and what a brand stands for.

The story quoted brands like Rodarte, Tibi and Eckhaus Latta – all beautiful niche brands, but I would have loved to see a brand like Hermes or Gucci mentioned – brands that have found a way to connect with their consumer through stories that spark their imagination and create personal touchpoints with consumers through such stories. Everlane was also mentioned. Everlane has captured the love and affection of its consumer through their messaging of radical transparency and ethical factories. Having recently launched a sustainability division we find that there are many brands that need help from communications professionals with their messaging, setting intentions or just simply educating both internally and externally on this subject. For the new conscious minded consumer, these messages and stories can drive their purchase decisions.

PR does indeed work and is a very necessary part of any brands business. Maybe not the traditional press office that was relevant 20 years ago, but the actual work of strategically thinking about storytelling, guiding brands to create emotional connections with their consumers and messaging, is very much alive and well.

This story originally appeared on LinkedIn

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