A PR Expert’s Tips for High-Growth Brands in 2024
Author: April White
Great companies never stop looking for ways to expand. Whether it’s a desire to hire more top talent or further their reach and better engage with their target audiences, the most well-established companies know it’s crucial to stay on the hunt for new ways to generate brand awareness.
The pandemic saw a huge uptick in the creation of small businesses, and now that we’re firmly situated in that “new normal” everyone was talking about in 2020, those brands are pretty well established. Standing out and making your company known is more important now than ever. And having a team on your side that is professionally trained to put your best face forward is the solution to making real movement in 2024. That’s where public relations comes in.
When deciding to commit to a partnership with a PR and marketing agency, there are a few points to first consider. Ask yourself: What are your goals for your company, both short and long-term? What do you believe sets you apart from the competition? How do you want your reputation to be perceived by your customers and the general public? Are you open to advice — and change — to “walk the talk” on your brand values?
The problem is that even if you know your brand values like the back of your hand internally, the market is more cluttered than ever and your potential customers might not know what you stand for. The best PR agencies can help you bridge that gap.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to public relations but rather, a mutually beneficial relationship. As a PR practitioner, I have found the best dynamic to be one where the agency team views itself as an extension of the brand’s in-house crew and where the brand leadership, in turn, trusts the agency like one of its own. The results can really pack a punch, drive traffic and maximize the rewards of exposure.
Here are five brand tips for high-growth companies to consider this year, before you get started on that next RFP to find the agency that can accomplish your goals.
Have a Strong Vision or Mission
The vision you have for your company is its pulse. If you lose sight of this amid the years of expansions, partnerships, leadership changes, acquisitions, and so on — then you run the risk of presenting to the public as if you exist for the wrong reasons. Your mission connects to everything else. It’s what makes your company unique, sets you apart from the competition, and dictates your key values. There have been times when I briefly forgot why I originally wanted to create my PR firm, Trust Relations, in the first place. It was like walking around with blinders on until I remembered the “why” of Trust Relations’ need to exist.
It’s important for brands to revisit their roots, and evolve that mission and its applications to fit the needs of the brand and its customers over time. If it’s been longer than you can remember since you’ve sat down with your current marketing team to dissect your brand DNA, it’s probably overdue. In such cases, I typically advise a brand messaging workshop. The one we do at Trust Relations is called the Trust Analysis. (And not to toot my own horn here, but I firmly believe it’s the best one out there.) But the general purpose of this kind of PR exercise is to define the brand you want to be and what makes you different, solidify that messaging across every possible brand touchpoint, and then use it as your North Star to guide your future strategic decisions. 2024 is a good year to do that.
Go All-In on Company Culture
A rock-solid company needs a culture that’s as strong as its product or service. And the culture — when built thoughtfully — can be a direct extension of the mission and brand values. The workplace culture is the stage upon which a company does everything else. Every brand identity starts at the top, with the executive leadership’s vision, and trickles down from there.
And that becomes the foundation of the company’s brand. Especially in today’s social context, consumers care about how large companies treat their staff — and they spend accordingly. A business like Zappos can become just as famous for its positive company culture as for its products. Just the same, even leading brands like Uber or Amazon can take a serious hit to their credibility when unkind or unsafe internal practices come to light.
I can personally attest that our “considerate culture” at Trust relations — key among my reasons for founding it — has made us better, more adaptable, more efficient and more stable as the years go by. A happier team that offers better client service means decreased burnout and churn.
Rally Your Team to See and Support the Vision
With a refreshed vision and brag-worthy culture in place, you’ll need to continuously encourage your team to see this mission and want to support the vision. Without a team that cares about the company’s continued expansion, it becomes an uphill battle to keep growing and presenting the company publicly in a positive light.
My approach to this is with our Intuitive Team Design philosophy. Essentially, we match our account teams based on passion, work style and experience rather than just capacity. In turn, our account teams feel a personal investment in the success of the brands they serve, clients can trust their expertise, and the media results are pretty kick-a**. For high-growth brands, it’s absolutely critical to weave that mission into your internal structures constantly, if you’re boasting your ideals as differentiators. It makes for a more authentic, holistic brand identity.
Be Open to Trusting Others and Leaning on Their Expertise
Founders of well-established companies know that being a founder is not for the faint of heart — neither is it for the insecure or control freaks. In order to grow through public relations, you must let go of the reins to an extent. Can it be hard? Yes. Is it worth it? If you have a skilled PR team on your side, absolutely. If you’re partnering with an agency, it’s important to be able to trust their expertise and follow their lead in certain aspects of your public positioning.
Many company founders are phenomenal at securing funding, wooing new partners and driving sales — but they are rarely as skilled at being their own publicists. And they shouldn’t have to be. The right PR and marketing agency will map their strategic planning back to your brand goals, help you drive them forward, and keep you fully-informed every step of the way. The best of us have a genuine passion for it. Especially after a growth spurt, it can become difficult to see where your brand’s weaknesses and strengths lie. PR practitioners are skilled at identifying those areas of opportunity or, in some cases, helping you transition through a public misstep gracefully. Trust might be difficult to hand over at first if you’ve been burned by bad agencies, but can quickly turn into relief when you find the right fit – and it’s necessary if you want to keep growing.
Never Stop Improving
Whether you’re a company that’s been around for 50 years or a brand-new startup, you must have an insatiable desire to improve in every way. The companies that do this are the ones that find greater efficiencies and ways to improve or streamline processes. They hire better people, expand their services and reach, and find new ways to engage their target audiences in increasingly meaningful ways.
Whenever I look back at how Trust Relations got started (with a Wix site I built myself) I can hardly believe how much we’ve accomplished (several industry awards, an international team, a roster of phenomenal clients). I really believe in the power and impact of a leader’s commitment to constant, positive change and bld action. Innovation is what keeps you on the cutting edge, at the forefront of customers’ minds and, of course, in the headlines.
To keep crushing your goals and sharing your message with the world, consider these five tips. And if you’re ready to unlock your brand’s PR potential this year, we are the PR agency for you. Request a consultation with us.
Trust Relations Team