Leveraging recommendations for reward

Across the industry, professionals are grappling with how to harness the power of recommendation for our brands, products, and services.

Across the industry, professionals are grappling with how to harness the power of recommendation for our brands, products, and services.

Identifying whose recommendations matter has transformed PR, an industry that now encompasses social media and word-of-mouth, into more science than art.

We need to understand the recommendation currency of traditional and social media, influencers, and word-of-mouth across every sector and category. It's different in every one of them and understanding that ranking, which should be based on effectiveness and durability, is critical to driving business results in the most efficient way possible.

In the aftermath of the recession and housing bubble, does a consumer turn to a friend for recommendations on buying beauty cream as well as a mortgage? I don't know about you, but after watching my friends' commitments to Farmville on Facebook, I may not hold their opinions about certain topics in the same high regard.

Those of us focused on corporate reputation face similar opportunities and challenges.  

PR professionals have to understand what's just clutter and what's "cut through" in the world of persuasion and recommendation. We should all embrace new channels, but I'm a firm believer in combining them with the tried and true.  

Having reaped reward from our 2010 PRWeek Agency of the Year title, we at Emanate know the power of awards and recognition, which carry real recommendation currency across consumer and corporate reputation categories. 

Hard to earn but long-lasting, an industry award or recognition can propel a brand forward – especially a new and previously little known product or service.  It did for us and I'm sure it will for the winners of the 2011 PRWeek Awards. Good luck to all. And winners, don't neglect to leverage your recommendation currency. 

Kim Sample is CEO of Emanate.

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