Reinventing brands, helping clients communicate, more

How do you reinvent an iconic brand?


How do you reinvent an iconic brand?

Understanding the difference between a reinvention and a relaunch is critical. “A true brand reinvention is a higher-order challenge,” explains Stephanie Smirnov, president of DeVries. “It rarely happens overnight.”

The first step is to identify the groups whose experience with the reinvented brand can best spark buzz.

“Push beyond traditional influencers to include un-expected targets, such as alternative sub-cultures, who are often well served with a robust digital strategy,” she says.

The PR team must demonstrate the positive ripple effect of this approach and have the metrics to go with it, adds Smirnov. At the same time, engage existing brand ambassadors in the reinvention story by deploying them in traditional media relations tactics.

These tactics allow PR pros to help marketers achieve mass awareness and excitement at launch. “That's where brand reinvention magic truly ignites,” Smirnov says.

Client training

Are there ways to persuade the reluctant client to become a better communicator?

When working with clients who aren't great communicators, it falls on the PR team to help them improve.

“A poor communicator leads to lost revenues, fewer customers, and failure to achieve public policy goals,” notes Ed Barks, president of Barks Communications.

“Learn which colleagues' communications abilities your client admires,” he advises, “then contact their PR teams and get to work on building relationships.”

Media- or presentation-skills training with a recognized expert is a must. Taking the lead on delivering such education to your clients positions you as a trusted adviser, as opposed to a mere vendor, Barks suggests.

And don't neglect to explain the advantages, he says, adding the importance of appealing to everything from organizational loyalty to personal vanity.

“You owe it to your clients to help them sharpen their communications edge,” Barks points out. “Anything less amounts to PR malpractice.”

Press releases
What are some tips for optimizing a press release?

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for years and PR pros are increasingly being judged on their ability to optimize press releases.

“Often it's not enough to draft a release that includes the right messages,” says Todd Defren, principal at Shift Communications. “You need to make sure they can be found on Google by customers, partners, staffers, etc.”

Choose the phrases you want to optimize wisely and make sure the phrase is included in the link text or anchor text, suggests Defren. You'll also want to include both a link early in the release and at least one full link, which includes the “http://” in the release somewhere.

“And be judicious about what you hyperlink,” Defren adds. “Too many links or links for non-key phrases will bring you down in the search engines.”

Please send your questions to: Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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