PR Opinions Foreword

Content and native advertising are substantially changing the nature of marketing today and no discipline is going to feel that drive to change more than PR.

Michael Barnett

The brand’s story, and how it is communicated, needs greater thought and consistency than ever before. Whether through advertising, branded content or indeed your products and services, consumers see that the brands they know and love best have a coherent through-line in everything they do, and they are coming to expect it everywhere.

How to build that narrative is the subject of the first of these essays, from H+K Strategies. UK chief executive Richard Millar argues that brand storytelling needs to recast the formula of the ‘hero’s journey’ – familiar from ancient myths and modern movies such as Star Wars – so consumers can recognise the evolutions and ordeals present in the brand’s story.

This is not to say that brands have complete control over that story. They will sometimes still have to rely on others to get it out into the world, as the second essay from Tanya Hughes at Talk PR points out. The difference is that today these influential voices do not just belong to established journalists, but also individual bloggers.

To maximise the chances that the blogosphere will willingly and enthusiastically amplify the effects of your own communications, relationships with bloggers need to be carefully cultivated.

Finally, Waggener Edstrom UK’s creative director Nick Woods reminds us that brands and their PR agencies must recognise there are many ways to distribute an original idea, from apps to events. Are you working with the people who have seen the future, and know what they need to do in order to get there?

Michael Barnett, supplements editor, Marketing Week 


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