How Public Relations Must Change for Food in 2019
Undoubtedly, the way consumers interact with the food industry has changed. However, one constant remains a steadfast pillar: Public and media relations as strategically consistent, credible influences.
Especially where challenger food brands are concerned, the art of communication and building brand relationships between brand and consumer (as well as brand and media) still promotes both authenticity and authority. A one-two punch that, in turn, encourages increased thought leadership. However, while the core purpose of PR remains sound, the strategies many brands rely on continue to evolve. Between new technologies and tools to more efficient avenues of communication, it’s no surprise that this would be the case.
At the heart of each challenger food brand’s PR engagement is the desire to blow through obscurity, and building credibility is step one. In fact, the key strategies designed to do just that can no longer be siloed, but rather, must be dynamically played off of one another. Full integration is mandatory in 2019, and now is the time to employ a fuller view of Paid Media, Earned Media, Shared Media and Owned Media.
At the risk of being trampled by competition, challenger food brands can stick to the status quo. But, in the face of industry change and consumers making demands for transparency across all fronts, the New Year must bring PR and media relations that influence both customers and consumers.
Here’s your ticket to making moves that impact your challenger food brand beyond media impressions. Let’s make moves that drives tangible sales:
Paid Media can effectively help to expand your reach and awareness in an ever-crowded space. Paid social, for instance, can necessarily cut through the clutter of a platform that continues to grow competitive. In what Hootsuite has called the “pay-to-play era” on social media, “marketers have increased their social ad budgets (up 32 percent in 2018 alone).”
However, to truly bring paid media opportunities to life, countering them with a strong Earned Media strategy is also key. Where paid media can amplify your message, earned media can bring even greater credibility to it. By partnering with an agency partner that can capture the brand’s voice effectively, there is much greater potential to build consumers trust and ultimately, consumer loyalty.
Meanwhile, Shared Media, encouraging brands to partner with like-minded organizations, is an awareness tactic that we know promotes the growth of all communities involved. Whether through a well-strategized cause campaign or through co-marketing across the social space, shared media presents the unique opportunity to capture a new audience at the start of the sales funnel and quickly carry them through to acquisition.
In providing valuable and relevant content to help fuel strong shared media opportunities, Owned Media is unmatched. Whether a blog post from the brand’s internal team, video, webinars or user-generated content, this is an opportunity for you to drive profound credibility. Working your curated content into a well-rounded strategy that makes the most of each piece will further help to fuel the brand’s success with unprecedented awareness. This is where obscurity can be busted through.
In a fully integrated strategy that relies on each avenue of PR, a brand can strike gold and gain coveted credibility, as well as thought leadership. And, thought leadership, in turn, continues to promote credibility. Using the power behind paid media, earned media, shared media and owned media means making the most of each strategy.
While change can be difficult (and daunting), relying on an agency that loves the challenger food categoryas much as your brand does means it doesn’t need to be. For an exceptional agency partner, changing the way we look at PR shouldn’t take a second thought. It’s all for the sake of the brand. And, just as it always has been, brand is still king.