Welcome to the New Year! Have you performed a PR audit? What does your brand say? The inspiration for this article came from the new Realtor.com ads. The language that Realtor.com is using is “The Home for Home Search.” My first reaction was why didn’t they use “Your Home for Home Search?” When a brand like Realtor.com comes up with a slogan for a multi-million dollar ad campaign, there is purpose behind word selection. I bet that they evaluated dozens of slogans, consumer tested dozens of slogans, and did legal review on dozens of slogans.
Research the Words of the Past.
The words that you used in the past must be part of your research. The more research that you do, the better your words will become over time. When you can look back at the historical research of your brand, you can see how your brand’s words change over time. What were the words that you used in PR to communicate your brand years ago? What did consumers hear years ago? Remember, there is a difference between what you say and what your customers hear.
What did you say last year? What did your customers say about you last year?
When WAV Group does Public Relations Audits, we look very carefully at the words that you used historically in your press releases. We also look at the words that journalists used when they editorialized your narrative. Where they the same? If not, why not?
Research the Words of Your Competitors
There is nothing worse than developing words for your brand that are confusing to the consumer, unless that is your goal. A strategy for startups is to use the language of industry leaders to associate the customer’s awareness of a category to their brand. You see this a lot in marketing for wireless services with competitors like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. They pound the same words of coverage, speed, and family plans. Because of this, the words are covered by the noise and you really do not know which company has the advantage.
For companies that are looking for differentiation, it is vital that you do not use the words of your competitors unless you do so with a purpose.
The reality is, the words that you use for your brand and brand communications are more of a word cloud, than a specific word or phrase. You need to accentuate the words that power up your brand differentiation with your core audience while building confidence that you also do everything that your competitors take credit for.
PR Audits are Helpful
When WAV Group launched our public relations services, we underestimated the power of PR Audits. We performed numerous PR audits for clients last year even when other firms were providing PR. A lot of local Associations of REALTORS® use local PR firms because they know the local journalists. Local PR firms can also come into the office to work on releases. What many local PR firms do not have the capability of doing is developing the narrative for an Association of REALTORS®. They typically only work with one AoR and do not follow and track best practices like WAV Group.
If you want to find some new words and improve your communications in 2019, contact Victor Lund at WAV Group and we can provide a proposal for research or an audit.