Creating a Million Dollar Brand Through PR Outreach: The Power and Currency of Credibility (PART 1)
This is the first in a three-part series titled Creating a Million Dollar Brand Through PR Outreach. Have you ever wondered why a rich celebrity would sit down for an unpaid interview with a national newspaper? Or why a wealthy professional athlete would take a low-paying broadcasting job as their career winds down with little need for money? In a word, credibility. All about the power and currency of credibility. Credibility, once earned, can be used as a currency to obtain access to people, places, and sales growth for brands and organizations of all stripes. The celebrity and the hall of fame athlete are after the same thing businesses and organizations seek – to be top of mind in the minds that matter most.
1 – Trust
Think about it, what is a major factor in purchasing in 2021? Trust. Where does trust come from? Often for buyers, it is the establishment media that issues such trust.
Like when you read about a new local restaurant in the Wall Street Journal you decide it must be worth trying. Why? Because WSJ said so. They’ve passed their credibility on to the establishment.
In turn, the restaurant might frame the article and put it up on their wall prominently, so guests will see it and become excited to try the place. The reward for the restaurant pursuing and agreeing to an interview is this increased business it offers through credibility.
This credibility could be leveraged further for entering into the mail-order business or grocery stores for a signature product. Customers and vendors might be more willing to take a risk on the product because it was featured in a national credible publication.
Not just for small businesses, but non-profits too.
Take a look at this recent example of how a major newspaper, the Indy Star, produced a story on Honduran people helping their native country post two devastating hurricanes.
The story does a lot of work for those wanting to get involved. It gives info on what’s going on, the organizations taking action, and how to help.
Those skeptical of giving blindly might be more apt to donate since their local newspaper did the story, and presumably, the legwork in making sure the organizations featured were in fact legitimately supporting those in need.
Credibility in the media is real, and it can have a very powerful effect on organizations large and small.
2 – Buyers Trust Buyers
An emerging trend in the currency of credibility is the role of the buyer trusting the buyer. Ever skip the corporate images on an Amazon product listing for ones users that have purchased the item uploaded? You’re not alone.
Buyers more and more are turning to other buyers for trust signals. According to research by Mobile Marketer, 51% of survey respondents preferred buyer images compared to ones supplied by the brand when considering purchasing decisions.
Think this buyer-related credibility factor is relegated to consumer-facing brands alone? Think again, the popularity of G2 and Capterra, among others, have highlighted the fact that buyers are showing a growing interest in user reviews of SaaS, and more broadly B2B and B2C software in general.
Gone are the days when one could rely on corporate branding to gain and retain credibility. Now users and customers of brands of all stripes must be activated to help build credibility.
An effective PR campaign will harness the idea and leverage it to create user-generated content (UGC), and brand ambassadors armed with leeway to be honest with fellow buyers.
3 – Credibility Not Found in Brand Messaging Alone
As mentioned above, people are losing trust in credibility put forth by brands themselves. According to a recent study by Kantor Media, only 33% of consumers trust brand messaging.
Developing a strategy that enlists credibility-building efforts among social media users, buyers on third-party marketplaces like Amazon when applicable, influencers, and the establishment media will ensure robust results will follow.
When the power and currency of credibility becomes the focus, and trust becomes the idea behind it, then it is time to look at the third spoke in the million dollar branding through PR wheel, distribution of credibility through exposure.
Next, we’ll drill down on how to come upon exposure and what opportunities exposure presents for brands like yours.
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by Clark Covington