Top Tips for Handling a PR Crisis

Getting exposure for a brand by building awareness with the target market is often one of the top goals of a marketing communication plan.

But what about when things go wrong and your brand gets exposure you haven’t expected?

Take a look at these top tips for handling a PR crisis so you can be prepared when the unexpected happens.

Your first instinct may not be the right one. Proper planning can help reduce damage.  Special thanks to NewsExposure for the use of their infographic.

Top Tips For Handling A PR Crisis from News Exposure

Using Color to Position Your Brand

Branding and Marketing professionals know that it’s important to understand color when selecting the right package, logo or to position for your brand.

You’ll want to know the feelings and meanings of colors when you are marketing your product, developing a logo to represent your brand or creating your website. There are so many color choices and they all communicate emotions. It’s important to know those feelings when choosing something that is a representation of your brand.

Looking at the competitors’ choices is one place to begin, but when selecting colors for your brand, whether it is for a website with call to action buttons or golf shirts for your trade show or the accent colors on your product, you must know the connotation and denotation of the colors.

Even when selecting the color pallet for your business office, you’ll want to consider the emotional connection of the color that your potential customers might feel, particularly in the areas where decisions will be made.

Some people scoff at hearing about the principles of decorating and color, but it shouldn’t be ignored if you’re having your customers in the space and/or if you have employees working there that you want to keep happy and motivated.

Often small business owners feel that holding a market research study is way too expensive. Just asking your spouse or other family members if “they like it” isn’t enough. In this case, learning more about colors and their meanings before you start directing and choosing only makes sense.

I recently read a short article about color where I learned a few more meanings of colors that I hadn’t known before.

This article outlines the color meanings and symbolism of colors. It talks about the positives and negatives of each of the main colors. Even though I’ve been reading/writing about color meanings since 1981, I learned a few things from this article and it inspired this post.

When I think about being strategic about decorating, I can’t help but think about Feng Shui, the Chinese system of harmonizing with the environment, which includes not only color but object placement.

3 Ways to Use Your Story to Build Awareness

The other day I talked about tracking the results of your press release. Obviously, before you can track a story of yours, you have to get the story in the media. Does your company have a story? This helps to brand your company with your identity.

How did it start? Who does it help? How are you able to help your best customers solve their problems?

If you don’t have a background story for your business, product or service, its more difficult to get someone interested in writing about it. That’s usually one of the early questions in an interview. “Tell me about yourself and background.” A business story or a product story is no different. Why does it exist?

You don’t have a story about helping anyone? Maybe now is the time to start crafting your story. Problem. Solution. Results. Who else has that problem?

So, assuming you have your story, how can you use your story to build awareness?

1) Hashtags can be like breadcrumbs. Sometimes posting a link on Twitter or other social media with #hashtags helps reporters find something that is trending. It is often wishful thinking that they will actually contact you, but if they are looking for a story and need a source, it helps them to find you. Don’t forget LinkedIn.

2) Become a source -I follow a service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and get 3 emails daily filled with topics that different reporters want to write about. I look for topics that my clients are experts on so that I can recommend the client. It is a service for journalists and for sources.

3) Newsjacking sounds bad, but isn’t. PublicityHound.com (run by Joan Stewart) is one of the best publicity “how to” websites and she offers lots of ways, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. She thinks like a reporter and usually recommends something called “newsjacking” where you tie your story into a current event (like an impending hurricanes or 9/11 connection or changes in the fall weather or whatever local angle to a current topic that a reporters is working on to write a story.) This is how your story becomes the example in their story.

She has a great article “Don’t Abandon the Press Release” which is particularly good about going after the press release slant – lead – angle to make it work for a particular media.

Have you had success with getting your story out there? What worked for you the best? What didn’t?

Leave a comment below to let me know.

Evaluating a Logo with Your Graphic Designer

Are you working on your logo with your graphic designer? It doesn’t have to be a frustrating process.logo with your graphic designer

Many thoughts go into a logo treatment. Sometimes developing a logo may seem so simple, but once you start thinking about it, developing a logo drives a lot of other decisions.

10 Considerations for Developing a Logo with Your Graphic Designer

  1. Colors – I’ve written many articles about colors and their meaning. Selecting a logo color palette sets up the colors for the branding.
  2. Typeface – Bold? Italic? Cursive? San Serif?  Selecting the type says a lot about a brand.
  3. Icon – the Nike swoosh, the Target circles, the Nationwide rectangle. Sometimes just seeing the icon is enough. What does your company’s icon say about your business?
  4. Reversing (what will it look like against white? Against another color?)
  5. Easy to read – It’s important that people can read it quickly and easily. Your logo represents your company and you want to communicate
  6. In Print – on letterhead, envelopes and business cards
  7. Website – Do the lines of type hold up on the website? The colors often drive the colors of the website as well.
  8. Trucks & Clothing – Will your logo work as a billboard for your business on the side of a van or the shirt of your employee?
  9. Signage – How will your logo look from the road or on the street?
  10. Social Media shapes – in a circle (like Twitter) or a Square like LinkedIn. Does your logo have to be vertical or horizontal?

While you don’t want to get caught up in analysis, these are a few of the things you may want to consider when you’re working on your logo with your graphic designer.

We have helped many of our clients refresh their logos or develop brand new logos for a new product or service they want to offer.