The transparent relationship between PR agent and client

The transparent relationship between PR agent and client

By Daniela Dálio

One of the basic premises for a successful communication work with the press is a good relationship between the PR agent and the client. It is important to remember that both parties have duties to perform on the way in order to achieve good results.

First of all, it is crucial that the PR agent understands deeply their client’s business as well as their goals. To this end, an immersion into client’s company is essential for having deep understanding of the services, products, spokespeople, etc. Hence, the agent will have a general overview of what they must produce in order to generate results that are aligned with the company’s strategy.

The good relationship between the PR agent and the client also demands transparency and trust. The agent, many times, must adopt an educative posture and show the assisted what might work or not in the press, showing which are the criterion used by journalists to turn a pitch into a publication. This transparent and honest attitude can help the understanding of the client about the press and, most important, increase the credibility of the advisory work of the agent.

And, this credibility, in turn, is the key for the client to expand their trust on the agent. Trust that the client must have in order to give more and more access to important information that could be used along with the press in the best possible way. And here comes the duty of the client in this relationship: being transparent on their data and on their communication with the agent, helping on the composition of an interesting pitch for the press.

Therefore, a frank, honest and transparent relationship between the two parties broaden a lot the chances of achieving the proposed goals in a communication strategy with the press.

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Digital presence: why is it essential to build a good website?

By Amanda Lima

When you are searching for some product, solution or service and does not know where to begin, I figure that one of your starting points is making a quick search on Google to check whether you can find one or more companies that can solve your problem. In order to analyze the results, I agree that our particularities as consumers have an important role – we may choose not to click and acquire products or services of the same company. But there is one thing that I am certain of: we search companies whose websites have better credibility among these first virtual contacts.

Migrating a bit from the consumer’s point of view to analyze the company’s point of view, a dilemma emerges: how to make my organization stand out in such a competed universe? The question is nothing more than an invitation to ponder which digital marketing strategies are valid so that a company is more easily, often and by more people found. Today I decided to talk about, maybe, the most essential of them: the importance of building visually interesting, functional and smart institutional website.

A website may be considered your virtual “business card”. Often this is the first contact between your business and your public. And, as all of us – communicators or businessmen – are also consumers, it worth analyzing: have you ever seen a brand with great credibility and visibility that does not own a website? No matter how strong the presence of microbusinesses on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, is, I am sure the answer is most likely negative. Not having a website means not being found, like if a company did not exist in the phone book – when we compare to the old days when we were not connected 24/7.

The first impression is what counts – and what builds customer loyalty
How to create a website in a sense that it is strategic for the marketing of an organization? To exemplify, I bring you the case ABPM (Apple Producers Brazilian Association), a non-profitable organization that gathers 75% of all Brazilian apple production, 85% of commerce within internal market and 95% of exportations. Race Communications was in charge of complete reformulation of the company’s institutional website.

With full respect for the client’s history and needs, we chose to recreate the institution’s website layout from scratch in order to obtain a more responsive, intuitive and modern look:

We reinforced the seriousness and the presence of the company on the digital environment – along with a strong social media plan, topic for a future publication. The integration with social media is, moreover, another point of a good website: through widgets and plugins, it is possible to concentrate on this digital “business card” all social media where the company is present, which allows improving even more the access of the public to the brand.

Besides all the work reformulating the visual identity, we wanted to take the most advantage of the potential that this channel could have so ABPM became relevant on the web and communicated with their target audience: apple producers (mostly associated to the institution), retailers and, of course, the final consumers.

Production of relevant content

One of the main strategies to be a relevant website and, consequently, obtaining more access, is offering visitors quality content: the so called inbound marketing. Building interesting business blogs, besides having low investment when compared to other publicity campaign models, consolidates the relationship of the company with the public and also increases the relevance of the website on Google searches – being found is our goal, right?

On the ABPM example, we fed two distinctive blogs: an institutional, aimed to producers and other professionals of the field, and one with recipes, aimed to the final consumer. From these two channels, we created a “voice” to the brand and placed ourselves ahead of other association’s initiatives of producers worldwide.

To learn more about this project, go to www.abpm.org.br.

Are you thinking of building a website for your brand? Talk to us!

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Public relations briefing, essential on everyday life

By Gabriel Pedreschi

For a public relations agency, elaborating any communications action, whether it is a press release or a press conference for big media outlets, the briefing will be the kick-off to achieve, at last, the expected result and coverage. After all, complying with the customer, since first steps, is essential for a well-succeeded work. But, to this end, the briefing must contain a few important features so that it is a perfect gathering of information about the topic and/or action about to happen.

The briefing is the base for good diagnostics, even if basic, of what will happen. Without it, one cannot have ideas, information, nor the essential so that the communication occurs properly and reaches its target.

We explain here the main details for a successful briefing.

Details of what is going to be disclosed and goal

Each briefing and release are different from one another. After all, the launch of a product is different from a presentation of a company’s balance sheet. Therefore, having all details and specifications of what the customer intends to disclose, even if some pieces of information are not used in the future, will help the agency define their next steps. The goal and time of disclosure must also be explained.

Target audience

Once having the goals and details of what is going to be disclosed, it gets easier to decide who is going to be the target of that campaign. If an insurance company, for example, wants to introduce a new type of policy through a press conference, the PR is going to search the ideal outlets, such as journalists from the field and economy publications, that will lead the information to the final audience. If the action is the disclosure of a recipe through a press release, the gastronomy outlets will be preferred.

Budget

After tracing the whole strategy and having the information of the product and target, public relations and customer must find the best deadline for production and costs (when not included in the agency’s fee) to carry out the action. A press release disclosure does not generally demand extra costs nor a lot of time. A press kit, though, will require more time and costs.

Goals

This is the point that sets the success of that action for the agency and for the customer. For example, in a one-off disclosure, two TIER 2 (medium relevance) outlets of the proposed editorial is a great result. In the case of big news, the goal must be TIER 1 (high relevance) outlets.

Possible risks

It is rare. But, in some disclosures, the PR agency, along with the customer, must calculate and set a plan to avoid a possible crisis due the disclosed topic.

Are you interested on this matter? Click here and learn more about this and other services offered by Race Communications.

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Do you have an image to protect?

By Luiz Antônio Gaulia

The Word Press Photo of the Year 2018 awarded the picture of Ronaldo Schemidt’s, from AFP, of a demonstrator in flames in the street of Caracas, during protests against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, in Venezuela. According to Canon, sponsor of the competition for 26 years, over 73 thousand pictures were received in this edition. Thousands of photographers, of 125 countries, have sent their work. A research done by the company together with Word Press Photo Foundation pointed that most of the registered photographers wished to provoke new perceptions about different topics through the capture of precious moments of reality in the world.

 

It’s undeniable that the power of one unique image can change our perception of a certain situation, person or brand. Our reputations are constructed through images and memories accumulated as reference files of some institution, company, character or event. This memory might be a good one or a bad one and serve as a credibility savings account. If this account is in the black, with a positive balance and good income, it’s very likely that, in a situation of emergency, our tendency is trusting the owner of this savings account even in a moment of crisis. Something like keeping selling on the cuff even after they screwed up.

 

“What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over”. And so goes the popular saying, right? So, the interpretation of an image may generate criticism or praises, admiration or repel, love or hate, and the photo of the moment is the face of quality of a reputation in that context. As everything can change in a matter of two minutes, according to the Band News slogan (Brazilian news radio network), or maybe even two seconds – the world is running too fast -, I take a chance and tell you that we live in times of relative reputation, mutant credibility, trust in the waiting list or in permanent state of inspection. If reputation is the sum of a set of factors, whose value may grow bigger or smaller in time, I can assure that protecting our image is a hard, permanent and mandatory task. Not only when a crisis happens, but also strategically, preventively, with focus on learning and training, especially for big brands, whether they’re public or private companies, political leaders and their parties, actors, actresses, pop stars, NGOs and also media outlets, teachers, associations, etc. The universe is huge. In business world, the capacitation and reputation management knowledge, precautions with the desired image versus the noticed one go way beyond marketing, a public relations job or agency. In a society that watches too much, but observes little and is more and more used to judging and been judged on the first impact of an image, it’s required to be prepared to surf the waves of public opinion on undertow days.

 

The one who is not ready to navigate this media ocean, where real images now also dispute space with edited, manipulated or fake images, besides fake news, must start learning more about management of reputation, directly connected to the management of imagination and symbols of an organization. And if organizations are made of people, each one of them is responsible for the whole. A single bad example may contaminate the entire group. How many workers haven’t already caused huge damage in terms of plundered value of the image of a brand? Remember the Domino’s case, in America, when two employees filmed a bunch of nastiness they did while preparing the pizza, or the case of a FedEx employee, also in America, throwing a package over a fence with no consideration for the product inside? Or the famous image of a Brazilian post office worker receiving an amount of money and proving a pay-off scheme? Of course, good images also count a great deal. I, personally, believe that they count even in a more valuable way, as most people want to see things working properly. Most of us work to make things function in the best possible way. We all want to be well perceived and admired.

 

Business universities offer technical disciplines oriented to operation, to commercial, or even marketing, ideals, but I bet that not all of them have classes aimed to what would be the most important of business and leadership lessons in times dominated by image. Understanding more and learning how to build and strengthen the reputation of a company in moments of bonanza and also how to manage potential risks or reputation weaknesses are lessons to be learned by managers, lawyers, administrators and CEOs. But who teaches that to our leaders and managers? To coordinators or even employees? Few.

 

Managing crisis or managing risks?

It seems contradictory, but it’s not. A well-known analogy is the two faces of the same coin, heads or tails. One side may represent victory in a bet and the other, the loss. Companies and businesses are bets on the market board. Our career and choices are bets as society and as individuals. However, the two sides are inseparable from the whole. Therefore, opportunity walks close to crisis. Successful brands can very well manage their set of symbols, perceived values, images and also the quality and excellence of services and products aimed to customers, as well their finances, relations with multiple stakeholders and their sustainability programs. But image is very important. “It’s not enough to be honest, one must seem honest”, goes another popular saying. Speech and action gain more value when are in harmony to the shape and content. Images inhabit our imagination and prove our speech.

 

The flames on the Venezuelan demonstrator’s body as much as the brown mud stain of the disaster involving the mining company Samarco, flooding the Espirito Santo’s sea, Brazil, or the shipwreck of the Italian ship Costa Concórdia enhance the crisis and the shock in reputation as much as the eternalized image of our victorious Ayrton Senna consecrates the discipline, merit and the reputation of an impeccable champion. A good image may last forever!

 

Risks, crisis and opportunities

Companies, brands, leaders and ourselves, distinguished normal citizens (connected and with hundreds or thousands of likes on the Babel of digital networks), live under permanent influence of opinions, comments that multiply on social networks. We’re in connection with the planet and our images circulate the world. For good and for bad.

 

But what to do before such unpredictability? How to protect businesses and millionaire investments not only from fake news, but also from potential reputation risks? How to take good care of our image? The answer is quite obvious. Learning from mistakes of other brands, studying image and reputation risk management cases, being prepared for when the skeletons fall off from inside the closet and reveal mistakes that, apparently, no one knew existed. Learning which are the greatest risks that a business faces. Thinking communication, reputation and image as vitamins and preventive vaccines for crisis and training to face hard times, after all, err is human. But it’s not a good excuse. Think about it.

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Public relations for the food industry

By Bruno Uehara

In 2017, the food industry in Brazil took up their growth pace and billed over R$642 billion, according to ABIA survey (Food Industry Brazilian Association). The current time period is favorable to the segment and, like in supermarket shelves, there is a highly brand-disputed scenario, especially when we talk about space in media outlets and publications of influencers.

In such a context, communications consultancy is as strategic as the company’s market plan. In order to convince consumers that your product is more beneficial than another one on the shelf, investing in announcements and TV ads is not enough. One must also be present in communication outlets of the field and on social network pages that approach topics like food and gastronomy, for example, highlighting spontaneous messages that can generate the audience’s trust

Currently, the market offers brands that serve to several profiles: fitness, vegetarians, celiac, lactose intolerants or even those who are just searching for convenience. The communication consultancy not only identifies the most strategic outlets to reach potential consumers, but also is capable of identifying good opportunities for disclosure, whether in magazine, newspaper, radio or TV show reports.

The work with micro-influencers is also an efficient way to disclose a product, besides offering the possibility of trial through the sending of press kits. Besides resulting in posts on social media, the action also enables the engagement of followers, generating brand acknowledgment or the famous “word-of-mouth marketing”.

If you need public relations for your brand or product in the food industry, get in touch with Race Communications and ask for a quote.

 

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The role played by public relations in the market of franchises

By Evelyn Spada

The market of franchises has grown 5.1% on the first quarter of 2018, in comparison to the same period last year, according to ABF (Brazilian Franchise Association). But, amidst this market in expansion, how to stand out and attract consumers that identify with the mission of the brand?

This might be a recurring question among new entrepreneurs. The ones who invest in franchises know that the business is ready for operation, but maybe have not yet in their initial plan investment in strategies to draw a distinction before competitors and gain space. In order to generate credibility, take root in the market and make the brand more and more famous, it’s necessary to invest in positioning with distinctive and effective communication initiatives.

With public relations, it’s possible to strengthen the brand not only in mass media, but also in the specialized outlets of the field. Popping up spontaneously on the press may boost the generation of leads, make the franchise more famous and, thus, the most remembered among consumers, that could also be new franchisees.

With active communication crafted along with the press, it is possible to generate values that the brand cherishes. With franchise networks, the task can operate in different fronts to achieve commercial success, as, for instance, strengthening the image of the franchise or even generating the required visibility to attract the final consumer and potential investors. It is necessary to clearly communicate the business model, the differentials, besides presenting innovations and entrepreneurship stories. Planned actions and good narratives strengthen the relationship with consumers. Therefore, spare no efforts in establishing a good relationship with your target audience.

Remember, communication is a crucial piece for franchise networks, after all who is not seen is not remembered!

Are you interested in how public relations can help in the expansion of your franchise? Click here and learn more about this and other services offered by Race Communications.

 

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E-commerce and public opinion: a matter of relationship

By Thamyris Barbosa

Meetings with specialized journalists may boost the reputation of companies and interfere on sales

Coming into a store, shaking the seller’s hand, swiping the credit card. This is a routine that is less and less part of the consume habits of the Brazilian population. The facility, convenience, attractive prices and the possibility of checking evaluations about the product have made the buyer ally to the e-commerce world.

For those who represent an online company, reputation is the key word that will attract or move away a potential client. After all, who has never researched on specialized websites before purchasing a new smartphone? Or has searched references about that recently-arrived foreign company to learn whether they offer products of good quality? In fact, there’s nothing worst for an e-commerce than the absence of information about the already-commercialized products.

E-commerce does not have a face, nor the name of a seller. And, if on one hand that optimizes negotiations, on the other it may not offer the required credibility to close a deal. In times like these, the opinion of a third party is important. If this analysis comes from a specialist in the field, even better. Thenceforth a necessity of keeping a close contact with journalists and opinion leaders of the field arises. To this end, there are a few techniques in the communication field. And one of the most efficient is known as relationship meetings.

As the name implies, a relationship meeting focuses on bringing the brand closer to the specialized journalist. Through lunches, dinners or even a visit to the company, the representative will be able to point out the solidity of the brand, the quality of the products, differentials and many other matters that are interesting for both parties. The journalist will also have the chance to make questions and better understand the processes.

However, one must be prepared. Even though the strategy may be positive, the company’s spokesperson will need special training to reinforce the strength of the company and respond with confidence to the questioning that might arise. This is mostly because a badly conducted meeting might have a reverse effect and stain the name of the brand for many years. That’s why it’s essential to search for communication professionals that are used to dealing with the press for specialized orientations. The relationship meeting may be a very strong weapon when one wishes to construct or establish an image, but it’s important watch out for every step of this technique so doors are not shut and potential customers are not shoved way.

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Industry 4.0 will demand better communications skills

By Luiz Antônio Gaulia

The internet of things drones, artificial intelligence, big data, researches on the brain and the alliance in stunning speed of digital, physical and biological. This isn’t fiction, it’s a dazzling reality that reaches the business universe and is transforming society. According to Klaus Schwab, executive president of the World Economic Forum and author of the book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, many people still don’t see the implications of all these transforming and revolutionary movements that technology is enhancing. The labor market will never be the same and the difficulties of the organizations to hire and train people for this admirable new world are equally challenging.

The promise of a so called industry 4.0 will be a greater autonomy for intelligent machines, capable of learning on their own and of communicating among one another, clearing human operators to remote controls and more free time to be dedicated to other tasks or still more free time with their families. The cities and physical spaces will be smart and fully interconnected to information, image and data banks, capable of identifying, in the blink of an eye, the interests of a customer or even the intentions of a citizen. Humanized and empathy-programmed robots will replace stressed call center operators; drones will bring the takeaway pizza tip free; in rainy days, we’ll be able to quickly shape our rubber galoshes at home in 3D printers before going out in the soaked street; smart offices will enable groups of professionals to work afar through virtual holographic meetings, ending international work trips or avoiding displacement in traffic; consumers will be able to experience emotions and sensations through gadgets installed on their fingers and eyes before buying products and services, fully testing the purchase and thus, tens of thousands of habits and behaviors should change completely through the power of these innovations.

But, in order for all these to happen as imagined by scientists and visionary global entrepreneurs, such a revolution demands not only technical knowledge on the part of the professionals, but also precious personal abilities. Companies need people that are passionate about learning, unlearning and learning again; collaborative capacity under pressure and working in network; capacity of working in ambiguous environments and under constant process of change; flexibility and emotional intelligence to deal with conflicts and the capacity to predict, understand and solve problems. All of them, in my understanding, based solely on intrapersonal and interpersonal communication skills. On the basis of it all, communication is the key to victorious processes and projects.

Industry 4.0 will demand greater communication skills and only a few apps and digital platforms will be capable of handling the emotional side of human relations. This challenge exists since the mechanical industrial production – the first industrial revolution -, and went through changes brought by electricity, mass manufacture and also the arrival of electronics, information technology and telecommunications. The technical innovations move forward, but the challenge of conversing remains. Or not? And, in my understanding, so it will remain. If robots with humanized reactions are to replace people in certain workplaces or in public attendance, the live interlocution will remain conflicting, for the new power dispute, recognition of merit, competitiveness among departments, egos and prides, initiative and leadership styles will remain existing within enterprises, directly affecting human relations and damaging dialogue.

4.0 communication will gain more digital appliance, full of colors and intoxicating lights, but will also need to gain quality in relationships, empathy and openness for dialogue. A challenge that joins us since cave times.

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How to measure content production results in internal communication?

By Amanda Lima

Measuring results is always a challenging situation when, many times, we are talking about unattainable goals, very common within the communication universe. Satisfaction among employees of a company, for instance, is one of the “measurings” that we wish to evaluate as result of an internal communication plan. It seems a rather thankless task, but there are a few effective methods to materialize the impact of communication actions oriented to internal public.

We have already gathered here a few advices of how to introduce internal communication strategies in an enterprise and how to apply them effectively. Therefore, I’ll limit myself to punctuate that investing in this tool represents a strong and essential means of creating an open, welcoming and intimate relationship with one of the most valuable components of any business: the employees.

Evaluating the impact of the produced content for the company’s internal audience – newsletters, newspapers, murals, house organs – allows the strategic structure of communication plans. Hence, we enhance the motivation and feeling of belonging of employees. It’s worth having in mind that, immersed in a digital reality of wide social network usage, each employee is also a content producer and a spokesperson of the company they work for.

Generally, there are two methods that allow us to qualify the results of actions in internal communication: internal researches and management and analysis tools. The first ones are applicable when reaching quantitative goals is intended – when the intention is reducing the turnover of employees in a one-year period, for instance. The second ones allow the analysis of the impact of the actions in a more quantitative and subjective way, connected to the satisfaction of employees, for example.

Check below four practical tools to measure the quality and efficiency of internal communication actions:

  • Organizational climate researches

Very common within Human Resources teams, the internal researches can help measure how much the developed strategies in internal communication of a company are affective. A good survey must take into account the plan that motivated the action, as well as its goals. Elaborate essay or multiple choice questions that qualify the reception of the disclosed information.

  • Engagement index

Any internal communication strategy should not stop at the end of the event or in the disclosure of a newsletter, for example. Investigating how the employees are getting involved with this content or action is also necessary. Gather data, structure interactivity networks, such as prizes, contests or quizzes, for example.

  • Productivity analysis

Motivated professionals are certainly more productive. Examining the company’s numbers after the implementation of communication strategies may help chart a few conclusions about the effectiveness of the actions for a more engaged team, with a strong organizational culture for the consolidation of a competitive enterprise.

  • Feedback

Many organizations mess up when they do not provide the internal audience the chance to share their opinions. Therefore, creating feedback networks allows the employee to feel more appreciated by the company and also provides the communication team one more source of data.

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Integrated communication: redundancy of the 21st century

By Filipe Andrade

I heard the other day from a communications professor that “integrated communication is redundancy”. Incredible as it may seem, his affirmation reflects the current dynamic of the market and form of communication.

In the 21st century, the age of information and the rise of social network, an organization doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) only do internal communication or just public relations, for example. The companies, from present and future, must develop, above all, communication in a wider sense of the term.

In other words, nowadays integrated communication must be part of the daily routine of any organization. And, according to Marcelia Lupetti, author of the book “Gestão estratégica de comunicação mercadológica” (“Strategic management of marketing communication”), “planning [integrated] communication demands interaction, unification of messages, instructions, goodwill and involvement of all employees.

It’s important to highlight that this is not only about replicating a content for different audiences in several medias, but working out a single message through different tools, using the adequate speech for each of them.

Let’s start from the assumption that, in a company, every composing individual is also a spokesperson. For that matter, if a company direct its efforts exclusively to internal communication, it’s still going to have its message echoed externally – on social media or day by day among friends. An example is the Always campaign “Like a girl”, 2015.

On the other side, if the company chooses to work only with public relations, it runs real danger of not having its image referenced by its employees, for example, simply for they not knowing the strategies and goals of the company, because this scenario wasn’t worked out internally.

It also makes no sense investing in digital marketing, actions with digital influencers, if the company’s internal image, its organizational climate, doesn’t reflect what has been worked out externally.

Therefore, more than a differential, integrated communication becomes a must of any organization whose goal is transmitting efficiently its message to different audiences and reinforcing its image before society.

 

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