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Editor’s Note: This post is by guest blogger and friend, Cathy Rodgers of 7wavesmarketing.

Everywhere I look, it seems the same message is being told: “invest in content,” “know who you are trying to reach,” and “the story is important.” Telling the story of what goes on behind the front door of a business is something we’ve been saying since the beginning of 7Waves. There is something unique about each and every business and there is a story that needs to be told. I invite you to take a fresh look at your business from the outside and ask yourself, “what would people want to know about my products, my place in the community, or the dedication of the founders and work team”?

Here are a few points of inspiration to help you further your brand or that of your client, along with a few suggestions for experimentation.

1. Nourish your brand: Have a brainstorming session with your team on how to boost the level of visibility and awareness in your community.

2. Find the story: Go back to the beginning and find the reason for the start of the business. This can be the foundation of a new press release or a blog article.

3. It’s more than a logo: A business continually creates and lives their brand. It’s more than a strategy or plan, it’s even beyond a vision statement – it’s about articulating passion for your own products and services.

4. Form a Partnership: One of the best examples for a partnership between a non-profit and for profit business I’ve seen was formed during a local political campaign. A local business already sponsoring a non-profit organization chose to enhance their visibility at a scheduled walk which included a table where most companies set out flyers, banners, and giveaways. In this case, the table was occupied by a political candidate, and the sponsoring company got two for one.

5. Tell your story with photos: It’s been proven that entries or posts which get the most comments on Facebook have photos. Photos create enthusiasm for a brand, make others want to be at an event, or desire the benefits of a product.

6. Promote others: Success stories not only promote your clients, but can attract future business partners, while creating good will for your business.

7. Social media: The story should be told in different ways across all researched mediums (and choosing your channels depends on the audience). For instance, if your audience is on Facebook, then you need to be there. – If you think your audience is on Twitter, then do an experiment for a set period of time and see if developing relationships there is worth your time. – No matter what method is chosen for brand promotion, it’s important to have the website and blog as the home base of operations.

So what’s your story?

Cathy Rodgers is the owner of Seven Waves Marketing, a social media, public relations, and online marketing company. She focuses on website content and Facebook strategies, and has more than 20 years of freelance writing experience for prominent newspapers, business publications, websites and nonprofit organizations.  Visit Seven Waves Marketing or look for @7wavescathy on Twitter

Follow me on twitter @MarketingMel.

Option 1: Comment Using Facebook

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Option 2: Comment Using WordPress

18 Responses to “Find Your Story and Develop Your PR Brand”

  1. Hi Cathy:

    You made a great point about knowing where your audience is. My audience is more interactive on Twitter vs. Facebook. In addition, experimenting is an option to determine which social media platform is best for beginners. I love using pictures because some individuals tend to be attracted to a picture over an informative headline before deciding on clicking on your link.

    Thanks,
    Valentina

    • Hi Valentina, and thanks for your comments. Some marketers manage social media channels for their clients and in this case, it would be a new account so experimenting is worth it to find the appropriate audience. I’ve noticed more business people are on Twitter and more consumers are on Facebook.

  2. AMEN! Your brand is so much more than a logo. The logo just just one form of your visual brand. But behind that logo is your branding, the strategy behind your brand. Your branding includes your story or why, your differentiation, your values and mission, your positioning, your promise… I could go on 🙂

    All aspects of your visual brand, from you logo and color palette, to your typefaces and your imagery, all need to be in alignment with your overall brand strategy, telling the same story and the same message, in the same voice!

  3. Thanks Cathy. Interest creates Energy and Energy is required to run Passion. Thanks for reminding all of the importance of one’s own passion for telling a compelling story and creating a meaningtul, connective message.

    • Cathy Rodgers says:

      Hi Jeff, you are so right, energy creates the passion! And passion keeps people coming back for more – no matter what kind of business you have.
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Cathy

  4. Cathy Rodgers says:

    Thanks for your positive comments Jennifer!

  5. I enjoyed reading all your tips and particularly 2 and 4. I love hearing the story behind businesses, it always inspires me and is a great way to know what a business is TRULY about.

  6. Cathy Rodgers says:

    Thanks Sue, hopefully this helps get business owners enthusiastic about their business again! I find a lot of owners who are overwhelmed and have simply lost their pizzazz.

  7. Thanks so much for the reminder to share the story behind the business; it helps keep you connected with your motivation and passion. I even found myself thinking about the story behind my logo. Its important to take the time to these things. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I like the point about forming a partnership. It can create a lot of synergy. I have done that with a financial planner and we can refer clients to the other person, if it is appropriate. Plus we have both benefited by learning from each other.

    • Cathy Rodgers says:

      Thanks Bill, there are so many opportunities all around us for partnerships and referrals. It’s a great way to bring visibility to an overlooked non-profit or even to a similar business in close proximity (thinking of gift shops within the same block). Anyone seen any great examples?

  9. Great tips and ideas – you are right – a brand is all about the emotions it inspires – not just a logo!

  10. Great tips! I especially appreciate #2. Getting and staying in touch with the story or “why” behind your business is a great tool for maintaining focus in everything that you do, being consistent, and delivering great value to your clients and/or customers.

  11. Ivan Walsh says:

    Hi,

    I try to promote others over myself.

    What happens if you do this sincerely is that others respond in kind and return the favour.

    Ivan

    • maryellen says:

      You are so right Ivan! That is one of my favorite parts of social networking… the wonderful giving aspect! Thanks for writing.

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