Brands are built by what people say about you, not what you say about you.

That’s a hard message for many corporate executives and public relations people to grasp.  You can run a multi-million campaign on TV, radio, print and the Web, but if you promise good customer service or a great product that has huge design flaws or breaks the promise and people experience the opposite of either of those things, you’ll be doing more harm to your brand than helping it.

Brand Management

That’s why brand management isn’t just about the celebrity in your spots.  In fact, there’s a growing body of evidence that shows a celeb in a spot doesn’t really sway people anyway.

It’s not about a great tag line–those four or five little words that show someone in your ad agency and PR firm is very clever.

It’s not about claiming to have the fastest phone network, fewest dropped call … you get the idea–if it doesn’t live up to what you say it does, you may be able to keep telling your story a while, but over time, when people can get out of their 2-year contracts, they will.

Social Media And Brand Building

And this is why social media today is so very important.  We’ve recently done some research on family-oriented brands and found huge numbers of them don’t even have a Twitter or Facebook presence.

Making matters worse for you are the 50-65 year-old public relations/ad agency executives who don’t understand social media as an extension of what they’ve been doing the past 45 years.  Their idea of boosting your brand is writing what they still call a “Press Release” (Verses a News Release that might actually have something newsworthy in it) and putting it out on PR Newswire to be copied onto hundreds of Websites that no one will ever read.

They still think of Twitter as something a soccer mom does to tell everyone how tired she is of driving around town dropping off the kids.  These are the guys who will toss their arms up in the air and say, “Who cares?”

And then they’re also the ones who miss those Twitter messages about their clients that say, “Hey Acme Inc.  I just tried to use your product and it wouldn’t start/dropped my call/they had poor service in the bank teller branch/or the bathrooms in your men’s room in Mesquite, TX have a pair of soiled, balled up underwear in them in the back corner! When was the last time you cleaned them?” (BTW, the picture to the right isn’t made up.)

The ad agency, the PR firm, and the executives of your company likely are missing these special messages about your company every single hour of the day.  Your marketing team probably is missing them, too.  Hey, if you had a $20 million annual advertising budget would you think what a couple soccer moms said on Twitter really was a big deal?  Most don’t.  And that’s part of the problem for many brands, ad agencies and PR firms these days.

Customer Experiences and The Failure of Your Brand Promise

But the other customers out there who have had a similar experience or who are connected to the ones bad-mouthing/speaking the truth about you on social media sites, did not miss this message or the significance of it.

A post on a person’s Facebook wall about any of the above issues above will spread.  Even if the person’s friends don’t comment on it, many of them read/saw it, and the money you spent that day on TV, largely became a growing waste if it continues and continues to go ignored or unheard by you.

At Claxton Creative, we’re not like your Old School PR firm.  We get social media.  In fact, among Dallas PR firms you can find on the Web, we’re among the highest ranked ones for getting attention in search engines and our ranking on Alexa.  We’re also good about getting our clients on the news, not just on Newswire to pad our clip books.  We can help you get there, too.

And when someone posts a picture about a filthy restroom in your business, we’ll help make sure you know it and have the ability to do something about it–FAST.

and some times even harder to make happen.

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