The Klarna Small Business Accelerator Programme brought together experts to our small and medium-size business partners with clear, actionable advice on ways to improve their businesses and attract new customers.
Making an impact in the press and managing your reputation is important in today’s market where audiences are interconnected, and e-marketplaces are global. Leading communications agency Engine MHP gives us the low down on how young retailers can build a brand story and share it successfully in a crowded market.
It sounds complicated but brand management is basically the art of telling your business story – and the values that lie behind the products and services. Be clear and passionate about your mission and purpose and your voice will always be authentic. In some cases new retailers have an edge as their founders’ hunger and drive are still fresh and present in their business which can really help to differentiate.
Why is it important?
Core brand messaging sets the direction of travel and is your anchor as you scale. It makes sure all your staff and communications are aligned and how you are seen is consistent. It also helps to attract staff, customers and revenues and creates a more engaged and
How to get your message out there.
Start off with your owned content – website, blogs, social pages. These are all good places to test and refine your messaging framework. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can progress to earned (press and media) and paid for advertising.
Want to shout about your success in the media? Here’s how:
- Focus on news but understand that different content resonates with different audiences.
- Do your research, identify influencers interested journalists and build relationships.
- Don’t forget local media, they love local success stories and networking with junior reporters is a good strategy for new brands.
- Make your press releases easy to digest – a great headline, a summary of key facts and an insightful quote works well.
- A good picture can help you stand out and ensures more space for your article.
- Don’t forget to include a note to editors with web/social and contact details.
- Have regular team meetings to spot news and collate stories.
- Have a central point of contact responsible for comms and PR activities
- Ensure there’s a dedicated contact for inbound press requests and have a Q&A to hand if it’s a sensitive or complex story.
- Make sure spokespeople are media trained so they’re comfortable talking to the press.
What if you get negative publicity?
It’s all about minimising impact. Go through the coverage and see if it’s factually accurate – if it’s not you can easily ask the editor to change it.
Prepare an approved Q&A on the issues raised so you can safely handle any subsequent calls from press and respond to or even alert customers and stakeholders. Having a process in place with clear responsibilities helps remove some of the stress. Flag any issues to your social team too so they can monitor any fallout. Above all don’t avoid it. Even a negative story can be turned around to show that you care.
Staying true to your brand message and being prepared, can help you navigate a smooth passage through the ups and downs of building your brand. Get the inside track on PR by catching up on the accelerator session with MHP here.