There will likely to be three camps of people reading this article: high profile women who have PR teams, emerging or high profile women who are considering hiring a PR team and, PR teams who work with high calibre women themselves. Regardless of which camp you’re in, welcome. There is something here for all of you.
Look around in 2018 and it won’t take you long to see the trash fire that is managing public and media scrutiny for high profile brands. The amazing opportunity for digital conversations at the touch of a button means the world is smaller than ever before and the potential for global impact greater. This can either be the best thing that’s ever happened to your brand, or the worst. Combined with the trend of consumer activism, the potential for your brand to bolt from underneath you like wild horses has never been more real. And this can have serious implications for the longevity of your success.
This wouldn’t be news to any high quality, market leading expert, because many of them understand the rewards, risks and sacrifices of having the honour to influentially shape the world in some way. This is why many realise at some point or another that they need help with managing their connection to the media and public, and subsequently hire a PR team.
However, there’s a crucial step missing along the way which is not only creating real risk for their reputation and brand, but also a world of headaches for PR teams themselves. The result means that crisis management has become more of the norm, instead of the exception, and the world is moving from crisis to crisis with batted breath.
Investing in a quality media and PR team to help you manage interfacing with the market is vital for anyone serious about the longevity of their brand, however the crucial missing step is what happens between having a platform and executing to market.
Any high quality media specialist will agree that their ability to successfully manage your brand in the public sphere depends on the quality of product you give them to work with.
You can have the biggest platform in the world, however utilising it means doing the inner work required to effectively package all the ingredients, connections, IP and strategies you uniquely bring for your PR team to utilise. Otherwise, many PR teams spend their time and your money fire-fighting the fall out, stressed out, operating in reactionary mode, constantly on high alert and essentially being life support to your brand when they’re capable of so much more.
PR teams often get the bad rap in disastrous situations. How many times have we heard people comment, “WHO is this persons PR?”, “Fire their media person” or “I hired a PR person and it was a waste of my money” when many of the problems could be avoided and solved with the leader either doing the inner work required to create and develop a compelling brand prior to engaging a media team, or in synergy with a media team.
Given the right tools, your PR team can be an important part of strategically building your vision. Giving them the space to effectively achieve this goes beyond execution of media 101. It means the difference between being driven by your market or being empowered to map out the journey and take people along with you.
It’s also important to point out that while we’re talking specifically about PR teams today, the same can be said for other teams you work with to help you engage with your market - whether that be social media managers, personal branding photographers, videographers, graphic designers, website developers, political advisers, etc. In all scenarios the work first and fundamentally begins with the leader and streams out to the relevant specialists accordingly.
Regardless of whether you’re a business woman (or identify as one) or personal brand yourself who needs further help OR perhaps a media specialist working with a leader currently who would benefit from this work, please feel free to reach out.
Shevonne Joyce teaches women the secrets of how to be the true go-to brand in their industry and create businesses and brands that are as successful on the inside as they appear on the outside. For a confidential conversation, please get in touch.