Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What’s Decorating Your Corporate Tree?

A symbol of the holiday season, Christmas trees are ubiquitous this time of year. With decorations ranging from colored lights to monochromatic themes to earth-friendly and sport- inspired decorations, one just doesn’t seem complete without lights, ornaments, and of course, a bright star on top.

Abstractly, a Christmas tree is shaped like a pyramid—a wider bottom yields more decorations than the top. However, it’s that top star that is the showpiece of the display. Accordingly, a public relations plan takes into account each layer, making sure levels building up to the apex are balanced and support the top star.

A strong PR plan builds up strong base layers: charitable giving, media placements, strategic planning, and crisis management. Each of these components is an “ornament” of sorts that adds aesthetic and functional value to the tree.

Remember Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree? It was sickly. It wasn’t that Charlie Brown didn’t follow the proper steps of finding a Christmas tree, it was that he chose a tree lacking structure and stability—the necessary components to be sustainable. So when he placed the single ornament on top of the tree, it caused the entire tree to droop toward the ground.

Likewise, a corporation without a public relations plan to address all of its needs lacks fullness and stability. A healthy corporation will make sure it has a crisis communication plan, brand management, and all the public relations components essential to healthy and luminous corporate image.

By building up a strong base, the tree topper—an organization’s image—will be able to shine brightly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do you Manage your Brand?

If you say you don’t have a brand, think again. What people think about you—i.e. your reputation—is your brand. It’s the single idea your business occupies in people’s minds. What matters is whether or not you manage the brand, and given the recession, consumers are looking more closely at who is selling them what. It’s a market formula shift to economics and values.

Even mega brands must continually control their reputation. Consider Coca-Cola, which is still deemed the most valuable brand by Interbrand in its Best Global Brands 2010 Report.

Coke took a risk with the holiday Coca-Cola Polar Bear in 1993. It was dramatically different, but the animation copied human behavior.

"That's really what we were trying to do – create a character that's innocent, fun and reflects the best attributes we like to call 'human'," said creator Ken Stewart. "The bears are cute, mischievous, playful and filled with fun." (http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/ cokelore_polarbears.html)

Coke mixed it up a bit but kept in theme with the long-time sentiment of a Coke and a smile.

Furthermore, people have brands, too. Martha Stewart and Oprah are mega brands, but they are personal brands. Every person has a personal brand, online and offline, and if you don’t manage your personal brand, well, think Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

Let us know if you need help with your brand. Positioning can make all the difference in the world.