News, Public Relations

Finding your purpose through PR

15 March 2023 3 min read
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Have you heard about “de-influencing”? This new trend is taking over TikTok and is encouraging followers not to buy from specific brands whose products or mission don’t accurately reflect the story they’re telling. We are in the midst of a money-savvy consumer revolution and this latest trend is a great example of consumers and influencers exercising their power. 

Whilst this may seem like a new development, it’s not actually a totally new phenomenon and de-influencing is not the first of its kind to put companies in their place. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a greater call for change on a grander scale through environmental, social and cultural policies. Consumers are asking more of the businesses we interact with and this is only the beginning.

What the public certainly aren’t asking for are feeds saturated with supposed ‘purpose-led stories’ that are actually just thinly veiled “greenwashing”. In a survey conducted by Harris Poll for Google Cloud of approximately 1,500 global C-Suite professionals, 58% of them admitted to greenwashing (BSI, 2022) – don’t say it doesn’t happen!

The truth is, consumers are far more informed on purpose-led issues these days, and the same goes for employees. That’s why it’s crucial that businesses actually live their values, and that this is aligned with their marketing and PR. To help you start considering your next purpose-led campaign, here are some top tips from the webinar (and hopefully some steps away from being de-influenced!):

1. Be the authentic you.

One of the key words that comes up again and again is “authentic”. Being deliberate in a purpose-led campaign comes from finding the value in your brand that also aligns with something bigger than just one announcement. What is the consistent purpose that you will keep talking about past that first press release? Remember, be respectful of your audience’s time – they know when something is just for show.

2. Actions speak louder than words. 

It’s important to not just assume your credibility, no matter how big your brand is in the industry. You need to earn the right to speak about your purpose, whether that means encouraging stakeholder engagement, seeking external advice or reaching out to the local community. Demonstrate that you are not just considering this purpose inside your organisation but speaking to people externally, finding ways to work in a space that emphasises your passion for your purpose.

3. Tell people what is going on.

It sounds like a really simple fact but there is no point in having purpose-led PR if you find your purpose but don’t do the PR part. Consider how you want to become part of the conversation – bring different perspectives and key insights to not just contribute, but add value. Remember to repeat these convictions consistently to be continually part of your brand’s wider purpose.

4. Consider the client (from an agency’s perspective)

OK, so let’s take a look at purpose-led PR from an agency perspective. Imagine, if you will, that a client walks through the door looking to begin a purpose-led campaign – where do you start? 

Well, first of all, it’s about leading a client towards a purpose that is tied into their product or service. Keep in mind that a purpose is a long-term platform, so it should be something that their brand continues to add value to time and time again. 

Secondly, a purpose should be something that people care about generally but that also impacts other elements of the brand people care about too. Don’t jump on the bandwagon with purpose – find a competitive advantage that is meaningful to your brand. Don’t just attach a brand to the issue de jour.

Additionally, think about their audience and which message is being communicated to which targets. If the client is choosing more than one purpose, ensure you’ve established the amount of budget they are willing to put behind each one to accrue the greatest level of cut-through. 

Finally, as an agency, consider where you plan on advising the client to communicate. Using multiple entry points and ambassadors that reflect the brand’s purpose can spread the message far and wide. Don’t just think about the views, consider the quality of your content and its communicated purpose, ending with a call to action to make sure people keep coming back for more. Keep in mind the old yet true adage: reach the right people, at the right time and in the right place.

If you’re considering a purpose-led PR campaign or just looking for some support with your comms or marketing, then find out how we can support you with a free, half-hour consultation session. 

Get in touch to find out more.