Crisis communications, specifically its recent evolution and growing need, continues to increase as a topic of interest for the marketing industry and the brands we serve. Hart’s Vice President of Corporate Communications & Content, Jeff Lutz, recently spoke at two industry events, Agorapulse’s 2022 Agency Summit and PRSA’s Central Ohio Chapter’s Modern Communicators Conference, to share his perspective on why the classic crisis plan is “dead on arrival” in today’s transparency-driven world.
Back in late 2019, just months before the pandemic, Hart wrote a piece detailing #CancelCulture and what it meant for businesses. In that article, we outlined how to understand your company’s risks and ways to mitigate the effects on your reputation. Two years later, although we are in a much different world, #CancelCulture is as active as ever. We’re continuing to see cancellation crises due to everything from updating logos and mascot redesigns to name changes. However, now we’re increasingly seeing how the actions of individuals, such as the company’s CEO, an employee or even a board member, can result in negative implications for a brand just as much as a decision made by the brand itself.
The public relations world has been debating the best way to measure our efforts for decades. While the power of PR is undeniable, it’s extremely difficult to correlate exactly when, where and at which point these activities impact the targets’ final purchasing decision.
For marketers, 2021 was a year of growth and reckoning. We emerged from the challenges of 2020 with a bit more understanding and focus, and an eagerness to adapt. With 2022 on the horizon, we're not letting that momentum wane. Before we celebrate the new year though, we couldn’t help but look back at all the lessons we’ve learned in 2021. Fueled by consumers’ expanding adoption of digital behaviors, we turned to new tactics like performance marketing while striving to continue long-term brand building for a stronger, lasting connection to our audiences. From a deeper look at data and social listening to the increased use of influencer marketing, here are some of Hart’s top takeaways from our own agency experts this past year.
We discussed in our last data-focused blog, the importance of understanding data before making decisions based on it - the need to “humanize” it. We also mentioned that, as marketers, we must prepare for the demise of third-party cookies to avoid our marketing efforts falling off a cliff.
Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” stated it best; “There are three constants in life ... change, choice and principles.”
Change is inevitable, it’s always going to be around.
We face choices every day. From what to wear to our attitude and even choosing not to choose (e.g., getting two scoops of ice cream because you can’t decide between two flavors).
Principles keep you in line when handling change and making choices. They honor company values and should be a driving force in your influencer marketing strategy.
Influencer Authenticity Builds Trust.
As communicators and marketers working in a rapidly evolving media landscape, it can seem nearly impossible to develop, execute and measure a full campaign without major changes derailing the plans. Whether it’s a global pandemic or a regrettable tweet that goes viral, brands are struggling to stay on top of trends, gauge consumer sentiment and craft strategic PR campaigns that hit on all cylinders.