Putting the Groove Back in PR and Branding

Pamela Caravas

Obviously branding holds a key role in the success of a business. It is the image that leads to reputation - or, at least, part of its reputation. Public relations hold the key to the core part of our reputation and that of our business. 

Even though there are many articles and quotes on reputation, and even more successful or failed business people giving advice on building and sustaining your reputation, it seems that this approach is a forgotten one. 
I am not going to wonder why we have forgotten it. The answer is simple, yet harsh: we have crossed that line that says "do not compare yourself with others" unaware of the fact that this mindset leads to the habit of not working on what has taken great brands years and millions to build.  

The adage that all you have is your reputation is gold in our digital era. It is one we understand, see it in the big boys (great brands) but do not know that it should be an element we focus on from the very beginning of our entrepreneurial efforts.

Branding or debranding - about which we will talk in another post - is a service serious entrepreneurs pay thousands of dollars to create. So many opinions, so many schools. What approach should you adopt? How will you know it works and you are not throwing your money away? If I were to give you one piece of advice, this would be to educate yourself and stop following fads. Our school is not a big fan of starting with your WHY to define your start-up idea or your brand. We believe in your groove, your "mojo", your personal touch, pure and unadulterated.

Your idea, if it is a genuine representation of yourself, is infused with your DNA and your personality. It is an extension of your way of thinking and behaving. Any other way, and it will seem fake, a copy and it will not last long. This is the core of our branding strategy: an alignment of your personality with what you are promoting, selling, creating, building. And this is the foundation of your reputation. A real you business will follow your real self. Your values, that it. These help elevate your reputation along with great media relations. 

What is the new “Groove”?

I decided it was time to make PR and branding “groovy” again. My team and I are all great proponents of seriousness with a dash of fun, street credibility and academic knowledge. All merged together with an awareness and responsibility of what it is we are trying to teach and convey when talk about the new “Groove”.

This new groove is the ability to think for yourself, do research and compare to double check your value and purpose in the business world, avoid making a cheap looking side hustle (some websites and branding hurt my eyes), go after a worthy mentor and not one that will find you clients, establish your ability to manage others or make sales, and ensure you are kind, ethical and polite. Don’t just be nice to your clients on Instagram. Be nice to everyone. Don’t be nice to get clients. Be ethical and lead with values. Do not present yourself as something you are not. Take it easy, work your way into the big league slowly. Maria Hatzistefanis from RODIAL teased everyone with the title of her book “Overnight Success”. She makes it clear from the beginning. There is no such thing as overnight success.

So, our groove is exactly that: taking you by the hand at first, teaching you how to swim and then “pushing” you into the deep end to apply all that you have learnt. I am known in the coaching and training world to be tough. Dubbed “Maleficent” rather often. But this is what I tell all – and my team knows and shares the same view: I can see how good or not good you are. That is what makes me a good coach and teacher. I am tough when I see you expect or demand without putting in the effort. I “push”, but at the same time I care. And that is what makes my businesses a great “brand”. How will you define yours?

Your word is your bond. A value long forgotten but it is the most important asset that you have. The hunt for fast cash can ruin your ethical standing and jeopardise your business in the long run. As they say, "it takes years to build a reputation and only fifteen minutes to destroy it". 
Pamela Caravas
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