The Key to Building Winning Brands Today and Tomorrow

August 15 2022

To share its 30-year anniversary with all PR and communications professionals around the globe, the Public Relations Global Network is sharing 30 pearls of wisdom from its senior members and agency leaders.

The 30 pearls – some of the network members’ best tips and advice polished in the past 30 years and dazzling to show direction for the next decades in PR and communications – were published in an eBook at PRGN’s anniversary meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May 2022. The eBook is also available for downloads on the opening page of the PRGN website.

Below is one of the 30 pearls from members, expanded to fit PRGN’s regular blog series. It is written by Andy See Teong Leng, President-elect and Secretary of PRGN. Andy is principal partner and managing director of Perspective Strategies, PRGN’s partner agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It is without a doubt that businesses and brands need to reinvent and reimagine for the future marketplace. Today, the purpose agenda dominates discussions in boardrooms. Importantly, the ability to communicate our corporate purpose well is very rewarding as it helps build trust and solidify relationships with investors, customers, employees and other key stakeholders.

In this regard, we must realize that our purpose journey is not just about announcements. That would be PR’s worst nightmare.

For example, environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment has to be at the heart of an organization – its leaders and team members must walk the talk. That’s how the world decides whether it can trust a brand or organization. Thus, it is key that everyone in the organization is walking together in this journey of purpose.

purpose driven steps
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

 

After all, if our PR and communication efforts are built on hollow promises – would our stakeholders, especially our people, believe in them? Would they last? Will they backfire?

These are five key questions we need to answer with clarity to start building a brand that stands above others in the market.

1. Why is this important to us?

Help your people gain clarity about what your company stands for. Have clear mission, vision and values. Explain why it matters and the expected behaviors in light of them.

2. Who are our stakeholders?

Having clarity about target audiences and stakeholders helps provide a better understanding of what matters to them, especially their expectations and current perceptions of a brand’s commitment to ESG.

3. Where do we want to be?

For ESG goals to be meaningful, the organization has to have clarity on its direction and outcomes. Clear short-, mid- and long-term goals set the stage for planning what needs to be done.

4. How will we get there?

Having clear plans and processes in place to achieve these goals will also provide clarity on the costs and efforts needed to succeed.

5. What are we doing to communicate?

Our purpose and what we are doing to achieve our goals must be shared with our stakeholders for us to succeed in the marketplace. We need to win their trust by consistently showing them what we are doing to deliver on our promise.

 

By being authentically purposeful, we will have more engaged employees and stakeholders. They will naturally want to be ambassadors for the brand. After all, we live in a shared marketplace today. Brands that consistently deliver on their promises and share their stories well with stakeholders will indeed win hard-core fans. These fans will in turn help co-create and share their stories with friends and families. This, essentially, is the heart of PR.

Andy See
Founder, Principal Partner & Managing Director, Perspective Strategies
After spending more than 10 years working with leading multinational and Malaysian consultancies including The Boston Consulting Group and Edelman, Andy decided to reinvent his career by setting up his own firm. This led to the birth of Perspective Strategies in 2006. The boutique agency grew quickly with the promise of delivering strategic counsel and quality services to clients and has over the years won numerous industry awards on the global and national levels. Aside from steering the firm’s strategic direction and managing key client relationships, Andy regularly conducts spokesperson training and speaks at industry events on strategic communications, issues management and stakeholder engagement. Currently, he is the President of the Public Relations and Communications Association of Malaysia (PRCA Malaysia), spearheading efforts to champion the interest of PR professionals including industry best practices, quality and standards as well as talent development.  Since 2017, Perspective Strategies has been part of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), one of the world's leading independent PR agency networks. Andy is on the Executive Committee, serving as Secretary and Regional Vice-President for Asia Pacific (APAC). As Regional Vice-President, Andy leads PRGN's initiatives in growing the network's presence in APAC by pushing to enhance communication, improve coordination and drive momentum at the regional level. Andy also actively contributes articles and thought leadership pieces on PR, leadership and strategic communications in various publications and online platforms.