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Perception Matters: 3 Tips for Always Looking Your Best.

In a heartbreaking video titled “The Importance of Appearances,” a social experiment unfolds that sets up the same scenario with two very different people.

In the first scenario, we see a person dressed as a homeless man collapse in the middle of a busy sidewalk, as if he were ill, and begin to cry for help. The pedestrians look curiously, but continue to walk by the man as he lies there for over 5 minutes with no assistance. The second scenario shows the same incident, but the person is dressed in a suit. Passersby immediately come to his aid, without him having to issue any cry for help. The intent of the video is to show that we’re all human and deserve to be treated as such. The video was released on May 12 and already has over 1.3 million views. Watch it for yourself:

One of the most fundamental jobs of any public relations professional when dealing with clients is to present them to the world in the best possible light.

In many cases, PR is only a piece of a larger puzzle that includes marketing, advertising, social media, and content publishing. At times, different departments handle all these pieces with no brand manager overseeing the continuity of the message. This can cause confusion in the eye of the customer, and create obstacles for PR agencies.

 

Think about all of the brand disasters that have occurred through social media.

Many times, individuals or companies without any oversight posted this content. Brand protection is imperative and it is the job of any good PR agency to assist in that effort. The smallest things, however, can create a certain perception and challenges, that with better coordination, oversight and planning, could have been avoided.

 

Here are a few tips to help you always have your brand well groomed in the eyes of your customers:

 

  1. Content Checking – Always make sure that any content you publish – no matter what kind – has a second set of eyes on it before you publish it. Typos and grammatical errors are easier to avoid when more than one person looks at it before it goes public. Publishing misspelled content is like going into the world with your zipper undone. You’ll get attention that you don’t want, and oftentimes nobody will tell you.
     
  2. Consistency – In a perfect world, every company would have a brand manager whose job is to ensure that all output is aligned with the message and image you want projected. Of course, that’s not always possible. At the very least, make sure that your departments are communicating and working towards the same goal. Identify your brand positioning and the appearance you want your brand to communicate. Then ensure that everyone is working to strengthen it.
     
  3. Process – In our world of instantaneous response and reaction, it is tempting to communicate instantly when customer issues are encountered. Every company should have a process for engaging upset customers or negative statements. Avoid reactionary engagement, as that can transform an issue that very possibly could have been defused, into a public relations disaster.

 

As the above video sadly illustrates, if you’re perceived as unworthy of attention, you might end up with none.

On the other hand, if you are always projecting your best possible image, people will pay attention when you need help and come to your aid. And nothing can diffuse a situation better than a customer who cares about your company and helps you when you need it.

Views: 372

Tags: advertising, appearance, brand, consistency, content, management, marketing, media, perception, planning, More…public, relations, social

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Comment by sara callahan on May 16, 2014 at 5:22am

@Brian - I said "In a perfect world, every company would have a brand manager..." I'm not saying a dealership should HIRE a brand manager, simply that there should be someone in charge of monitoring & ensuring that all content produced supports the image & message it wishes to project.

Thanks everyone for the comments! 

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 15, 2014 at 6:49am

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 15, 2014 at 6:37am

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 15, 2014 at 6:36am
Comment by Alexander Lau on May 15, 2014 at 6:34am

Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 15, 2014 at 6:30am

“Recognizing the impact of interconnectivity between different risks is a top priority for risk managers” Axel Theis, CEO Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on May 14, 2014 at 7:03am

Great piece; great video. I like your approach. As a professional writer and journalist I like point one about typos and errors, but, I honestly don't think that is as much of an issue during an era in which tv anchorpeople routinely ask their field reporters "where are you AT?" and other less heinous butchery of English. Plus, social media, autocorrect, and twitter have transformed the English language (and its importance) more in the past 5 years than in the past two centuries.

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