This all sounds good and well, but brand authenticity is by no means easy to come by. But PR pros, you may be able to change that.

media update’s Taylor Goodman unpacks three ways that you can build brand authenticity with that signature PR charm. 

Without an effort to be genuine in the consumers’ eyes, brands may come across the issue of presenting as rigid, leaving consumers to deem them as inauthentic and untrustworthy. 

A rigid brand simply won't do, which is especially true considering that 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding which brands they like and support.

If you think about PR holistically, it is all about how your business communicates with the people. This being said, it makes sense that a brand's authenticity falls largely on the shoulders of the PR department.

Now, let's look into three ways that you can build brand authenticity with PR:

1. Tell your brand’s story

Once upon a time, PR pros told a brand’s story and, just like that, consumer trust was born. All jokes aside, those working in the PR industry are storytellers. 

This is because they need to bring a brand’s origin story, vision and mission alive in a way that presents as genuine and honest to consumers. 

How? Well, storytelling is all about sharing your brand’s narrative. It is made up of facts, feelings and your audience's interpretations of the brand. This means that your brand’s story doesn't fall solely in your hands, but in those of your audience. 

A brand story builds trust with consumers because of a psychological process called neural coupling. According to Forbes, this is where a simultaneous brain activity happens in two people (the brand storyteller and the customer) and causes a mirroring effect, leading to an enhanced comprehension and understanding.

This feel-good storytelling moment inspires feelings of compassion and empathy in your audience. It also allows you to add some personality and humanise your brand, all of which fosters consumer trust.

2. Develop comfortable communication with clients

In the digital era, the consumer is more accessible than ever before. This makes it even easier for brands to connect with their audience. 

Easily one of the most effective ways to present as more authentic to consumers is by engaging with them, something PR teams are pros at. 

Effective communication begins with identifying who exactly you're trying to reach. Who are they? Where can you reach them? What content interests them? Once you know the answers to these questions, your PR team can work on defining messaging that will resonate with them. 

By ensuring that you meet your customers where they are (social media), you can create an open space for them to get any answers they need and give feedback on your product or service. 

Once you establish this open and comfortable space for communication, ensure that you are open and honest when liaising with customers. This will help your audience to trust you, allowing you to build up a reputation as an authentic brand. 

3. Have a comprehensive crisis communication plan

After putting in all the work to build up your brand’s image, it would be a major inconvenience if all of that was destroyed by a PR crisis that you didn't see coming. This is why it is essential that you have a solid crisis communication plan in place. 

A comprehensive crisis plan includes any strategy you would utilise when communicating with your stakeholders, as well as pre-approved talking points and statements. 

It is also essential that you have a plan of action that you will follow if and when crisis ensues, as well as an up-to-date list of contact details. 

If you’ve already been through your fair share of crises, which most PR professionals have, you should already have a crisis prevention strategy at hand. You can amend this as you learn how to tackle different situations. 

A solid crisis communication plan is a necessity as it will help you deal with any customer complaints, internal crises or media faux pas timeously and effectively. Doing so will help keep your reputation pristine and be an authentic brand that consumers love. 

What do you think makes a brand authentic? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to know more about building trust with your clients? Be sure to check out Three ways to show you are a trustworthy PR.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy