Media and consumer landscapes continue to change. Is your brand embracing this evolution – and positioning itself well for the future?

In the PR News Media Training Guidebook Vol. 5, I share five techniques to help brand spokespersons create and deliver messages that are real, relevant, personal, tangible and memorable.

Below you’ll find an excerpt of one of the five techniques I discuss in this new book.

Keep Messages Relevant

Brands refresh logos to stay up to date with changes in technology and culture. After 10, 15 or 25 years, a logo that was once young and modern begins to look old-fashioned. Messages require the same care and attention to remain relevant, except the pace of change is a lot faster.

Think about the last time your brand’s messages were updated and which products or services you were selling at that time. What technology were people using? In July 2007, about 9 million people had smartphones. By the end of 2012, smartphone owners are expected to become the majority of mobile phone users (comScore) – and they will be vastly different consumers of your messages in the news, through brand channels and via social media. When news can break first on Twitter, your brand needs to have short and pithy messages to become part of the story.

From a cultural perspective, what music, fashion or food was popular when your messages were developed? Your brand needs to continually update its cultural references and vocabulary to remain relevant. It’s unlikely you are using terms as outdated as “rad” and “psyche,” but you may be missing out on opportunities to more closely align with people’s interests and show how your brand shares people’s passions. Keep in mind that being relevant is not the same as being trendy (unless your brand really is cool).

Tip: Think about how you explain your brand when you are at a party and asked what you do – you put it into context of what matters to your listener. Maintain this audience focus as you develop messages and you will show how your brand is naturally a part of people’s lives. 

To read the other four methods, plus articles from other great industry experts, visit PR News’ store. The table of contents also is available as a preview. Bonus: Make sure to enter the code “mediacontrib” at checkout to receive $50 off the cover price.

Here’s to brands that are more conversational – and shareable!

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