P2P public relations, or People to People PR, is something I’ve been thinking about for some time.

As brands are turning into people and people are turning into brands, COVID-19 and more recently, Black Lives Matter, has accelerated the conversation around how personal values impact brands and how people make their decisions to buy from, supply to or partner with.

At PRFest earlier in the month, we talked about purpose and there was a clear vain running through our discussions in diversity and inclusion, ethics, sustainability and social impact. It all comes back to what people believe, how people live and what they want to associate themselves with.

COVID has levelled the playing field for many. It’s made people and influencers more accessible, as we are all working from home and facing similar day-to-day challenges.

Brands have been forced to think about how they are perceived and how they can be more diverse. They can no longer rest on their laurels or simply be transactional. Brands need to let that personality shine through, be there for their customers and essentially help show them the way, through values-based, ethical selling.

How agile are these brands? Does is depend on size? Does it depend on how digital they are?

There are signs of some green shoots but some brands are not really ready to hit the ground running. I’ve been talking a lot recently about re-thinking and re-engaging before relaunching but are brands really re-thinking? If they are, then should they not be thinking about revisiting the brand, the messaging and the creative focus? This would then better reflect the changing landscape and audience it speaks to.

Investing in re-thinking and being ready to re-engage will pay brands back in the longer term.

Think of the subscription model. There is a focus on the customer’s convenience and many are now focussing on sustainability, too.

Now is the time, if you’ve not already, to re-think and re-engage in order to re-ignite!

Innovate, get creative and try new things, all in collaboration with your stakeholders.

Whether it’s reinventing your office space and how it will be used or something you’ve created during lockdown which can now feature firmly in your business model, let’s think of customers and staff first. Let’s get back to basics and build the new narrative from there.

How can you have a positive impact on society as well as sell your product/service? How can you be more diverse and really represent your audience? What are you ultimately going to achieve as a brand?

Remember, you’re not really building a business. You’re building a community. A community of people who will be loyal, who will introduce others and who will fight your corner. A community who have beliefs and values which they expect you to have, too. A community who are part of other communities and help shape the eco-system.

After all, people buy people. People associate with other people. Is your brand human enough? Let me know if you need to help re-thinking. It’s one of my super powers… Email me.