Has The PR Industry Subtly & Brilliantly Rebranded Itself?

Has the PR Industry executed the subtlest rebrand ever….on itself?

A few years ago, people asked, and some still do  What is PR? They just didn’t get it.

Here’s an extract of my blog What is PR?

‘In the marketing and advertising worlds, PR was the slightly errant cousin. Flouncing around at events and parties with guest lists, introducing people, writing press releases that, in truth nobody read. Doing what? Nobody was quite sure what exactly. Whereas advertising was ‘important’. You could see it. You turned a page in a magazine or saw a billboard and there the product was, shouting ‘Buy me!’ …

Then suddenly it all changed. The psychology of selling shifted. The reason? The birth of social media.

The psychology behind selling or marketing via social media or ‘online’ was fixed at the opposite ends of the scale to off-line. It’s principles did not lie in direct advertising, direct marketing or self promotion but the promotion of others and the interaction and keen interest in other brands and businesses. This paved the way for PR to brush itself off, step forward and run parallel to this new way of thinking’

But since then has the PR Industry executed the subtlest best rebrand ever…. on itself?

Well it’s risen from a rather misunderstood industry to now one of well most respected and focused upon areas of business.

It’s reached deep into the heart of it’s own ‘brand’, pushed the noise away and focused on it’s most important fact. It’s all about the story.

Buzzwords like ‘storytelling’ and ‘content creation’ have emerged hailed as a key tools in PR. But PR has and will always be about the story. That’s exactly what PR is! It’s the crafting of your story.

Like any story, the flow of the story, the feelings it evokes are all important. Often subconscious feelings are evoked, this is the essence of a great story and this is an important fact to adhere to in PR. The subconscious.

PR has taken it’s very core point and reworded it in different ways to reach everyone. We’re all different. Our minds work in different ways. A teacher cannot teach all his pupils the same way. Some react to visuals, some logic, some words. Each pupil must be taught the way their mind works. It’s much like branding and PR. We cannot expect to push out a message that only, say a visual mind would appreciate or a play on mathematics that only a logical mind would find humour in.


The best rebrands are the ones you hardly notice, arguably like the one the PR industry has done on itself. I used to be a Property Presentation Consultant and have also renovated lots of properties. Whenever I’ve done a property make over often enough people walk in and they don’t say anything. They almost don’t notice. Because it’s how the room is meant to be. They feel comfortable. It just feels right. That’s what a rebrand should feel like; a fluid, seamless switch to something more fitting, more comfortable more receptive, more exciting.  Suddenly the brand feels right for you. It’s hitting the mark. You understand it. It fits so well you can hardly remember or relate to its previous guise at all. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. That was then and this is now. The future. That’s what matters.


The important thing at this juncture is to maintain this relationship. Like any personal changes, it’s easy to slip back into old habits, so in terms of brands, it important to embrace this new direction, this new ‘face’ and run a open minded and lateral thinking attitude parallel to this.  Metaphorically, if suddenly the room looked like how it did again, you would notice. The bar has been raised. Expectations have subtly been lifted. You expect more. That’s the natural state the brand has evoked.

We have to PR holistically. That’s the beauty of PR today. We now have so many different platforms to bespoke our message through with the help of social media and digital marketing.

Think of it this way, the old social media metaphor ‘the party’. You slightly adapt yourself to each person you come across. If you’re talking to a eighty five year old, you not going to make references to what you heard on Kiss FM that morning  likewise if you’re talking to teenage boy you might not necessarily talk about Revlons latest nail varnish. I’m generalizing,  but you get my gist. Content needs to be relevant.

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