Read for 5 minutes
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Cindy Krupp has more than 20 years of experience in brand strategy and public relations. The founder and president of the Krupp Group met with Jessica Abo to share her journey and how brands can stay relevant in an ever-changing world.
Jessica Abo: Tell us something about your career.
Cindy Krupp: I was the Head of Communications at Barney & # 39; s and left the company in 2000 to work with emerging brands who wanted to define their brand voice and establish themselves in the marketplace.
What did your agency do to stay relevant?
We need to make sure our customers are everywhere. We approach every communication strategy with a 360-degree approach – a powerful media game in both print and digital, identify and work with important influencers to support their brand and tell their brand story. For celebrities, we are working on securing placements on the red carpet as well as the so-called "Starbucks shot", in which they are out and about in a more casual daytime look. We find the opportunity and get our brands placed. To achieve this brand loyalty, brands have to be seen multiple times in numerous places.
How have digital influencers changed your business?
Digital influencers have become an absolutely crucial part of any communication strategy, and we often layer in media placements. The placements fuel each other. We work with influencers on storytelling, brand awareness games, collaborations and brand partnerships. It's a great opportunity for brands to create an authentic connection with their community.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs struggling to stay relevant?
Diversify your skills. Listen to your customers and your clients. What are your needs? Don't bury your head in the sand. Things change. Don't blow smoke towards your clients or your clients. Even more than ever, people strive for authenticity and transparency, regardless of whether you are a consumer-centric brand or you are behind the scenes. You want to understand who is behind the brand. What does the brand stand for? Also, don't be afraid to admit if you screw it up and take responsibility for it. Modesty can be a powerful brand trait.
How should brands use their social channels?
I encourage every brand to communicate and lean on directly through their social channels — have fun with them and have a consistent brand voice. Use these platforms to articulate what the brand is about. I think it's an amazing way to retain customers and it didn't exist before. You don't have to be on a big budget to do it and do it well!
Where should people spend their budget these days?
People will say, "We have a limited budget. Should we spend it on an influencer, or should we spend it on a celebrity or on PR?"
Nothing works by itself anymore. To achieve sustainable brand awareness, you have to fire on all cylinders. Brands need to focus on creating great content for their social channels and all direct communication with their customers. You still need solid, consistent press coverage, as well as a strong influencer campaign and celebrity placements.
The consumer is getting so much information at all times, and the way they shop and discover brands is different than ever. As a brand, you need to be in every room even when you are not in the room.
When do you think a publicist should be hired?
It's never too early to have a conversation with a publicist. We talk to a lot of brands before they're actually ready to get us on board. They turn to us to have the conversation, to sow the seeds, which I think any brand or entrepreneur should do. I think it's really important. It takes time to line up your ducks. The assets we need to set up to be successful can be expensive and take a while to perfect.
What are some of the assets people need before they start working with a publicist?
You need a founding story. You need a core task and an elevator pitch. Everyone needs to be able to quickly see what their company and brand are all about. Are there founders at the top? Who are the brand or company spokespersons?
We often get completely anemic bios and completely rewrite them. If you are a consumer-centric brand, you want great images of your product. The media today often use high resolution images that we provide so they don't have to photograph the product. Investing in high quality, high resolution imagery is a good investment. These are some of the most important assets you need in any industry to be successful with your PR.
What else should entrepreneurs know about working with a PR team?
Surround yourself with experts and empower them to do their jobs. Allow your PR team to help you define what's relevant in your message and story. Don't worry about editing it yourself. Have transparency and authenticity in this partnership, because that is the key to our success.