Our last agency tour of the year was to Identity PR in Bingham Farms, Mich.
Identity is one of the more intimate agencies we’ve visited – and we loved it!
Identity first started in 1998 as a solely business-to-business agency – which means the PR wasn’t directed at consumers, it was directed at other businesses.
They’ve since become a much more diverse company. Today, Identity has clients ranging from Verizon Wireless to the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan and from Nationwide Insurance to the Miss America USA pageants.
Basically, they told us, “public relations is getting your clients in the news.” There are a lot of ways to do this, which is their integrated public relations strategy.
This strategy consists of four different strategic communications programs: media relations, graphic design, web/social media, and brand strategy.
The public relations professionals who work with clients are brand managers – they manage messages in the media.
Social Media is an important part of Identity. At Identity, they help companies manage their Facebook pages, reporting, help with crisis situations and do content writing. In addition to this, they do social media audits by “playing traffic cop” and making sure the brand is being represented properly. They also help with message and social media training to get the employees of the company understand that what they do and say on social media can, and probably will, impact the company as a whole.
I’ve been really interested in branding for quite some time now, and other than reading articles online having a lot of friends who work in branding, I don’t really know much on the subject.
Here are some of the tips they gave us on branding:
• Create a Platform: “This is our why!” You buy a product for the why – not for the “what” or “how.”
• Create the Brand Voice: This includes the website, brochure, strategy, content and language to be used.
• Create the Brand Image: Create a logo, a website and message to reach our to consumers.
Overall, our visit was amazing and we came away with a lot of great tools and information to help us with our academics and our future job-hunts! Below are some important tips they gave us regarding the PR industry as a whole and ways to keep your head in the game!
• Media coverage is an unmatched media piece.
• Get familiar with local media – know them, know what they write.
• Get in a habit about absorbing information about your career choice.
• Invest in reading outside of the classroom.
• Understand how clients think.
• Attend events and conferences; join clubs (PRSSA, PRSA, IABC and Social Media Club)!
• Soak up everything like a sponge!
• Rock your internships!
• Participate in Twitter chats and HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out!).