Brands taking a stand
Businesses have always impacted on culture and society at large and now brands are taking that a step further by speaking about societal and cultural issues more than ever before.
As an example, Gillette recently launched a new campaign, changing its thirty year old strapline ‘The best a man can get’ to become ‘The best men can be.’ Gillette explained the new direction, stating: “It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man.”
Whilst Gillette’s new campaign has hit the headlines and divided opinion, there is a growing expectation that brands should have something to say beyond their own products and services. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, fifty-eight percent of employees say they look to their employer to be a trustworthy source of information about contentious societal issues.
Brands are speaking out on topics like workplace wellbeing, where there has been a societal shift towards greater openness around mental health. Highlighting the global impact of this issue, the World Health Organisation is looking at new guidance to help organisations. Companies we work with are also emphasising the importance of fair pay and its impact on family life. Whether companies are talking about the Living Wage, health and safety, or sustainability issues, there are many opportunities to comment.
Becoming a ‘thought leader’ on societal issues and industry best practice will bring many benefits to your business. It shows a commitment to improving standards, which will impress your target audience and inspire them to look to you for further pointers and advice. It also reflects well with clients, both new and established, who will feel reassured that their chosen supplier or business partner knows what they are talking about, and is a truly influential figure in their industry.
It is important that organisations act with transparency and integrity in order to be successful. A good PR agency will make sure that they know your industry or business sector inside and out – including all the hot topics and thorny issues – and help to establish you as an authoritative voice that peers, and potential new clients, will listen to.
Offering opinions on the topics that really matter to your sector will give your PR campaigns an edge, so don’t be afraid to stand up, be counted and get involved! For support with your thought-leadership campaigns, please get in touch!