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Blog - PR, Media & Communications

Three Little Words

The rule of three is a powerful one.

Whether it’s in speech, in print, or online, the fact is that emphasising three points in a sentence works.

Deploying the technique carefully can make you seem clear, knowledgeable and authoritative, which is why a lot of politicians pepper their speeches with moments like that.

But there are other ways in which you can make three words work for you.

At the centre of great brands and great marketing are great ideas. Many of the most memorable company slogans are key messages condensed into three words, for example:

Just do it

Every little helps

Vorsprung durch technik

Beanz meanz Heinz

In any business, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of branding. Everyday concerns like managing people, dealing with customers and balancing the books leave very little time to focus on the heart of what makes you stand out from the crowd.

And if you don’t have a strong grip on your brand, you’re probably just treading water.

Or you could be sinking.

Branding is about more than successful PR, marketing, websites, events, graphic design etc… Underpinning all that ‘fun stuff’ is a lot of hard work on making sure that every aspect of an organisation relates to a powerful central idea.

To see how three little words can start to make a big difference, try this exercise:

  • Get a large, blank piece of paper and a pen
  • Think about your business and write down all the words you can think of to describe it, until you have at least 30 words on the page
  • Spend a few moments looking at the words again
  • Circle the words you think are most inspiring ways of describing what you do
  • Pick your three favourite words and write them down on a separate, smaller sheet of paper (a Post-it note is ideal)
  • Keep that note close at hand and look at those three words at least once every working day.

If you’d like to put more energy into getting to the heart of your brand and making it work harder for you, drop me a line: mark@markwall.co.uk

Elementary

All successful brands have a set of guidelines that underpin every aspect of the way they communicate – from marketing and advertising, through to key messages and PR.

I thought it might be helpful to summarise the main elements:

Name

What’s in a name? Pretty much everything. The word, or words in themselves can’t convey too much in the way of ideas but whether a name is descriptive (Mark Wall Communications), associative (Vodafone), or abstract (Orange), its job is to become loaded with meaning… and it helps if it doesn’t mean something rude in another language.

Logos

Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words and having a recognisable symbol, badge or insignia attached to your brand opens up a whole world of visuals, including…

Typography

From the style of your logo (whether it includes, or sits alongside your business’s name) to the choice of font your emails are composed in, using a distinctive form of typography (definitely not ‘Comic Sans’) creates and reinforces brand recognition.

Colours

Another key part of your logo and your overall style is consistency in the way you use colour. Think of Barclays, for example and it’s hard not to recall the particular shade of blue that’s used in everything from their signage to the edges of their credit cards. Or take the main supermarket chains: green (Asda), orange (Sainsbury’s), blue (Tesco) and yellow (Morrison’s). Colour is all about creating a sense impression and brands increasingly think about things like sound, texture and taste in the same way.

Tone of voice

What you say is important but not so much as how you say it and making sure that both things are consistent. Do you want your brand to sound calm and authoritative, or maybe your style is cheeky and anarchic? Getting your tone of voice right is vital – and it has to match your visuals.

For help with branding and making sure your business gets the recognition it deserves, drop me a line: mark@markwall.co.uk

Crisis Management

‘Hope for the best but plan for the worst’ is a useful saying in any walk of life.

In my experience, most businesses – certainly the successful ones – tend to be run by optimists.

Enterprising, adventurous risk-takers tend not to wonder whether their glasses are half full or half empty. Instead, they see an opportunity to fill the glass… then sell more glasses and more drinks to fill them.

Most of the time, PR is about telling people the good news that their glasses are more than half full, or that they could be.

But sometimes things go wrong and (to stretch the metaphor) people can see the glass is half empty, because it’s cracked or broken and making a mess.

Tough times like these call for ‘crisis management’, which is often the point where people realise they never planned for the worst.

And this is where the first rule of dealing with a crisis comes in:

DON’T PANIC

The second rule (unless you’re happy to see all your hard work wasted) is to get help – particularly with your communications and public relations.

I’ve worked in PR long enough to have seen businesses and organisations through some very serious difficulties – everything from making people redundant, to being accused of killing someone.

Ask for my professional help and what you tell me might surprise me but nothing you can say will faze me and none of it will go any further.

I can’t make the media go away but I can help you manage your crisis communications; then help you rebuild your reputation once the rest of the world has moved on.

So, whether you’d like help preparing for the worst, or it’s already happening, give me a call on 01823 271508, or drop me a line: mark@markwall.co.uk

Brand You?

Understanding what a ‘brand’ is can be a terribly confusing business.

Ask most people and they’ll probably mention logos but they’re just signifiers of branding – there’s much more to brands than creating recognisable visuals.

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