Branding Star Chris Collins' Essential Laws of PR
Top executives must convey their mission clearly and consistently, warns branding guru Chris Collins, or risk losing control over their image or their organization’s image. Collins shared several pieces of advice he has given successful business executives over the years. For example, he says to remember the seven-second rule. “You have seven seconds to make a lasting impression,” he stated. “After seven seconds on a website or watching a video, customers know whether or not they want to engage. So why not engineer a truly captivating first impression that leaves them wanting more?” Collins went on to urge that PR communication be directed to “gatekeepers” like reputable journalists, social media heavyweights and experts whose opinions can lend credibility to an organization’s image. Clear communication and strategically selected outlets are more important than the number of appearances of your image or name.

Another tip is to remember that branding is a team sport. The brand, personal image and verbal message of any organization must be consistent. “These days, our [nonsense] meters are very finely tuned,” Collins explained. “We can't fool anybody substantially about who we are anymore. Branding is not a sprint, it is a marathon that you and your team run day in and day out.” Finally, avoid brand suicide. Collins cautions that it can take only one bad mention or one bad appearance to make or break an organization’s reputation. “In a world where everything is archived and searchable, your mistakes may live longer than you do. You need to build a strong reputation in a credible context so that the one inevitable mishap will not jeopardize your entire business," Collins concluded.
Forbes (11/05/15) Conner, Cheryl
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