TAA’s Approach to Meaningful Positioning & Thoughtful PR

December 3, 2021

If you asked my mom what I do for my career, she’d say, “personal relations.” It always makes me giggle, but I’ve realized recently that she’s actually not wrong. 

Now more than ever, consumers are not only searching for, but are requiring deeper connections through the digital era. Because of this, PR professionals are given the opportunity to focus on more purposeful tactics. We’re in the middle of the value-based marketing era, with heightened expectations from audiences post-pandemic, and communities are craving meaningful content that pushes the envelope while making them feel good about who and what they’re supporting. 

Let me say it louder for the people in the back:  Communities are craving meaningful content that makes them feel good about who and what they’re supporting.

In a recent study conducted by The EY Future Consumer Index, research shows that the pandemic has changed the priorities of consumers and their ethos when it comes to buying habits. Out of 14,500 individuals, it was found that:

  • 32% of consumers are shifting to be budget-forward, focusing more on living within their means and steering away from big-name brands. 
  • 25% of audiences are looking to brands that they trust to be safe for the health and benefits of themselves and their loved ones. 
  • Sustainability is also taking over the list of priorities, with 16% of consumers trying to minimize their impact on the environment
  • 15% of end users are buying from brands that are honest and transparent, while focusing on societal benefits. 
  • Another 12% of consumers are prioritizing experiences, opting for new products and brands while making the most of it. 

Effective campaigns are crucial when it comes to branding, and with the new consumer priorities in mind, it’s important to strategically entice your brand’s audience while maintaining trust. With factors such as budget, safety, sustainability, societal benefit and experiences taking precedence, PR as we know it is shifting into deeper, more meaningful positioning. 

So, how do we as PR professionals authentically, ethically, creatively and sensitively share our client’s goods and services while still moving the needle to reach their goals? Well, that’s where The Abbi Agency has a little fun – because we’re always up for a challenge. 

Sharing Values is Expected

For Waste Management of Northern Nevada, The Abbi Agency had the goal to position Waste Management as the region’s leader in waste and environmental services through its commitment to sustainability, innovation, economic impact, community support and education. With these values in mind, The Abbi Agency implemented a Recycling Ambassador program to educate the community about proper recycling techniques in order to smoothly transition new protocols, while ensuring that those who are violating recycling rules are changing their habits rather than continuing to recycle incorrectly. 

We’re proud to successfully secure a group of local industry leaders to share the messaging of sustainability, social responsibility, and environmental health to the community, while still positioning the Waste Management brand as something to support. 

Authentic Relatability is Everything 

With the devastating fires that swept across Northern Nevada this summer, our client Plumas Bank utilized our PR resources to focus on giving back to the communities in need. As a community bank, Plumas puts the community at the center of all that it does – whether it’s supporting local artists by having a mural painted on the side of the bank; or setting up a Dixie Fire Fund to help the neighboring communities rebuild. So when our client came to us about the establishment of this fund, TAA was on board with coming up with an authentic PR approach that related to the emotions of our audiences. Our team worked together to implement multiple avenues of media to gain exposure, including earned media through pitching and press releases, paid media efforts, video curation and connections with local organizations to help spread the word. By combining different modes of media outreach, the campaign has been successful in reaching its target audience in Northern Nevada to become aware of the fund and spur further donations. 

Through our efforts in positioning Plumas Bank as putting  “community” in community bank, this is a great example of “showing” versus “telling”, which all goes back to authentic relatability. 

You’ve seen it before – a brand comes out with a statement about their dedication to XYZ, but months down the road there’s no real substantial evidence backing this support. That’s when brands become performative, and consumers are quick to catch on. We can tell you all day that Plumas Bank cares for its community, but to back this up with REAL commitment, well… that’s the sauce.

Creative Positioning is Necessary

As PR and marketing professionals, it’s our job to turn the spotlight on our clients with out-of-the-box strategies. When international travel shifted in 2020, travelers everywhere were searching for unique destinations that gave them a global experience. 

Considering that audiences were craving unique experiences in their top priorities, we decided (while keeping proper safety precautions in mind, obvi) to position Carmel-by-the-Sea as an ideal European destination without leaving the States. With attributes such as cottage-like architecture, cobblestone walkways, romantic scenery, and an unparalleled food and wine scene in a quaint one-square-mile village – it was a no-brainer. Through strategic SEO-driven media relations, we were able to secure media hits such as Go World Travel, MSN, and Fodor’s

So, maybe we are in the biz of “personal relations.” We really wouldn’t want to be anything else.