Philip Sheldrake

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Brand, PR, non-profits, and responsiveness – Q&A by Phillip Casey

Armstrong Building, Newcastle University
Having put my two penn'orth out there over the years I'm occasionally approached by students at this dissertation time of year. This week, Phillip Casey and I struck up conversation on Twitter. Phillip is a post-graduate student undertaking the MA in Media and Public Relations at Newcastle University (pictured) and his dissertation is titled Brand Image: PR in the UK non-profit healthcare sector.

Phillip Casey

Phillip Casey

I enjoyed responding to Phillip's questions, so, with his permission, I thought I'd make our Q&A public here. (It migrated to email in case you were wondering about a 140 character count.)

Where a reference consists of just a page number, it refers to The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age.

1) Is a strong brand image important for a non-profit organisation? Why?

A brand used to convey ownership of livestock. Then it was an "our name's on it" quality assurance. This century, with product quality (defined as fitness-for-purpose) increasingly a given, a brand represents a nexus of values. If our values align with a brand, then I'm part of that brand. If they don't, I look to take my time, attention and money elsewhere. [Attenzi]

Organisations need to communicate their purpose and values in order to attract and assemble the right mix of people and resources to live up to its mission and pursue its vision. So brand, defined like this, lies at the heart of things. Read more

Social media are the eggs in the social business cake

A thrill of working in a fast changing market is the opportunity to innovate. A burden of working in a fast changing market is the need to bend existing language to new concepts. And of course, evoking existing language evokes existing meaning ... both an advantage and disadvantage.

So, we've been working with social media for the past decade; as if all preceding media was anti-social. And during the past couple of years, we've been tasking our tongue to the topic of social business; as if business previously attracted loners.

Well I for one consider social business to be quite distinct from social media. Others use the terms synonymously. The lexicon battle is underway and it will be some years hence before the dictionaries document the victory. For now then, allow me the airtime to support the assertion ... social media are the eggs in the social business cake.

The video here is my take on social business.