The rising importance of brand authenticity in PR & social content

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  • authenticity
  • brand voice
  • Branding
  • Communications
  • content
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Social media
Marketing and PR people readily recognise the brilliance of their peers’ work.  Speaking for myself at least, I’ve seen plenty of well-written social posts, blogs or videos that made me say, ‘damn, that’s a banger’.  But what if the people your content is meant for don’t have the same view of your brand authenticity?

Be honest: us marketing lot are susceptible to getting high off the smell of our own flatulence sometimes. It’s easy to lose sight of what actually makes good marketing content: does it resonate with your intended audience?  Stackla has published some fascinating stats on the disconnect between brands and their audiences.

Brand authenticity disconnect

Straight Talking

Full disclosure: I am not the biggest fan of ‘marketing speak.’ It seems by the data that a lot of the public agree with me. No awkward questions about the reliability of polls, thank you very much.

Why is this, though?

Well, we can all look to our personal lives to find the answer.


Now, there is a lot more that goes into the concept of brand authenticity than just tone of voice. Alignment with stated ethical standards and recognition of consumers’ actual needs and experiences are just some of the core components to appearing genuine – but as I am a somewhat competent smith of words, this is the aspect I want to focus on.

It’s a lot easier to develop a relationship with a flesh-and-blood person when you feel that they’re being genuine when they talk to you.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but if someone is speaking to me in carefully crafted, safe and formal language…  Well, that doesn’t usually lead to me wanting to talk to them again if I can help it.

So why would things be different for brands talking to their potential customers?

The Great Tonal Shift

The PR and marketing world seems to be waking up to this, however.

Marketers like Dan Kelsall have seen great success by offering an utterly irreverent and sometimes foul-mouthed approach to communicating…

Now, don’t for a second think that I am saying one semi-popular person on LinkedIn is infallible proof of this.  [We all know LinkedIn is a strange, mawkish bubble of a place.] Yet it is a sign of why some brands are becoming more ‘straight talking’ in their messaging.

Don’t Be Chicken

The breaded poultry fans among us will remember the harrowing ‘Great KFC Chicken Shortage of 2018’ when the fast-food chain’s stores experienced a dearth of its signature product.

The frothing UK public was less than pleased about this, but KFC handled the crisis masterfully with a humorous and honest media campaign clearly explaining what had gone wrong and simply apologising – and not obfuscating blame through marketing-speak.

Customers appreciated this and the restaurant was lauded for its response, turning a critical situation into heaps of positive coverage and public good-will.

Keeping It Real

People appreciate being spoken to like humans, not consumers. Sometimes marketers or communications people can lose sight of that, being wrapped up in a world of market data, SEO keywords and the other trappings of the profession.

More brands are waking up to this as we move into 2022 and I can’t wait to see what the best creative minds come up with using this new approach.

Need help with your brand tone of voice? We can help you keep it real across all of your content and copywriting?

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