The First Breed of Positivity – The PR Pro
In June, two seemingly contradictory statements came out of the small town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas – the second biggest crime hotspot in the USA after Detroit, with an average of 3,413 crimes per annum. Resident Marina Ross said: “Every time I say I’m from Pine Bluff, I get looks I don’t want to get. I hope that God is going to get me to change the image of Pine Bluff”. Since then, Marina has been captaining a PR campaign utilizing Facebook live videos, YouTube videos, and a film exhibiting on the positive elements of Pine Bluff.
The second comes from Joy Blankenship, executive director of Downtown Development: “We want it (the town) bustling with people and I think that’s going to happen. There are going to be new owners and new tenants and people wanting to be in our downtown, even after hours”.
The truth is that Joy’s “I think that’s going to happen” was stimulated by a new optimism towards the city’s economy and infrastructure development that had never existed in Pine Bluff before. Funnily enough, it was a feeling that was entirely down to Marina Ross’s ongoing PR campaign to transform the image of the infamous Arkansas township. The optimism driving Marina’s campaign had, thanks to weekly Facebook Live videos, already inspired Wil Jenkins to purchase seven downtown buildings for development.
Plans were made to establish an ice cream shop, a blues and jazz venue and a burger joint. The positivity-powered video-oriented media campaign boosted not only image of what the town could become, but even the town’s very infrastructure and development itself.
Investment and Pine Bluff’s continuing path to success was the product of shared optimism and positivity. The PR campaign simply served as a platform for exposing this positivity to the wider public. And as evidenced, a positivity and PR cocktail can be infectious.
Just as developers invested in Pine Bluff because Marina’s PR campaign promised a town that would benefit all, the principal of any successful PR campaign is that the client exhibits a promise and dedication to meeting the public’s desires and demands. Naturally, consumers only purchase products that they’re confident will further their interests. This is where the consumer positivity starts to inspire the PR campaign’s positivity.
The Second Breed of Positivity – The Consumer’s Belief in the Company
According to Edelman’s 2017 Earned Brand Survey, out of 14,000 respondents from 14 countries, 30% said that they will select where they shop from based on the company’s values. Furthermore, nearly 25% of consumers who said they buy from brands that support their personal beliefs, said that they would even pay more for the brand’s products.
What are we seeing here? That consumers are expecting an organisation’s ethics (and as such their public image) to be that of a positive contributor to an Earth in distress. In exchange for their purchasing power, companies need to provide an ethical and humanitarian service.
This opportunity to learn about what compels the positivity of the customer is in itself a stimulant for positivity for the PR team on the other end. Last year, Fast Company published an article discussing how
highly successful people stay positive by consistently striving to learn more, as well as being committed to mentoring others who are equally as passionate as they are.
PR professionals need to be constantly learning from, and start to believe in, what inspires positivity in the consumer public and what the consumer public sees as positive. In this case, the ways in which the public believes that the PR firm’s clients can benefit the world. The optimism and enthusiasm that the customer has for the client company needs to be absorbed by the organisation’s PR team. And as we all know, passionate, optimistic PR professionals lead to successful and perhaps world-changing results.
Positivity fuels productivity through fervor and commitment. And PR pros need to be aware that passions for clients is also powered by knowledge of what each clients’ potential customer base expects from brands like these, and how they can demonstrate that each of these clients is paving the way for a better tomorrow.