Merritt Group Blog

USA TODAY NETWORK's VP of Corporate Comms Shares Secrets to Branding Success

LoB-Blog1In case you haven’t heard already, Merritt Group recently launched its very own podcast called Lay of the Brand. Our podcast explores the latest innovations in marketing, creative and PR and how these disciplines are revolutionizing the way the tech industry communicates and sells.

On one of the premiere episodes, we sat down with Amber Allman, VP of Corporate Communications at Gannett, home of USA Today Networks and the nation's largest newspaper publisher. Amber has more than 20 years of experience in PR/marketing, and she previously served as head of global public affairs at Yahoo! Her expertise in PR and branding makes this episode a must-listen for corporations seeking ways to successfully navigate the business to success – even during times of disruption and change. Check out the top three takeaways from our conversation with Amber, and dive into the full episode to hear the whole story:

1. Navigate change by evaluating your current brand and where you want to be. When industry norms start to shift, it’s important to reevaluate what your organization’s structure looks like and what the evolving narrative of your brand should be. Amber speaks to leveraging Gannett’s industry roots in newspaper as the organization transformed more fully into a media powerhouse.

2. Smart storytelling can differentiate your organization. The key driver in developing a renewed brand identity is finding a hook your organization can own. Amber says that in order to tie all of these pieces together you must find a “unique differentiator as a storyteller.” As one example, she talked about socializing the new and exciting capabilities around virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to hardcore gamers as a way to speak their language and develop  “street cred” when positioning Gannett journalism.

3. Developing a strategic communications plan starts with cultural cohesion. None of these tips will work, however, if you’re not on the same page with your marketing/PR team, business leaders and the company as a whole. At Gannett, the key was instilling a sense of pride for team members for the work the organization already accomplished and getting them excited for the future to come. Recognize people’s talent for the product they are creating for consumers and then marry it with the business side. In both external and internal communications, employees can be your brand’s best ambassadors.

Looking for more tips and insights on the intersection of Marketing/PR and technology? Subscribe to Merritt Group’s Lay of the Brand podcast!

 

Topics: branding public relations podcast