Why Authentic Marketing is not PR

Attention is sacred in today's world. Attracting attention to your company is what helps current and future customers discover you and do business with you. As advertising loses its effectiveness, marketers are on the hunt for new ways to capture the attention of potential customers. This has given rise to a new category called Authentic Marketing.

So, what exactly is "Authentic Marketing"?

Authentic marketing is a way to reach and attract prospective customers by being genuine online and offline. This can be done by meeting users where they are via podcasts they listen to, newsletters and articles they read, events they attend and social media channels they use. Nowadays, there are many available channels where companies can share their journeys and insights in a way that gets people to care about what they are building.

Companies typically rely on Public Relations (PR) to handle communications with the rest of the world. That’s why people often confuse Authentic Marketing with PR. Here's how Authentic Marketing is different.

Authentic marketing involves your entire team, not just the C-Suite

The story of every company changes a lot with its journey. There is always something new that employees learn as they work in their respective roles. Different teams in a company constantly learn new things about their market, product, sales process and so on. Authentic marketing allows teams to keep sharing their stories and insights as they go. This positions them as active thought leaders within their industry. Think of this as "Build in public" for the rest of the world, beyond Twitter. 

PR on the other hand, is mostly about making announcements around specific events like funding, launches, and so on. These announcements/statements are crafted in a way which ensures that the company’s preferred public image is maintained or strengthened. This way of communicating does not usually resonate with people since it is scripted and often rings inauthentic.

Authentic marketing amplifies your company’s vision, mission and values; it’s not about news

News occurs when something significant happens within a company or an industry. PR is all about news. An example of this is a company making a great hire or filing to go public. Although sharing news is great, most of it is repetitive, since the majority of people are not affected by it. 

In contrast, Authentic marketing allows companies to share their culture and belief system in a way that resonates with people on an emotional level. For example, Tesla employees see the work they do as their way of moving the world to sustainable energy. The company regularly communicates its mission at events they speak at, on podcasts, every time they get in front of an audience. Companies that embrace authentic marketing are able to get the broader public to care about the problems they’re solving and - by extension - about the products they’re building.

Authentic marketing is recurring

Unlike PR, which happens when there is news, authentic marketing can be leveraged multiple times every month. Teams from various parts of a company can now use authentic marketing to get people more excited about what they are building. For example, a VP Engineering and Head of Product at a startup can share insights on different podcasts and events during any given month. The following month, the Head of People and CMO could share some stories with relevant tech newsletters and/or publications. Since Authentic Marketing is better with the entire team, it’s now easier to share stories from different perspectives within the company. 

The creator economy presents a lot of new avenues for companies (and their team members) to share their journey and insights with the world. By doing so consistently, companies can build a trusted brand that keeps attracting prospective stakeholders and allows them to stand out from the competition.

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.

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