The Magical PR Strategy Question

All brands need a clear differentiation to win.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

I always ask the Magical PR Strategy Question.

This blog post tar­gets the import­ance of the cent­ral ques­tion in guid­ing suc­cess­ful PR strategies, high­light­ing the need for clear dif­fer­en­ti­ation and a focused approach to gain that neces­sary edge.

Here we go:

The Magical PR Strategy Question

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Spin for the win. (Photo: Jerry Silfwer)
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The Magical PR Strategy Question

Your PR strategy should answer one simple question:

  • Does this strategy provide a guid­ing prin­ciple for how your organ­isa­tion should defeat com­pet­it­ors in the battle for atten­tion, trust, and support?

Whenever your PR strategy fails to answer this ques­tion, it also fails to provide a roadmap to success.

Competitiveness is derived from per­man­ent infra­struc­tur­al char­ac­ter­ist­ics of organ­iz­a­tion­al design, rather than just rely­ing on tem­por­ary stra­tegic assets.”
Source: Strategic Change 1Connor, T. (2007). A con­sid­er­a­tion of stra­tegic assets and the organ­iz­a­tion­al sources of com­pet­it­ive­ness. Strategic Change, 16, 127 – 136. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​0​2​/​J​S​C​.​789

Learn more: The Magical PR Strategy Question

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Understanding How To Win

The Magical PR Strategy Question demands a deep under­stand­ing of what makes your organ­isa­tion unique — and how it can be lever­aged in your PR efforts.

Brand iden­tity and brand image are essen­tial ingredi­ents of strong brands, and con­gru­ence between the two can enhance brand loy­alty and adapt to chan­ging com­mu­nic­a­tion envir­on­ments.”
Source: Journal of Brand Management 2Nandan, S. (2005). An explor­a­tion of the brand iden­tity – brand image link­age: A com­mu­nic­a­tions per­spect­ive. Journal of Brand Management, 12, 264 – 278. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​5​7​/​P​A​L​G​R​A​V​E​.​B​M​.​2​5​4​0​222

It’s not just about hav­ing a PR strategy; it’s about hav­ing a strategy that clearly and effect­ively will:

  • Focus your PR strategy. The Magical PR Question keeps your strategy laser-focused on what truly mat­ters — dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing your brand in the market.
  • Drive cre­at­ive solu­tions. The Magical PR Question pushes you to think cre­at­ively and innov­at­ively about cap­tur­ing and retain­ing pub­lic interest.
  • Build trust and sup­port. “Taking a stand” long-term for a spe­cif­ic stra­tegic PR pos­i­tion ensures that your efforts are not just about grabbing short-term atten­tion but build­ing last­ing rela­tion­ships with your audi­ence.

Your Long-Term Safeguard

A PR strategy that fails to answer this fun­da­ment­al ques­tion is like a ship without a rud­der, drift­ing aimlessly. 

Such PR strategies often res­ult in the following:

  • Wasted PR resources. Without a clear dir­ec­tion, resources may be squandered on inef­fect­ive tactics.
  • Diminished PR impact. The lack of a unique guid­ing prin­ciple can lead to cam­paigns that fail to res­on­ate with the tar­get audience.
  • Lost PR oppor­tun­it­ies. In the wired world of PR, fail­ing to stand out means missed oppor­tun­it­ies to con­nect with and influ­ence your audience.

Get Your PR Strategy Right

The Magical PR Strategy Question isn’t just a ques­tion; it’s a lit­mus test for the effect­ive­ness of your PR efforts. It com­pels you to think crit­ic­ally about your strategy and its abil­ity to pos­i­tion your organ­isa­tion as a lead­er in the battle for atten­tion, trust, and support. 

  • Understand your PR pos­i­tion­ing. Deeply ana­lyse what sets your organ­isa­tion apart from the com­pet­i­tion. What do you offer that no one else does?
  • Know your brand audi­ence. Understand your audi­ence’s needs, pref­er­ences, and pain points. How can your unique value meet these needs?
  • Innovate and exper­i­ment. Don’t be afraid to try new PR tac­tics or approaches that align with the Magical PR Strategy Question and your Core Message.
  • Measure and adapt. Continuously meas­ure the effect­ive­ness of your PR strategy and be will­ing to adapt based on feed­back and results.

Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: PR Strategy 101

ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 Connor, T. (2007). A con­sid­er­a­tion of stra­tegic assets and the organ­iz­a­tion­al sources of com­pet­it­ive­ness. Strategic Change, 16, 127 – 136. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​0​2​/​J​S​C​.​789
2 Nandan, S. (2005). An explor­a­tion of the brand iden­tity – brand image link­age: A com­mu­nic­a­tions per­spect­ive. Journal of Brand Management, 12, 264 – 278. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​5​7​/​P​A​L​G​R​A​V​E​.​B​M​.​2​5​4​0​222
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has

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