Build Positivity Around Your Brand in 2022


There’s a common misconception that public relations IS media relations. In fact, media relations are only a tool of public relations.

“PR is in the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution.” – Merriam-Webster

Public relations are all about goodwill. How do you build positivity around your brand?

Find your purpose, tell your story, and give back!



Sometimes finding your brand’s purpose is a natural fit. Payroll Processing owner Kelly Erickson is a small business owner in Duluth, Minn., and an avid runner. When the inaugural Bridging the Gap 10-mile Run took place to bring awareness to the gender pay gap, Kelly found her purpose. She sponsored the race and was part of a community of women that were able to raise money and awareness for the inequities women continue to face for workplace compensation. In return, Payroll Processing had their banner along a scenic stretch of the racecourse and numerous social media mentions.

Kelly was fortunate to find a natural connection between her business and her cause. Often, there is no direct link to a cause that is of interest to you and fits your brand identity. In truth, it doesn’t matter what your cause is. What matters is that your business has purpose beyond making money.

FUN FACT: Millennials overwhelmingly prefer brands with a purpose!

91% of Millennials will choose a socially responsible brand

⎼ The cause doesn’t matter

⎼ Fairness matters

⎼ Get creative

⎼ Foster connections

⎼ Use FOMO to your advantage



The “About” section on your website and “Mission Statement” are great places to look for inspiration. How you got to where you are today and your vision for the future are key to the “The Cool Factor” behind your brand.

Once you find the thing that makes your brand resonate with your audience, it’s time to talk about it. Story telling is a great way to foster connections.

Why do your customers need your product? Think of Subaru ads. It’s clear their vehicles are the key to a great outdoor adventure and a needful item for all people with a wandering spirit.

How does your company add value? Amazon is now focused on their employee stories and their meaningful careers at a fulfillment center. Their subtle message is that customers shopping at Amazon help keep hardworking folks employed.

Where did you begin? Jameson has a library of origin videos on YouTube. Hearing the history brings the audience into the brand. Their tradition beckons viewers to be a part of their traditions. Their origin story definitely provides the “cool factor.”

When telling your story, think in terms of blog posts— these stories can be shared as teasers on social media that drive traffic back to your website for the “full story.”

Pro tip: Always respond to comments on your posts—both the positive and the negative. This is your opportunity to make it right!

When your posts get traction, you can work that into your pitch to news outlets. What journalists want for their readers is quality content and once you share that with them, you can expect more coverage.



Building positivity around your brand is a relational practice, not a transactional practice. Get out and be the face of your business. Get to know the other shop owners around you, join a board or a community group. More importantly, get out and do some good!

This doesn’t necessarily mean logging more hours into your hectic schedule. Do it with intention.

This is how you build relationships with your audience and make friends with the media. Volunteer efforts make some of the best photo ops!

Appreciation days for customers/special groups: Offer discounts or donate a portion of sales to a non-profit.

Round up month: Pick a nonprofit or other organization to receive the “round up” money from your sales that month. Groups who receive this may talk about it and encourage their supporters to visit your business.

Employee volunteer time: maurices holds an annual ‘Day of Giving’. It’s a paid day for employees to get involved in their community. It often draws media attention and increases their social media engagement. Flint Group offers a “bucket” of volunteer hours to employees each year. This allows staff to live the company value of “Give back” and increases Flint’s visibility throughout the community. Most boards and service groups list their volunteers by their company affiliation. It’s a way for them to leverage their support as well as for companies to increase their goodwill and positivity around your brand.

Social service events and community outreach programs: Everything from park clean up days to fundraising events are fair game. Your business support in the community will build affection and positivity for your brand.


Finding your purpose, telling your story, and giving back build positivity around your brand. Check out our work for inspiration!

Jessica Hehir

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