Establishing a unified and powerful brand, coupled with consistent graphics and messaging in all communications materials, is a crucial early step in a successful transportation PR campaign. Your brand will communicate the project details, impact, and benefits, as well as deliver a clear and concise message and maintain project credibility.
Why Your Project Needs a Brand
When it comes to transportation construction projects, your brand is important because it helps establish a relationship with the public, making your project recognizable. It needs to be clear, memorable and easily reproducible in a variety of mediums (web graphics, print marketing, billboards and signs, vehicle marketing, etc.). A strong brand will pave the way for all future communications with your stakeholders and the general public. In an instant, people will be able to identify your project and understand what you stand for—whether that’s innovation, improving driving conditions, making their commute safer, etc. Your public affairs partner will lead you through a series of branding exercises, breaking down the identity of your project and determining the key attributes you want to communicate. This information will be used to develop a color scheme, logo, website, e-mail graphics, print ads and even a lexicon that you will use to talk about your project in the media.
What is Your Brand Promise?
Your brand has the power to communicate, instantly, specific attributes—strength, reliability, innovation, etc. It can also create a sense of familiarity that engenders trust and loyalty. Inherent in your brand is your brand promise—your commitment to deliver on those attributes. If you establish your brand as industry-leading and innovative, then your end project better raise the bar for transportation infrastructure. If your brand promise is to manage costs and deliver on schedule, then your top priority needs to be finishing on time and under budget. The most powerful brand promise will reflect the specific desires of your constituents and answer their needs. Part of your early information gathering before you even pitch your project should include a look at what the highest priority is for your constituents—easing budget concerns? Finishing within a certain time frame? Addressing those concerns through your brand creates a strong foundation for your PR efforts.
How to Use Your Brand
Reports. Presentations. E-mails. Billboards. Trucks. Polo shirts and ball caps. Simply put, you will use your brand whenever you communicate something about your project, whether in person, in print or elsewhere. Your public affairs partner can show you the strategic ways to leverage your brand to build trust and enthusiasm with the general public and your stakeholders. This should include the key attributes that you want to associate with your project—i.e., easing congestion, improving commuter safety, reducing transit time, updating infrastructure, etc. This will also generate a go-to vocabulary when talking to the media and presenting information to the general public.
Your project is your brand—and vice versa. A successful brand builds a sense of trust with your stakeholders and the general public, and serves as a shortcut to get your message across in the most effective way possible. Your brand will serve you continuously throughout the course of your project. Every time someone sees or hears something about your project, it should be branded with your color scheme/logo and incorporate your project’s specific attributes.
One of the most important things to look for in a public affairs partner is a strong understanding of brand with a proven track record of successfully branding transportation projects—which is where Seventh Point Transportation PR excels.