How PR Is Evolving for Outdoor Legacy Brands
The earned media landscape is rapidly changing. In the outdoor space, nowhere is this more apparent than among legacy brands.
Legacy brands have shaped the outdoor industry and consumer trends for decades. But maintaining relevance for 50-plus years requires adapting to a shifting media landscape while striking a balance between stories of heritage and stories of innovation. Often this means utilizing PR techniques that go beyond standard product pitches, and sometimes even thinking about public relations in an entirely new way.
At Darby Communications, we’re proud to represent many outdoor industry legacy brands. We’ve highlighted a handful of strategies we use to ensure these brands stay ahead of the PR curve.
Meet Potential Customers Where They Consume Content
Generating earned video content is a necessity in any PR strategy. Content creators are the authorities on engaging storytelling around new products. In fact, research shows consumers trust creators more than they trust brands, often turning to them to gather important information before making purchases.
Both YouTube and TikTok are prime avenues for earned media success. The key word here is earned. It’s unrealistic (and inappropriate) to expect a product-for-content trade to result in a positive product review that hits all of your brand-generated talking points. This isn’t a paid advertisement. Instead, think of these platforms as community and user-feedback avenues.
Start with identifying content creators that align with your brand’s ethos and messaging and then offer them products that align with their interests—with no strings attached. If the product speaks for itself, you’ll see coverage. This third-party validation and unbiased education is a powerful brand awareness tool.
Be a Resource
Building long-term relationships will always be key to success in the PR realm. Take the time to be a resource for media personnel and invest in relationships by establishing a connection, building rapport, and consuming their work. Once this is done, consider offering value in a personalized manner through:
One-on-One Virtual Walkthroughs
A ten to 15 minute virtual walkthrough of a product can provide a wealth of information and opportunity for greater personalization than a standard pitch. This technique establishes an open dialogue and helps communicate the true value of the product as it relates to specific use cases and audiences.
Tailored Owned Media Repackaging
Story-focused client coverage is a powerful tool to build brand loyalty and advocacy. Legacy brands often excel at creating engaging owned content, but fail to amplify this content beyond their owned channels. Put your content to work and repackage it as a resource for earned media storytelling with the following techniques.
- Rework blog content into story seeds that editors can build on
- Share narrative-driven or educational video content (but avoid any brand-anthem-style videos) with relevant media outlets to be repurposed on their sites
- Offer brand ambassadors and athletes as expert voices who can amplify your brand’s reputation
Personalized Brand Engagement Experiences
Once a relationship is established, design curated one-on-one experiences that contextualize a brand, its products, and the people behind it. Regional and state-level destination marketing organizations can help offset costs like travel and lodging, making these experiences more approachable.
Designing an outdoor legacy brand PR strategy that harnesses the unique balance of heritage and innovation requires a pulse on the changing media landscape, an understanding of content-consumption trends, and a commitment to relationship building. The media landscape is more diffused than ever, and relying solely on traditional outlets, story angles, and outreach techniques leaves opportunities on the table.
Darby Communications is a PR and digital-marketing agency serving the outdoor, wellness, and craft food and beverage industries through impactful public relations, social media management, digital marketing, and content creation. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, with a coast-to-coast portfolio, Darby Communications takes a team approach to everything it does. Learn more at darbycommunications.com or follow on social @darbycomm.