SBN and Eagles Fly with Messaging for the Sustainable Business

Did you know that the Philadelphia Eagles were a “green” organization? Well, everyone knows their color has been green starting with the 1948 NFL championship team, but now we’re talking about green, as in sustainability.

Ben Block, marketing and communications specialist for Clean Markets, chose the green Eagles as the subject for his case study for the Feb. 23 Sustainable Business Network’s of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) quarterly Best Practice Forum: Branding and Messaging for the Sustainable Business, held at WeWork Market Street in the Five Penn Center building in Center City Philadelphia. In using the Eagles’ sustainability initiatives as a starting point to discuss best messaging practices for promoting a sustainable business, Block kicked off a lively discussion among the assembled SBN members and panelists Sharon Gallagher (Sage Communications), yours truly 
Art for branding, reputation, mediaMichael Kleiner and John Shiffert (Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design) and Steve Rosen (Aloysius Butler & Clark).

The SBN community is comprised of members dedicated to incorporating sustainability into their mission. However, they face a significant challenge when communicating values to customers and the public. Thus, to help differentiate themselves as authentic and principled, SBN members need to develop a communication strategy that seamlessly incorporates their sustainability practices and goals into their brand. Block and his fellow panelists were tasked to help the forum’s participants develop plans that communicate these efforts in a way that resonates with current and prospective customers. In addition to his Eagles case study, Block also presented data on branding strategies used in the energy efficiency and green building industries.

One issue that the Eagles’ study brought up was that of messaging outside of an organization’s main or central brand… both the “why” and the “how” of such messaging. The Eagles are, of course, a professional football team, near and dear to the hearts of uncounted thousands in the metropolitan Philadelphia area. However, as popular as the Birds might be, they are not personally relevant to every Philadelphian, as several of the forum’s attendees pointed out (no, they weren’t Dallas Cowboys fans, they just didn’t follow football). Thus, the motives for Eagles’ sustainability efforts (as with all of the rest of their community engagement and involvement efforts) could well track to making the team more personally relevant outside of their main brand, a separate message that needs to be made distinct from the 53 players on the field.

Some of the other highlights of Block’s presentation, and the ensuing discussions, in addition to the concept of the necessity of making a brand personally relevant to as many audiences as possible, included another basic issue for SBN members, the fact that ecological  and financial sustainability is still not universally understood. As is the case with many branding-related issues, the techniques to overcoming can be summarized in a run-on sentence… you need to use authentic storytelling with short-term imagery, and it doesn’t hurt to have fun in the process.

Simple, right? OK, maybe not so simple. If you want to know more about authentic storytelling with short-term imagery that also incorporates some fun, check with Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design and mention “Kiwi Shoe Polish” for a discount.

Public Relations Tip: The Beginning: Building an Authentic Brand

The Beginning: Building an Authentic Brand

Branding. No, not what they do before the round-up at the Crown Vee ranch, although if you don’t brand you’ll be just another among the herd.

Branding is what identifies you to the public. Once known as identity marketing, your brand defines your business, How You Look+How You Speak+How You Act=Your Personal Brand bubble quote for blogpost on branding by John Shiffert of Michael Kleiner Public Relations & Web Designdefines who you are, and what you intend to accomplish. Or, at least it should.

As a run-up to the Feb. 23 SBN Best Practices Forum (a plug for what should be an entertaining and informative event) we’ll look at some of the basics of branding, brand creation and brand management, because, in 2017, your brand epitomizes your business, or at least how you want your business to be recognized in the public eye.

Before you start any kind of brand creation, brand campaign, or re-branding, one requirement stands out before all others. Your brand must be authentic. Not what you hope to be some day, and not what you think you are, it must be authentic to who and what you are, right now.

How do you know that? Well, you can ask yourself, who am I? But, being objective about yourself isn’t always the easiest thing to do. You need outside direction and structured feedback from the public, and if you listen, they’ll tell you who Quote from Eric Erwin: The hardest thing for marketers is to turn over the brand experience to the community and let them define it". Complement to blogpost on branding by John Shiffert, Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Designyou really are. Think about polling your followers on Facebook or Twitter or gathering some colleagues together for a focus-group-like event. Remember, constructive criticism is helpful and that you might have to check your pride at the door if you want to discover how your business is perceived by others.

An example of an authentic brand?

How about Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design?

We’ve been around since 1999, and we do indeed make the unknown known. Just go to www.kleinerprweb.com to see examples of our work and our Marcomm services.Jeff Bezos of Amazon provides quote on branding to complement blogpost on branding by John Shiffert, Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design

New developments at Michael Kleiner Public Relations & Web Design

There are exciting developments at Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design. Michael is reuniting with long-time friend and early mentor, John Shiffert to create a team offering editorial services and/or web design to membership associations and organizations. Why? Because the universal question from members of an organization is “What am I getting for my dues?” We plan on providing that answer by providing valuable editorial services to the associations themselves and then for the members.

You will be benefiting from two experts in communications — marketing, branding, communications, the web, PR and diverse writing/editorial experience over different platforms, and we understand Marcomm and the challenges presented to non-profits, especially associations, in delivering first-rate, to say nothing of adequate, communications-related services. While a dearth of professional expertise can be an issue, almost no one has enough staff to support the Marcomm needs of client associations AND their individual members. In today’s world, we are told technology is making things easier. What it has actually done is expand the possibilities in Marcomm and put more demands on our time to meet those opportunities and challenges. There are blogs, Facebook pages, tweets, e-mail newsletters, media kits to develop and update. There are probably more publications on the Internet than in “hard copy,” not surprising since there are literally a billion web pages on the Internet. Every time one turns around, there is another social media site popping up. Let us help you meet the challenge and participate in the 21st century communications world.

Many moons ago, Michael Kleiner and John Shiffert worked together. When Mr. Kleiner was a student at Germantown Friends School, he covered the school’s sports teams for the weekly newspaper Germantown Courier. Mr. Shiffert, an earlier graduate of GFS, was one of his Sports Editors at the Courier. Both shared and continue to share a passion for writing, sports statistics and history and left a similar indelible mark on the school–for those who remember. Now, they are becoming a team again, as the subsequent moons have given them a wealth of experience in journalism, writing, public relations, marketing, web design, publications, communications, editing, non-profit and association management, integrated marketing/branding and teaching in the areas of sports, education, small business development and management, healthcare and publishing. 

We’re members of Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Public Relations Association, Global Philadelphia Association and Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives.

Check our new web site out and then use the contact form on the Contact page.