PR and Communications in the run up to a rebrand

PR and Communications in the run up to a rebrand

Charlotte Stoel

Charlotte Stoel

When your organisation is gearing up for a rebrand, it can feel like you're walking a tightrope. How do you balance maintaining your current brand’s presence while preparing for a new identity? The journey of rebranding is intricate, requiring a nuanced approach to PR and communications that keeps your audience engaged and prepares them for change – all without losing momentum. Here’s how you can navigate these waters safely.

1. Maintain continuous engagement

First and foremost, it’s crucial to never hit the pause button on your PR and communications. Completely halting your outreach can cause you to lose valuable momentum and visibility. The media landscape is extremely competitive, and if you disappear from the conversation, it's easy for your audience and media partners to forget about you. Continuous communication ensures that your brand remains top of mind, making the transition smoother for your audience.

2. Understand the rebrand is a process

Rebranding doesn’t happen overnight. It's a process that involves gradually phasing out old elements and introducing new ones. During this period, it’s perfectly normal for old branding, messaging, and positioning to coexist with new strategies. Use transitional phrases like “Company X (formerly Company Y)” in your communications to bridge the change. This strategy helps in retaining the brand equity you’ve worked hard to build while slowly ushering in your new identity.

3. Be selective in your focus

During the rebrand, it's wise to be strategic about what elements of your PR and communications you dial up or down. Identify aspects of your messaging that are likely to remain consistent throughout the rebrand and push these in your communications. For example, your core services, key markets, or long-standing corporate values are typically safe areas to emphasise, as they are unlikely to conflict with your new brand proposition.

Moreover, the expertise of your people—be it your C-suite, tech gurus, or industry experts—must remain a constant. Highlighting their thought leadership can continue unabated as the strength of their insights does not depend on your brand's visual identity or tagline.

4. Prepare your audience for the rebrand

Use the run-up period to start preparing your audience for the change. This can be done subtly by starting to introduce new themes, ideas or language that will be central to your new brand. This not only sets the stage for your rebrand but also involves your audience in the evolution process, making them feel part of the journey rather than just passive observers.

Drive forward, don't idle

Navigating PR and communications during a rebrand is less about stopping and starting and more about shifting gears. It's important to keep the wheels in motion and use this transitional time to your advantage. By maintaining engagement, managing the transition thoughtfully, focusing strategically, and preparing your audience, you can ensure that your rebrand will not only retain the equity and recognition you’ve built but also enhance it. So, don't let the rebrand put the brakes on your efforts; instead, use it as a dynamic runway to launch your brand's exciting next chapter.

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