Put A Date On Hold

What is public relations and how does it work? Let's break it down!

Today, on The Loyalty Loop, we go for a bike ride in Amsterdam. We talk to a guy on a boat. And we do some rope and rock PowerPoint. Why? Because this week we're exploring how PR really works.

Or does it? All of that, and some advice on how you can create your own Media Moments of Inspiration on The Loyalty Loop.

According to the Public Relations Society of America, the definition of public relations is, "Influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across a myriad of platforms, in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization."

I think that's a lot of words, and it's actually a lot more simple than that.

How does PR actually drive revenue?

So how does public relations, or PR, as it's commonly called, actually drive revenue? How does it get a consumer to go out and buy something? How does PR actually work?

In the video 👆I'm at Lincoln Road, Miami's high-fashion boutique row. And I'm visiting only one of the 200 boutiques. But that's not important right now. What is important is how I actually ended up at Lincoln Road.

The journey to Lincoln Road started about a month ago, December 16th 2017, to be exact. You see, last December I received a ton of orders for this. My first book, "Brandscaping", which originally came out in 2012. Yes, six years ago.

Now, the fact that I received a bunch of orders around the holidays isn't unusual. What is interesting is that this huge flurry of orders came from one place. A place 4,624 miles away. All these orders came from The Netherlands.

Finding the Moment of Inspiration

Now, anytime I get a flurry of orders like this, I try to find out what inspired them to buy my book. I look for their Moment of Inspiration.

But I scoured the web for references to "Brandscaping" in The Netherlands, and I found nothing. I was looking for a Media Moment of Inspiration. But in order to understand what a Media Moment of Inspiration is, we need to first more clearly define what we mean when we say, "media".

What is Media?

Media is any third party that has a way to reach audiences that you care about. It could be a YouTuber, or someone's Instagram. Or it could be The New York Times. Or it could be the anti-New York Times, Buzzfeed. Or a smaller, hyper-local blog. Or a podcast. Or NPR, a daily email that you sign up for that sends you the five things you need to know today.

Media Moment of Inspiration

A Media Moment of Inspiration is an instant in your media consumption that sends you on a journey you never expected.

Now, here's where it gets really interesting. A full month later, I see this on LinkedIn.

"Curious and interested in starting to read this one. Andrew Davis shares stories of unconventional partnerships to create content their audience can't get enough of. A book filled with common-sense solutions."

And it's from a lady called Noortje Artz. And guess what? She's from the Netherlands! So, I message her and I ask her a very specific question. I ask her the question we uncovered last week, the one simple question designed to uncover the Moment of Inspiration.

"Noortje, what inspired you to pick up "Brandscaping?"

And she sends me to a business insider article in Dutch. Oh no! Now, I love The Netherlands, but I don't speak Dutch. Not a lick. So, I call the only person I know that can help me read this article, A J Huisman of Content Marketing Fast Forward, who lives in Amsterdam.

I've been friends with AJ for almost 10 years. He's one of the brightest minds in content marketing. And I knew he could help.

Introducing... one of the coolest brands in the Netherlands

The article is all about BALR is one of the coolest brands in The Netherlands. And it's growing really, really fast. But BALR isn't just any brand. It's run by famous Dutch football player, Demy de Zeeuw. 

Every day, around 400 packages leave the store, from 60-euro tee-shirts to 600-dollar jackets. And the business is doing around 10 million euros per year. Not bad for a company that only started four years ago.

And here's where it gets interesting. He's spending nothing on traditional marketing. Instead, in the article, he says that he learnt his novel marketing approach from a marketing book by American strategist, Andrew Davis. And, to be clear, the article never mentions the title of the book!

Which explains why I never found this article in my initial research in the first place. I was searching for "Brandscaping".

BALR has over one million followers on Instagram. And the Four-three-three platform that he started has over 16 million followers on Instagram. And it doesn't really hurt that he has a lot of famous friends to help him with his very cunning product placement strategy. So, that's how he built his business.

So, Noortje read this article about this store, and now she's reading "Brandscaping".

But what happened in between reading the article and reading my book?

The Journey Chain explained

Meet Michael Smart, one of the most sought-after PR pros in the world. You can think of him as the PR pro's PR pro. Here's his take on how PR actually works:

"The way PR actually works, from a consumer marketing standpoint is: You're target consumer hears about your product, or your service or your brand from a third party they trust. So, a media outlet who's loyalty loop they're already inside. And they perceive that you, as a brand, didn't have anything to do with that, and that, therefore, it's more credible to them. So they're more likely to start their journey to find out more about you."

What Michael described is what I call, A Journey Chain. A Journey Chain is a series of Loyalty Loops that lead to a purchase, or even a series of purchases. 

So, Noortje started as a Business Insider Loyalty Loop reader. Now, at some point, she had a Moment of Inspiration, in which she decided to look up marketing strategist, Andrew Davis.

Now, I'm imagining that she looked it up on Google. Which means she is a Loyalty Loop consumer of Google and its search engine. In that search, she might have found my website, but it's most likely that she is also a Loyalty Loop consumer of Amazon.

Amazon is the third search result when you search for marketing strategist, Andrew Davis. And the book, "Brandscaping", comes up there. Which means she probably decided, after that Moment of Inspiration, to go into the Amazon Loyalty Loop, to then actually purchase the book at Amazon.

She has now made a Moment of Commitment. Now, when she received the book from Amazon, she is also a LinkedIn Loyalty Loop consumer. She's obviously active there, and she decided to post something on LinkedIn.

And this is where I come into the picture. She tagged me on LinkedIn because I am also a Loyalty Loop consumer of LinkedIn. And, in that moment, I had a Moment of Inspiration to message her. And in this Loyalty Loop, we discussed where she was inspired to go on this journey, which led me to Business Insider. And Business Insider, which I'm not necessarily a Loyalty Loop consumer of, all of a sudden is relatively interesting to me. And that is how I ended up here. It's all because of something that AJ said.

By the way, the article also says that Demy is opening a shop in Miami. Next month.

And he said it, because it was in that Business Insider article. The BALR pop-up store is tucked away in the very back of a luxury boutique called The Vault. Which means, I'm now part of The Vault's Loyalty Loop. Not only that, I'm part of the BALR Loyalty Loop. And this entire Journey Chain never would have existed without that one Business Insider Media Moment of Inspiration that Noortje actually had.

How can you create Journey Chains?

Media Moments are unbelievably powerful. And, oftentimes, the longer the Journey Chain, the more powerful the Media Moment.

So how can you create long consumer Journey Chains and the right Media Moments that inspire them?

Here's the key. Understand that some of the most effective Media Moments have nothing to do with you, directly. They're actually a factor of the story your clients and customers tell.

Just like Demy. Stop telling me about your company, your news, your products, your new features, your big announcement, your whatever. Start celebrating your customers and clients' successes, even when it has nothing to do directly with your product or service. 

You might also like:

Subscribe to The Loyalty Loop

Don't miss a week!

Get next week's Loyalty Loop video a day before everyone else in the world!