Let’s Get Real: Authenticity is Key for Marketing and PR

Today’s audience is inundated with ads and marketing all day, every day. As a result, they’ve grown thicker skins when it comes to attempts to sell. They’re viewing advertising and marketing with a skeptical eye. According to Statista, in 2017 only 39 percent of American consumers said they trusted advertising, down from 50 percent in 2014.

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Earning Trust

So, how can you earn and keep your clients’ trust? The answer is brand authenticity, the drive for ads and marketing to get real. In an article for Marketing Land, Peter Minnium summed it up like this:

Brand authenticity is rooted in the overlap between what a brand does and what consumers want. It is an expression of how a brand transcends the pursuit of profit, whether by keeping customers informed about a product’s ingredients to enable healthy choices or by giving them more time to spend with friends and family through a simplification of their daily routine.

What Can I Do?

Authenticity is all about putting aside pretenses and embracing who you really are in every communication with consumers, including advertising, marketing, B2C or B2B public relations. You can set your business on the road to authenticity by:

  • Defining your mission – What does your business do? What are your specialties? What do you and your employees care about? These are the cornerstones of authenticity.
  • Living your truth – Now that you know your mission, put it up front and visible in everything your business does.
  • Telling your story – Authenticity doesn’t help you if no one knows about it. Maybe it’s time to rebrand or use content marketing to get the message across.


Be sure to watch out for common pitfalls, though. Some businesses are tempted to pander to what they see as desirable markets or to manufacture values they don’t really hold dear. Today’s audience is savvy enough to see through these tactics. They know when they’re being “sold,” especially if businesses misuse slang or cultural idioms and will gleefully call offending businesses out on social media.

We Can Help

An experienced marketing and public relations firm can help your business get real and stay real, though. At Ripley PR, we’re adept at helping businesses tell their stories. If your business is ready to get real, call us at 865-977-1973.

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Shannon Bryant

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