We’re a fairly sporting lot at Be Bold.
Whether it be chasing around the Shropshire countryside on bikes, running long-distance events, coaching junior football clubs or playing competitive table tennis, we like to get involved.
And yes, being based where we are in sunny Newport, we had a healthy presence among the 30-odd thousand fans who travelled down to Wembley to watch Wolves’ heartbreaking FA Cup semi final defeat at the weekend.
It was, to borrow from old Charles Dickens, both the best of times and the worst of times.
Of course, the defeat, coming in the manner it did, was a hard pill for the Wolves faithful to swallow.
But amongst the gloom there are some mightily impressive positives for the club to take away from its Wembley experience – and some valuable lessons all of us in PR and business generally can learn from.
The stand-out, of course, is the value of customers who believe in your brand. Those Wolves supporters who sang their hearts out before, during and after the match are truly worth their weight in black and gold.
And if you think you cannot generate that sort of support for your own business, just think of the likes of Apple, Sony, Coca-Cola, Bang & Olufsen, Heinz and Nike. All brands which have huge armies of devotees who simply wouldn’t consider buying anything else.
Like Wolves’ army of supporters at Wembley, these devotees are not just customers, they are ambassadors. Chat to the passenger across the aisle on the train about why they are using an Apple laptop and you’re likely to get a lengthy – and passionate – explanation about why they wouldn’t touch anything else. It’s the sort of answer you almost certainly won’t get from someone thrashing away on a generic Windows machine.
That’s because in business, branding and reputation is everything.
Wolves as a club have worked hard throughout the last two-and-a-half years to build a new, impressive reputation for success both on and off the pitch. That has involved a meticulous PR operation alongside the on-pitch transformation.
None of those other brands which have achieved iconic status achieved their position by chance. They all had the best possible PR support, working tirelessly to ensure that every last piece of messaging around their brand told the story they wanted it to tell. It is as essential to the business as producing the actual product.
So, if you don’t have PR support at the moment, take a look at the example of the successful companies around you and have a long, hard think about getting some.
To borrow again from the remarkable pen of Charles Dickens, it could be a far, far better thing for your business than almost anything else you have done.