The fundamentals of PR – raising awareness, creating understanding and engendering support to build reputation – has been etched into my being since my uni days when I undertook what was then one of the very few PR degree courses in the country.
And, although that was some time ago, ok a long time ago, those fundamentals, despite the digital evolution, have remained constant.
In today’s world the stress on creating understanding and building support is perhaps ever more important, with consumers actively seeking brands that they feel share their morals and represent their values. Therefore, smart organisations are in tune with this, placing more emphasis on really knowing their target customers, aligning their organisational values to meet with theirs, and then actively demonstrating them through their communications.
But the role of values is not merely to support customer relationships. Values are vital for a business’ wider success. Great Place to Work® research shows that a strong values-driven culture is critical to the performance of an organisation, and that those with strong values are more likely to have better financial results than their competitors.
Firms with robust values (that are enforceable and actionable), also demonstrate higher employee engagement, better performance and enhanced reputations. Ensuring that you have the right values in place also helps equip you in times of crisis or change, as well as supporting a wider social issue of providing a positive impact on the community.
All organisations have values. Some may be unwritten and simply a knowledge of ‘the way we do things around here’, some may have them recorded – perhaps pinned to the staff notice board, while others may actively ensure that their values (deliberated and agreed) are lived by, throughout their entire teams. These are the winners.
Not only do strong values – when embedded in organisations – help ensure a true reflection of the brand’s personality and help build its reputation, they also provide guidance for all business and personnel decisions — especially when those decisions are tough and emotional.
So, the value of values? Invaluable.