By: Lcid Crescent Fernandez
A certain thing or person’s value depends on the things that they can provide us. In this column, we will be discussing two concepts as to how generation of that value is done, and why it’s important.
Value or need is derived, primarily, through two concepts: “Necessity is the mother of invention” and “Perception is reality”.
The first deals with the need-driving brainstorming and problem-solving. A certain issue has become so big that it needs to be addressed. This is the more traditional approach. The correct course of action is then to position yourself or your product as the very solution to the monumental problem. You are the hero. People need a hero to fix this problem. Thus, you have generated need through problem identification.
The second deals with driving a narrative that generates attention toward a problem that has been percolating underneath the surface. It’s a problem, but generally ignored because people feel powerless to fix it. This is the contemporary approach, and for PR purposes, should be adopted immediately.
The advantage of the second method is that the product is prepared to handle the incoming crisis. The product has been tailor-fit to deal with this crisis long before anyone noticed there were any issues. By doing this, he positions himself as the champion of the powerless and the ignored.
Now what does getting in front of this crisis do?
Why is it so important to drive the narrative?
This is because it gets you a lot of press time. This puts you at the top of the list when it comes to that specific issue. Once people embrace it, your face will be on every media outlet’s platform 24/7.
A prime example of this is Donald Trump’s narrative of fighting illegal immigrants and needing an outsider in the White House. This narrative became such a huge talking point that he gained over $2 Billion of free publicity. Of course, this is not the only factor. He also used outlandish statements, and used gutter talk to make himself seem more relatable (See my previous column entitled Are you one of us?). However, this was the battle cry of his supporters and they all rallied around it. Even Hillary Clinton bought into this narrative and said that a woman would be the best outsider in the Oval Office. She bought into the value that Trump had created.
This was replicated in the Philippines with our own President as he rode the issue of criminality and drugs before this issue garnered national attention. He said it everywhere he went, employed the same strategy of being outlandish and relatable, and he positioned himself as the champion against it. Even Senators Grace Poe and Mar Roxas tried to bite into that issue, but it was too little too late.
A current example is Mayor Isko Moreno, whose face is on every media platform in the Philippines.
The same strategy can also be found in the corporate world, and has been used quite frequently through marketing research and insight teams that try to identify potential problems in target markets in order to solve that specific problem. In fact, this service alone is a multibillion-peso industry already. This is how Netflix, Grab, and eBay came to be.
The name of the game is to be proactive. Else, you’ll always be too late