Disclaimer: this isn’t a post about how Bullhorn can do anything. We believe in over-delivering. To do that consistently, we’ve learned to say no or bring partners into projects that don’t exclusively fit our core offerings. Public relations (PR), marketing, and advertising are easily confused. Sometimes, they’re referred to as one category under the “branding” umbrella. When branding projects turn the corner into areas where we’re not experts, we prefer to work with partners, rather than over-promise and under-deliver.
Public relations is media engagement and relationships. Marketing is day-to-day sales or product delivery. Advertising is using paid and earned media to push general brand awareness or specific, branded messages. We provide foundational, tangible tools that can be used in all three disciplines – foundational language for media, collateral and messaging to support marketing, and campaign strategy + creative assets for advertising. But we don’t buy advertising time, we don’t build and maintain relationships with members of the media, and we don’t do day-to-day marketing. Branding is foundational. It’s not a panacea.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve dug into the importance of planning for a successful brand, our branding process, and common branding themes in established organizations, startups, and advocacy groups. At this point, if you don’t get that branding is our focus, then you’re likely not reading. For those who still are following along, I’m going to cover the “other” category today.
One question I get often is, “so what else do you do?” An organization’s brand is at the root of every project we take on. The who/what/why/how – the foundational, the authentic – is what we seek to express on our clients’ behalf. Sometimes, we’re approached by clients with a brand strategy already, or who have a specific request for an item like a great video or a new website. We can also abbreviate portions of our process to make room for shorter time-frame projects such as naming, strategy, or environmental (industry jargon for signs, wayfinding, and other external brand applications).
At our root, we’re a creative agency. Just because branding is our focus doesn’t mean it’s the only thing we do. Here’s how the “other” work fits in.
Exploratory – define project goals, budget, final deliverables
Strategy – identify how the brand will meet the world
Build – execute the project deliverables
Launch – share final deliverables with the client and all target/prospective audiences
All our work is listed on our homepage and can be sorted by project category. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Campaign: Foxhollow Farm, Safe Streets Public Safety Campaign, US Hemp Roundtable
- Environmental: Berkshire Food Co-op, Castle & Key Distillery, Good Foods Co-op
- Naming: Ballast, Longship, Plot
- Photography: Jackson Warewashing, Tachau Meek, AppHarvest
- Strategy: Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Eagle, Louisville Public Media
- Video: Lexington Police Department, Fayette Alliance
- Website: TedxCorbin, Space Tango, Tachau Meek
Next, I’ll wrap up my series with a post on why and how we consider the impact of our work on our community and our clients’ communities.