Golden Brain PR and marketing communications agency


Business is about trust – that’s why public relations is important

Joseph Walker

Joseph has more than 12 years’ experience in B2B marketing communications, working in-house for leading industrial corporations Emerson and Nidec, and agency-side at global public relations firm Edelman, where he was on the General Electric and Microsoft UK accounts.

Some time ago, I read Behind the Arches – the official corporate history of McDonald’s. What stuck with me most from the book was that it said McDonald’s CEO Ray Krok never signed agreements with his suppliers, preferring to do business on a handshake. According to the book, even today some of these suppliers, which have grown to be some of the largest food processing companies in the US based on their relationship with McDonald’s, still don’t have signed agreements with them. I don’t know if this is actually still true, but it is interesting either way. Clearly, Ray Krok believed that business should be based on trust.

I think a lot of people agree with that and, if you agree with it, then you should care about public relations. Targeted direct digital marketing is important, and here at my company Golden Brain we organize a lot of such marketing campaigns for clients. So is self-published marketing content of all forms. But public relations is equally important because your potential customers trust third party media outlets in a way that they will never trust even the most precisely targeted and tailored marketing email or digital ad. And they trust the media because it puts an independent journalist between your company and them.

One reason some companies don’t like public relations is that it involves an element of losing control. You cannot predict or control what a journalist will write about your company, or indeed whether they’ll choose to write about you at all. What you can do, however, is look around your business to find a story that would be of interest to journalists, and pitch it to them in an engaging way that gets their attention. In return for this partial loss of control you get a story that readers will trust, because they know that there’s rarely any benefit to a journalist in being disingenuous. Here at my company Golden Brain we help our clients achieve coverage everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to Robotics 24/7 in the US to SPS Magazin in Germany.

Some people say that the independent media, and especially the trade media, is old fashioned and that it is dying out. I don’t think so. We’ll have phases where media is on the up, and phases when it is on the down, but it will always survive. In the current era we’re living through, where trust in institutions both public and private is at an all time low, I predict the independent media is in for an upswing, because who wants to get all their news from corporate blogs and marketing emails?

I work in PR because I am a long-time news junkie, and so are all my colleagues. Between us we keep up with pretty well every mainstream publication, as well as most trade media outlets across the industry sectors we specialize in: industrial automation, warehouse automation, and commercial vehicles. If you’re in one of those sectors, and you have any questions about PR, you should get in touch for a free consultation: