Connecting Customer Desires with Effective PR Strategies

19 October 2023 Charlie Fletcher

A good public relations (PR) strategy can be a powerful way to communicate with consumers and build brand loyalty. It’s important, though, to ensure that your strategy is designed to encourage customers to actually engage with it. Otherwise, your company is just yelling into the void.  

One of the most effective ways to approach this is to pay closer attention to your consumers’ desires. By getting a good understanding of what your audience wants, needs, and is driven by in relation to your business, you can better tailor your strategies.  

Let's dive a little deeper into this subject and explore how you can improve your PR strategies with consumer insights.

Understand the Voice of the Customer

Consumer research is a common aspect of many PR strategies. Indeed, there’s an increasing focus on obtaining and understanding the Voice of the Customer (VoC) as a method to gain deeper insights. In essence, VoC research focuses on the direct perspectives of consumers as well as their experiences with and perceptions of your brand. By getting access to this data, you’re likely to more effectively identify their needs and expectations, recognise flaws in your current PR campaigns, and make adjustments.  

Obtaining VoC requires a little investment in tools that encourage consumers to provide insights. Some of these include: 

  • Customer interviews and qualitative surveys.
  • The details of customer reviews.
  • Social media polls and comment sections.
  • Feedback forms and customer service discussions. 

Utilising such methods effectively also requires you to be clear about what types of insights you’re looking for. You don’t want to ask your customers questions that are too leading, but there’s also limited value that general feedback can provide. When you’re planning your VoC techniques, identify the goals for your PR campaigns and ensure you ask questions related to them.

Interpret and Distribute the Results

Once you receive your VoC feedback, it’s important to organise and interpret the results for ease of use. After all, you want your PR team to be able to treat it as a practical resource to influence campaigns.  

This should involve:  

  • Segmenting the respondents and their results by key demographic groups.
  • Establishing consistent similar responses to questions and how this reflects the needs and desires of these consumers.
  • Creating personas with needs and desires that match specific demographics. 

You can then start to distribute these results to members of the PR team of all levels. Everybody who contributes to PR campaigns should use this information to influence their work. Indeed, it’s worth scheduling a meeting so that each team member can discuss what their thoughts on the feedback are and what it means for future campaigns. This collaboration provides opportunities for more diverse perspectives on the VoC that may result in more creative and nuanced strategies.

Use Impactful Storytelling Techniques

One of the ways that you can best utilise your new knowledge of customer desires for your PR campaigns is in your choice of storytelling. You don’t want the narratives you use in PR and marketing to be dictated strictly by the perspective of the brand. This can make it difficult for consumers to connect meaningfully with your materials. On the other hand, informing your storytelling with the VoC allows your team to choose themes and techniques that truly resonate.

Some approaches you can take to this include:  

  • Create relatable narratives. You can utilise your VoC knowledge to understand the challenges or experiences your consumers relate to. These may be day-to-day activities or even culturally important ideas. As a result, there’s an opportunity to craft stories in campaign materials that demonstrate a shared understanding of these between you and your audience. However, it’s important that these narratives are authentic rather than forced, as customers are savvy to insincerity. 
  • Utilise archetypes they respond to. Your VoC research should have shown both how customers view your brand and what they want your brand to represent. This allows you to implement impactful archetypes into your PR storytelling. For instance, if consumers have a desire to be assisted or guided, you can lean into the brand representing the hero archetype. If they value your brand’s tendency to do things differently, you could emphasise the rebel archetype. 

Lean Into General Desires

The VoC results are likely to highlight specific areas of need for your consumers that must be points of focus for your PR strategies moving forward. However, it’s also important not to overlook the general desires that are consistent for most consumers. By using these alongside the more tailored approach, you can find your PR campaigns are more robust.  

Some of the general desires include:  

  • Achieving value for money. Consumers might not simply want the lowest price services, but they are likely to still want to be reassured that the brand represents value. One approach to this is adopting strategies that control costs without raising prices, such as integrating automation or diversifying revenue streams. These can be great examples of dedication to addressing operational cost increases without passing those on to the consumer. PR teams can create materials that focus on the development of these measures and highlight why they’re good for customers. 
  • Addressing pain points. Again, your VoC is likely to highlight specific pain points for each consumer segment. However, your brand is likely to be a tool customers choose to address some general pain points for them, whether that’s solving a practical problem or getting access to a niche product. Take opportunities to remind consumers how your brand helps them navigate challenges. 


Getting to know your customers’ desires and perspectives with VoC methods can have a powerful impact on your PR strategies. You can interpret and distribute feedback to each member of your PR team to ensure diverse strategic usage. These insights should also influence the storytelling techniques you use to connect to customers.  

It’s important to recognise, though, that the current VoC is unlikely to remain relevant indefinitely. You’ll need to regularly review and reassess customer desires in order to keep making relevant and impactful PR strategy choices.  

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