What is an approachable brand? According to a recent blog post at PadillaCRT, an approachable brand is human, humble and humorous. This is the most refreshing take on presence I have seen among the big PR entities. Almost every communications firm pays lip service to social media and the Web.
Very few exhibit what anyone would consider a “cutting edge”, or even novel engagement of community. Whether this is a function of prioritizing, or simply practical business, how can any company claim to be in the branding business when they do not follow their own advice?
The Padilla Speer Beardsley site, its content, and to a lesser degree its design, convey at least an understanding of where communication is today. I quote from this particular blog entry, the fundamental human nature of self, social media utility and the resultant community, whether it be business centric or personal:
Social media goes beyond marketing and networking. It’s an opportunity to create or amplify an approachable brand. It’s all about opening up and letting people in. Show your personality (even your multiple personalities). Expose yourself and let go a little. That means you’re vulnerable. And with vulnerability comes mistakes. Those, in turn, become opportunities. What great personality isn’t flawed? The approachable brand has a personality that is human, able to show humility and has a sense of humor (even about its own hubris).
To be fair, the PadillaCRT website is far from cutting edge, and certainly not as refined as some others we have visited. But the simple message I quoted reveals a great deal about this company. They may not have invested vast resource for their site, but content wise, the right ideas are in place. The blog has comments too! I find this refreshing, as there were very few on other corporate blogs.
Judging from what I have seen, from CEO Lynn Casey’s profile image and description to their humorous “fun facts” page, the site reveals just what their philosophy says, humanness. Why does corporate always have to mean “stuffed shirt?” I bet this personable aspect if a reflection of the CEO and other executives. The company is after all, employee owned. I like this site, even though it could use a major face lift. As for the company, they appear imminently approachable, the way a brand should be.