Disrupt. It’s a word that means “to interrupt the normal operation of.”
Well, what if that “normal” no longer met its initial objective?
What if it merely went about its usual without ever questioning its model?
Companies like Apple, Tesla, Nike and Dyson would never have come into existence.
Normal. What a Concept.
We’ve seen some industries continue to be innovative—constantly evolving and improving.
While that’s great when that happens, it’s more the exception than the norm.
When in Doubt, Disrupt.
“The norm” is where many industries find themselves: in a routine—an unquestioned status quo routine—that requires a fresh, courageous, outside look that’s willing to question what almost everybody considers “normal.” (If you suspect your brand’s in a rut, this checklist will help remedy that problem.)
What if this happened to the very industry responsible for “shaping the world’s view” of everything from politics to companies, from breakthroughs, fads, trends to innovations, from stars to ordinary everyday heroes?
Reinvention: Disruption with a Cause
Well, the above rut is exactly where the Public Relations industry found itself until recently.
Enter Karla Jo Helms (a PR industry veteran with a track record that any PR professional would kill to call their own), an alumni of Crisis Management where you have only one shot (like Olivia Pope, the character portrayed on the TV show, Scandal) portrayed on the TV show, Scandal) to correct things that have gone very, very wrong.
So Karla Jo and I sat down so I could get her vision of where the PR industry had gone astray.
It started with me understanding the name of the firm JoTo:
JoTo is an ancient Japanese word that means “excellence; the best, very high class.”
Karla Jo then shared with me what had become “the norm” in the PR industry and how clients were commonly spending a lot of money only to be left holding the bag with little to no results—and learning how Karla Jo’s firm operated, their industry-crushing results and their irrepressible business model—I immediately saw her firm as “the anti-PR firm.”
In essence, it came down this analysis:
So, it was then Karla Jo and I decided to rebrand her company, JoTo PR, and reposition it as the “disruptor” to the hole into which the PR industry had dug itself.
The Brand Story as a Tool to Disrupt
A key part of this disruption was fleshing out JoTo’s brand story to amplify their “anti-PR firm” position compared the usual PR offerings as shown in what would become their introductory presentation:
This set the stage to introduce their 3-stages to ROI in PR philosophy:
The Competitive Review
Now that the brand story had been established, it became a factor of giving her brand a fresh face, one in stark contrast to the “corporate brand look” many of today’s PR companies subscribed to.
Having defined the Brand Story and conducted a visual audit of competitors, we developed the rebrand with the new slogan, Disruption, Exposure, Influence:
The brand was then applied to a number of key showcases:
The brand color choice and style, explored in numerous settings, ensured it had the necessary “pop” to disrupt the PR industry not only in service but visually from the very first point of contact.
In closing, here is Karla Jo’s observation of the industry and JoTo’s role in restoring the power of PR.
If you’re going to disrupt, this is a perfect example of how to set the stage. If you want to see more examples of how female entrepreneurs are an unstoppable force of nature, check this out.