The View From the Summit

Founders, executives, and board members often come to Pramana with statements like: “Our message isn’t resonating — we need someone who understands us”; “the media doesn’t get us”; “recruits don’t know why we’re special”; and, “competitor X gets all the attention, but we’re better.” A common assumption is that some high-level media connections mixed with a few creative tactics and a dash of dark arts will be the fix.

Yet, invariably, the afflictions cited to us are soon exposed as symptoms of employees who have lost the plot on the company story — or have never known it.

When employees don’t get or believe the “why” behind the company or understand how their job ladders up to a greater purpose, you have much bigger problems to solve than how to land that dream piece in the Wall Street Journal.

To prevent this scenario from happening or to correct for it when it already has, we have a new, focused project called The Pramana Identity Process. It’s an approach that’s already at the core of our holistic project work — now broken out to stand alone. It is centered on delving into who you are, and giving purpose to everything you do.

This process works and it can have a transformational impact on companies of any size and type. We know this not just from our own experience. Research backs it up, too: when a company understands its identity and can connect the day-to-day work to a greater purpose, growth happens. The Harvard Business Review recently described it this way: “Purpose is not just a lofty ideal; it has practical implications for your company’s financial health and competitiveness. People who find meaning in their work don’t hoard their energy and dedication. They give them freely, defying conventional economic assumptions about self-interest. They grow rather than stagnate. They do more — and they do it better.”

The Pramana Identity Process is a ten-week project in which we work with you and your team to articulate your foundational truths. It provides the critical reference points that connect your core beliefs to your everyday operations, and serves as a filter for all that you will do (and won’t do) going forward. The result isn’t (just) better PR; it’s the foundation for creating and executing the strategy for your entire business, including communicating your value.

We liken this project to summiting a mountain, not just because it is daunting, but because every aspect of the climb — from your preparation to your chosen path to the summit — will fundamentally impact your ability to succeed. At the end of this work, you will establish firmly who you are, what you do, where you’re going, how you’ll get there, why you’re doing it, and what the view looks like from the top. And, perhaps most importantly, you will have clarity on what needs to change first to get there.

This work is who Pramana is and what we’ve built our business upon. In addition to having some of the best people in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles from the fields of strategic communications, branding, and integrated marketing, we’ve grown our team to include folks with expertise in research and data analytics, language, business strategy and project management, community, and creative partnerships.

Just this summer, we have brought on six new people to enhance our capabilities. Natalia Moreno joins us from Univision, where she was Director of Special Projects. Previously, she led communications and marketing for HotelTonight’s Latin America expansion, and worked at Brunswick Group, based in Washington, D.C. Kristen Winzent brings deep experience in brand marketing, having overseen large, award-winning global creative campaigns for Airbnb and consulted for a variety of interesting startups.

Farial Asmat, with her background in integrated marketing and experience working with brands on creative partnerships, joins us from Refinery29. Maria Naccarato joins us from Bateman Group, where she worked with highly technical companies in the cloud computing, application development, and biotechnology spaces to drive media relations campaigns in support of major news moments. From The Atlantic, Mary McGee brings to Pramana a unique analytical and data expertise to internal and external communications planning and partnership strategy. Rachel Gibian blends her background in commercial intelligence and finance for The Kraft Heinz Company with an expertise in language to ensure that company messaging is clearly linked to business goals.

This mosaic of perspectives enables us to provide more tailored and specific brand recommendations than ever. The days of a marketing and communications strategy revolving around tactics alone — the press release, the ad, the billboard, the tweet — are over. Communicating who you are requires a precise understanding of how your prediction for the future — and your place in that new world — play into the day-to-day operations of your current business. Articulating a vision and finding a voice are critical components of the same project. In that sense, this Identity Process is the foundation for any business strategy.

So why climb the mountain? It’s not just because it’s there. The journey will make you stronger, and the view from the summit is worth the trek.