Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief communications officer Jennifer Temple talks about how to establish a new brand that was once part of a bigger brand on the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview with Doug Simon.

"We really had to know what we were dealing with,” Temple says. “We wanted to inventory our stakeholders and understand. What did they appreciate about the legacy brand? What did they know about the new company? Where did we have room to help clear up misperceptions and educate people about where we were headed?”

To answer those questions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise “did a bunch of benchmarking research,” which allowed the brand to “architect a roadmap for how we answer the questions that people still have.”

She says the brand then began a “multi-year journey” that was focused on “transforming culture and really reigniting this HP as a technology player and leader in the conversation.”

Like all leaders, Temple has been contending with the effects of the pandemic. “We've had a mantra that's governed us through the last few months that's been about assessing where we are, addressing what we can control, and then adapting to whatever new realities that have been thrust upon us,” Temple tells Simon.

She stresses the importance of keeping the lines of communications with employees open. “We're really focused on connecting people, addressing digital divides where they exist, and then making sure people can have really rich experiences, even if they're virtual.”

Temple sees the recent changes as part of an overall shift in how brands communicate with stakeholders. “Brands are no longer defined by traditional advertising alone or by big marquee events,” she says. “Increasingly, people make bets on brands based on one interaction at a time.”

That means everyone at the brand—from the CEO on down—is now a brand ambassador. “it's been very gratifying to see people want to advocate for our company, for our customers, be able to tell compelling stories through the lens of what we made possible for our customer.”

Finally, she offers some tips on how to create a culture that encourages people to become brand ambassadors.

“First, it starts with understanding the vision and where the company is headed,” Temple says.
“Number two, I think they have to feel empowered. And then finally, I'm constantly seeking feedback. That continual feedback loop helps make us better ambassadors. “

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

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D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.