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When the past makes news: Cultivating media relations through brand heritage

  • 1.  When the past makes news: Cultivating media relations through brand heritage

    Posted 04-17-2021 19:04
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    I have always been intrigued by brands with a long past history and I am always bought into their ads when they talk about brand history, where they come from and what they changed in this world through existence. 

    The paper, "When the past makes news: Cultivating media relations through brand heritage" aims to investigate the specific communication and PR models promoted by a group of brands representing the heritage of Made in Italy in the global market. But this pattern is easily identified in numerous other brands like: 


    • Shinola : Tagline "Where American is made" and printed on its products "Built in Detroit"
    • Chrysler 200 : Tagline Imported from Detroit. Historical city with a strong industrial past. 
    • Rolex : Strong association with Swiss watches and deep sea explorers
    • Omega: Watches worn on space expeditions and historical moon landing missions by American astronauts. 
    • Hasselblad : Camera used on the moon. They revisited this part of their heritage in there recent collaboration with Oneplus.
    • Ferrari: Italian design, racing legacy, innovation

    A side note, the authors mention that the practice of valuing and communicating industrial tradition has seen a real boom in Italy. I see this true for brands associated with Detroit. 

    Shinola being a relatively new company can value their own place within collective memory and share their own history with its stakeholders in the context of the industrial City that is Detroit. 

    Meanwhile companies like Ferrari and Patek Phillipe, distinguish themselves for a special longevity and, generally, of a family ownership which is deep-rooted in the territory.

    Communicating brand history via numerous communication channels stimulates attention, engages opinion leaders and other digital stakeholders in various platforms. 

    It is important for heritage brands to properly facilitate the brand storytelling process. 

    It is also important for brands to recognize that a heritage brand approach is called not to invent a very new tradition or new stories, but rather to rediscover its own roots. This way they will maintain and earn more credibility among its stakeholders. Heritage branding strategies can help companies to closely identify themselves with local territory (examples Ferrari, Chrysler, Lindt).

      Martino, Valentina, and Alessandro Lovari. "When the Past Makes News: Cultivating Media Relations through Brand Heritage." Public relations review 42.4 (2016): 539–547. Web.

    Abhishek Mishra
    Oakland University