April 29th, 2011
- by Alice Bruce
/ Tags: Tags: brand
, Public Relations
, Royal Wedding
, Social Media
/ Comments (0)
Dancing like a Royal for world-class results
A mobile phone company made international news last week following its release of a YouTube video as part of its marketing activity. The viral video was created using Royal lookalikes dancing a mock Kate Middleton and Prince William wedding entrance dance. T-Mobile’s highly creative video project, supported through public relations, has received global media coverage as a result of engaging people through humour.
Similarly, in September last year Nummies, a maternity bra manufacturer, released a video encapsulating the meaning of becoming a Mum. The video was quickly picked up by parenting and mainstream media. Like T-Mobile, the Nummies viral received a strong following, connecting with parents around the world.
We can learn a lot about videos that turn viral. Short movies, such as those filmed for T-Mobile and Nummies, demonstrate the power of connecting with audiences and consumers through their feelings, telling engaging stories in creative ways as enabled by digital media. Companies that make people laugh, cry or feel better about themselves, and brands that stand for something and influence consumers on an emotional level, are in a very powerful place. Consumers want to be involved with these brands because they understand them and connect with them.
Understanding the essence of a brand, and communicating it in a way consumers understand and enjoy, is at the centre of what we do in lifestyle PR. Award-winning public relations campaigns are developed based on an intimate understanding of consumers and the emotions that drive them. Digital media allows brands to connect with consumers and tell stories in more than just the written form. Embracing and harnessing the power of online channels, such as YouTube and social media, differentiates consultancies with story-selling skills from the ones that don’t understand the power of compelling content.
Great public relations consultancies always remember that people love brands when they can buy more than a product – they can buy an attitude, a belief, a thought. I believe that this understanding is the foundation for campaigns that create change and deliver world-class results for clients.
April 18th, 2011
- by Anastasia Golubeva
/ Tags: Tags: advertising
, Public Relations
, Public Relations Institute of Australia
/ Comments (0)
The Work The Work The Work
It’s widely assumed that the craft of Public Relations lacks true creativity.
I’ve always known this opinion to be untrue, having racked my brain countless times to find a newsworthy angle for my clients, however, it has still managed to send me into a poetic depression on more than one occasion.
I can often be found clutching on to my G&T, in the dark serenity of a Surry Hills wine bar, fretting about the futility of trying to encourage ingenuity in our approach when advertisers are the only ones expected to be creative. Yet, any PR person would tell you that when it comes to value for money, teamed with an innovative approach, PR gets coverage above and beyond anything advertising could achieve on the same budget. Frustrating, to say the least!
This is why I was so excited by a recent conference, held by the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), which portrayed true creativity in action.
The event, titled Creative Juices: How to think big and impress the boss, was aptly held at a moody city club called Space. With tweets flying back and forth, the filming of an impromptu amateur soap opera (with the help of an iPhone 4) and a motza of ideas to inspire us it was truly an insightful and entertaining evening.
Ryan Peal (@ryanpeal) showered us with great ways to transform our approach to brainstorming. Next time your team is really stuck, hire a maxi cab and take a ride around the city instead of meeting in the office. The visual and sensory stimuli could be just what you need to get the ball rolling, forcing the team think outside the boardroom (bored room) square.
Or try bringing outsiders in on your next brainstorm, whether it’s the client, an AE from the advertising company upstairs or your mum! The presence of new people is bound to stimulate a different style of conversation and encourage your team to think a little differently.
And there’s nothing like a little role play to get the creative juices flowing. Try approaching your next long term strategy brainstorm like this:
1. Tell the team their client is X (for the point of this exercise, let’s say Coke).
2. Think of a great campaign.
3. Now tell them that they have left this agency and are instead employed by the agency that represents Pepsi.
4. They know what Coke has in store, it’s pretty fantastic- they thought of it. What can they do to counteract the plan?
Now you have two great ideas, you can pre-empt what the competition would do and you’ve pushed your team to think that little bit harder about the brief!
Here’s another great way to push your team’s brainstorming session:
1. Tell them the brief.
2. Tell them their budget is unlimited.
3. Collate their amazing and over-the-top ideas.
4. Now scale back. Say, no, we can’t have Brad Pitt but what can we have? A lookalike? Maybe we could run a competition to find one and then use a really soft lens?
Before you know it the team will be coming up with some hilarious alternatives that could prove to be better than the original idea!
However, what resonated with me the most was a comment by Scotty Iseri (@scottyiseri). Although he also spoke a lot about the importance of being creative, he actually encouraged us to embrace the limitations of the brief.
It’s all well and good to be creative but “without a frame you’re just arting everywhere,” he said. He stressed the importance of getting a detailed brief and understanding the needs of the client.
This threw me back to Clemenger BBDO’s motto The Work The Work The Work. Indeed, despite the fun that lies in letting your creativity reign, it must inevitably come second to delivering work that best suits the client’s needs.
Beware the fate of Facebook zombie pages
Heard that Facebook is a great site to build a community for your brand? Read the stories of brands setting up a new Facebook page for their latest products and 150 people liked it? Or even, you liked a Facebook page last year but haven’t heard anything from it in a while?
Then you have experienced the outbreak of zombie groups on Facebook. Or in non-digital lingo, Facebook pages that have been left untended like the ghost towns of old (minus the tumbleweeds).
Zombies aside, the use of Facebook to form a community is a well proven social media tactic. With 550million plus members and a very active Australian audience, Facebook is currently the best platform to build an active community around a topic, product or brand. But active is the key word.
Without activity, the engagement of the page audience becomes sporadic, the effort required to stimulate interest increases and becomes harder to sustain, the ROI is unclear, the marketing budget gets reallocated and the page quickly joins the growing numbers of virtual zombie groups.
So before setting up a page on Facebook, take a medium term outlook with your plans. We recommend looking at the following five considerations to get the best return:
- Allow time to attract a solid community. Don’t be in a rush to deliver an ROI – sometimes building an audience with the right members can take months.
- Consider the resourcing required to keep the community active. Share the workload and ensure you have a content pipeline in place to keep the audience engaged over the medium term.
- Be interactive. Respond to comments, ask questions, listen to what your community is looking for and give it to them.
- Focus evaluation on outcomes not outputs. Outputs are Friends or Likes on Facebook. Outcomes are getting the audience to do something like share ideas, attend an event, recommend your brand to friends, or simply buy the product. And remember to determine what success is, before you start.
- If the product campaign is over, manage your exit appropriately. Tell your audience why you are closing the page. If a new campaign is starting, tell them about it so before you shut down your page they have the option to move across.
Whatever you do, don’t let your brand page join the zombies – it can still be found in searches. Shutting it down is just a simple mouse click – no need to whack it with a shovel.
New Normal. Admit it, you know you’ve heard it. You may have even have found yourself saying it. That’s Normal.
New Normal is a feather on the post-GFC phoenix. It was coined to describe an America confronted and confounded by the Global Financial Crisis, occurring in a period of unprecedented, profound innovation and economic, cultural, social and political shift.
Simply, New Normal means nothing is or should be as it was.
I like this Bloomberg piece http://bit.ly/guw9Kz which speaks for New Normal itself, because how Normal is it for a business opinion to be presented in 12 condensed multimedia paragraphs with images?
My problem with New Normal is that you really need a few wrinkles on your face to appreciate how New all this Normal is. It warrants comparative analysis, as this link may help to explain http://bit.ly/9EKrcw.
To make a gross intergenerational generalisation, what’s Normal for your normal 25-year-old can be seriously, terrifyingly New Normal for somebody 10, 20, 30 or more years older.
How Normal is it for my 83-year-old mother to use Facebook as her primary means of staying in touch with our dispersed, multi-generational family?
What’s Normal about Charlie Sheen; let alone attempts to trademark some of his recent phrasing http://bit.ly/fP30i9?
The important understanding is not New Normal – it’s more that there is No More Normal.
For our sort of work, that mindset is energising and encourages innovation.
No More Normal means I’m as happy to direct you to a neat little creative piece I wish we’d done at http://bit.ly/i2Sw8R, as I am to link you to this white paper (http://bit.ly/emTvqk) from Porter Novelli International colleagues.
And my wrap link? Try http://bit.ly/hgpVED. Please, can No More Normal mean – once and for all – No More Advertising Value Equivalents? We’re better than that.