Wasn’t it PR that told Australians they could eat pork?
Isn’t it interesting how people flick through magazines and newspapers, scroll through websites and change the TV channel purposely ignoring advertising. Although, they are much more willing to read an article or a news report about the latest product or medical discovery without feeling like they are being sold to.
People trust their favourite presenter on the Circle, their nightly 7pm news reader, the editor of the magazine they religiously buy and that blogger who talks about stuff they can relate to. They trust these media authorities and believe they have their best interest in mind.
Given the opinion of the media are so valued by consumers, why isn’t there more PR dominating campaigns being developed to take advantage of the influence PR has? Why is there this sense that PR comes last and is simply an additive to a campaign rather than a tool that drives a campaign? Yes, I’m aware there are many successful, award winning and forward thinking PR driven campaigns, although they are in vast minority in comparison to advertising campaigns which are constantly recognised on industry news platforms. Is it because brands don’t fully understand how valuable PR is?
If this is the case, I can see why. The impact of PR is less measurable than other types of communications. But this should not be a reason brands don’t view our communications methods as valuable, if not more so, than other communications. If consumers subconsciously confide in the media first, shouldn’t brands look to PR first… or at least as a huge priority?
After all, wasn’t it PR that told Australians they could eat pork in the midst of the swine flu epidemic in 2009 and didn’t PR disseminate all the news around the Queensland floods earlier this year?
PR also has the power to change consumer perceptions of brands. PR made Levi’s jeans cool again through rigging cameras on the back of two girls jeans to catch people checking them out, it also made people really feel the break up between NAB and the big four banks, not to mention remind us to get flu vaccinations annually.
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.