If you work in PR and live in NSW, chances are you have hosted a stunt at Martin Place. How about a survey? Ever crafted a set of questions that you know will provide predictable results…cue media release to news desk!
I know I’ve certainly been there, and following an event hosted by the PRIA called Creative Juices, I’m pretty certain I’m not alone. When speaker Ryan Peal, Director of Imagination at Momentum Worldwide, posed these same questions to a room full of PR practitioners, the response was an overwhelming and undeniable YES.
In the consumer PR environment, driven by an ongoing string of deadlines, constant innovation can be challenging. Therefore, a stunt set in an opportune location in the heart of the city, guaranteeing attention – hard to say no to. Likewise some quirky stats that will most likely get you a spot in the news pages – yes please!
I’m not saying that these sure-fire ways to garner media attention should be dismissed; however I do believe that PR people should reconsider their relevance.
Last week, Executive Planning Director Al Crawford from BBDO offered PNS an insightful summary of what it is he does on a day to day basis. One comment he made in particular about brands really resonated with me. He stated that despite what many people assume, creative thinking should not always be employed to reinvent, re-create and replace. Sometimes the more difficult yet effective challenge is to creatively reinforce the brand’s essence in a different and unique way. This provided a powerful reminder about the significance of the brand’s established value.
In addition to ensuring PR campaigns embrace the heart of the brand, PR tactics should also ensure that they are achieving the set task. Whether it is to encourage sales? Promote public engagement? Heighten brand awareness? Stunts and surveys are not always the most efficient means to an end when considered against a clear business objective. Dressing up a granny in a bright orange bikini and marching her through Town Hall station may certainly turn heads and generate discussion. However if establishing the brand as a credible player in the market is your goal, then is this really the right tactic?
Thus when planning your next PR strategy, always remember the essence of the brand and set a goal for your campaign strategy accordingly. Having these simple underlying guidelines before sparking off a brainstorm will assist substantially in maintaining a purpose to your creativity.
A stunt for the sake of a stunt is pointless.