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PRSA International Conference - More Than Just a Workstream: Changing the Perception of PR

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PRSA International Conference - More Than Just a Workstream: Changing the Perception of PR

  1. 1. More Than Just a Workstream: Changing the Perception of PR 2015 PRSA International Conference Atlanta, GA
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5 “2015 in Cannes showcases a dramatic elevation of force in the power of PR in creativity in the world today.” - Lynne Anne Davis, President Asia Pacific, FleishmanHillard and Chair of Judges for the PR Lions
  6. 6. 6 “The definition of PR for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organizations and their publics/audiences.”
  7. 7. 7 “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
  8. 8. 8 “It’s been an unprecedented year in the history of the PR Lions. Over half of the winners came from PR agencies.” - Lynne Anne Davis President Asia Pacific, FleishmanHillard and Chair of Judges for the PR Lions
  9. 9. 2015 Cannes PR Lions – Grand Prix and Gold 9 Campaign Agency Always #LikeAGirl MSLGroup and Leo Burnett Toronto Great Chinese Names for Great Britain (winner of two) Ogilvy PR Beijing Clever Buoy Fuel Communications The RGB News Geometry Global True Wetsuits TBWA/HakuHodo The Lucky Iron Fish Project Geometry Global The Gun Shop Grey New York Interception Grey New York Campaign Agency 70 Guardians of Winter Proximity Barcelona Groceries Not Guns Grey Canada Ashes McCann Madrid Nazis Against Nazis GGH Lowe Proud Whopper David The Ice Bucket Challenge The ALS Association #TechnologyandStuff FleismanHillard Photoshop Murder Mystery Edelman
  10. 10. 2015 Cannes PR Lions – Grand Prix and Gold 10 Campaign Agency Always #LikeAGirl MSLGroup and Leo Burnett Toronto Great Chinese Names for Great Britain (winner of two) Ogilvy PR Beijing Clever Buoy Fuel Communications The RGB News Geometry Global True Wetsuits TBWA/HakuHodo The Lucky Iron Fish Project Geometry Global The Gun Shop Grey New York Interception Grey New York Campaign Agency 70 Guardians of Winter Proximity Barcelona Groceries Not Guns Grey Canada Ashes McCann Madrid Nazis Against Nazis GGH Lowe Proud Whopper David The Ice Bucket Challenge The ALS Association #TechnologyandStuff FleishmanHillard Photoshop Murder Mystery Edelman
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 12 Are we getting beat in our own category or are we becoming creative agencies too?
  13. 13. The things that make great brand marketing today are what good PR should be about  Original  Creative  Authentic  Newsworthy  Storytelling  Shareable  Cross-channel  Transparent  Engaging  User-focused 13
  14. 14. 14 68% of consumers said they would buy a more authentic brand over its competitors. Cohn & Wolfe, Authentic Brands Study, 2014
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. “The whole idea of PR versus marketing is crap. You are all connected.” 16 - Kieran Donahue, VP of Marketing, Americas at Hilton Worldwide
  17. 17. 17 • “We never get the budgets we need” • “They just don’t ‘get’ PR” • “We’re always brought in at the last minute” • “You can’t measure PR the same as advertising” • “We don’t have a seat at the table” Image used under Creative Commons license (https://flic.kr/p/DNwXN)
  18. 18. 18 Great Opportunity
  19. 19. 19 “The PR business is in need of disruptive change and none of this generation are even willing to try.” - Rick Rice…in 2012 http://rtrviews.com/ http://dannybrown.me/2012/10/18/a-lack-of-real-vision-is-stalling-the-pr-industry/
  20. 20. 20 Swim lanes are easy
  21. 21. 21 But they don’t reflect reality
  22. 22. 22 "What has to change is the concept that we each need our own place at the table.“ - Harris Diamond, CEO McCann Worldwide *October 2015 PRWeek/YouGov survey http://www.prweek.com/article/1366952/rip-press-releases-hello- integration-goodbye-pr-welcome-future-industry
  23. 23. 23 Stop waiting for the invitation
  24. 24. We’re not very good guests anyway • We bury our ideas in 67 slide decks • We use a LOT of words • We present like we’re being graded • We think of big PR ideas • We rely on best practices 24
  25. 25. 25 We have to rely on our ideas…not our titles, org charts, bosses, or best practices
  26. 26. 26 "If you rely on someone else's mandate that you must be a part of their team, you will quickly become their adversary. You should instead demonstrate your value to that team so obvious that they are compelled to include you or they risk losing credibility with the rest of the team.”
  27. 27. 27 “If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change”
  28. 28. 28 OK, that’s all well and good, but how do I get started?
  29. 29. Be more than a workstream 1. Get inspired 2. Learn their language 3. Think critically 4. Own the big idea 5. Sell in the big idea 29 Paid Earned Social Owned
  30. 30. 1. Get inspired 30
  31. 31. 31 2. Learn their language
  32. 32. 32 3. Think critically Image courtesy of Wikimedia Foundation
  33. 33. 4. Own the big idea 33 Where we’re used to playing Where we can be playing
  34. 34. Sell in the big idea 34 Smart and logicalInspiring and exciting
  35. 35. 35 The best marketing isn’t an interruptive commercial urging you to buy, buy, buy. It’s a story that makes you think, from a brand that cares.
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. 37 PR is what makes great brand marketing today…
  38. 38. 38 …so why aren’t we the ones leading the charge?
  39. 39. Thank you 39 Steve Radick • VP, Director of Public Relations and Content Integration • www.steveradick.com • www.twitter.com/sradick • www.brunnerworks.com

Notas del editor

  • Pretty cool PR campaign right?
    It was created by an ad agency – Grey Canada
  • Great ad, right?
    The winning agency? Edelman.
  • Both were winners at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – yeah, that Cannes. The land of Rose, Kardashian, and advertising. It’s the “Oscars” of the creative world.
    In 2009, they created a PR category – the PR Lions. The scarecrow for Chipotle won the Grand Prix in 2014 and the Guns Not Groceries campaign won a Gold Lion this year.
  • Davis also said – “2015 in Cannes showcases a dramatic elevation of force in the power of PR in creativity in the world today.”
  • The PR Lions were created to recognize the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organizations and their publics/audiences.”

    PR jury president Lynne-Anne Davis, in an interview with Arun Sudhaman, explained what the jury was focused on: “Creativity, innovation, freshness and ingenuity…. Earned trust through influence powered by authenticity…. Change. Change could be behavioral, or change in conversations, in minds, in lives, in societies, in laws…. And then ultimately we asked the question, ‘Why does this work matter?’”
  • Compare that to the PRSA definition of PR – both are pretty broad, right?
    Neither specifically mentions “earned media” or “media relations.” In fact, by either definition, a TV commercial, a blog, or a event —if it built or preserved relationships based on trust and understanding—would presumably be eligible for the PR category. Right?

    Basically, the things that wouldn’t fit under this umbrella are traditional advertising tactics like commercials, print ads, or banner ads that are focused on selling a product, not building a relationship.
  • Davis went on to say “It’s been an unprecedented year in the history of the PR Lions. Over half of the winners came from PR agencies.”

    But has it been that great a year? Is the dress white and gold or black and blue? (for the record, I still think all you black and blue weirdos are part of some conspiracy theory). Is this a good thing or a bad thing for us?

    I mean, it’s great that number has gone up from 30% in 2013 and 40% 2014 and there was a record number of 1,969 entries into the category and a record 50 per cent level of PR agency participation. And while some may look at that and celebrate how much the PR agency has improved, I look at it and wonder why PR agencies aren’t winning more of the PR Lions?
  • Let’s take a closer look at this year’s winners. Some recognizable campaigns on here – from Always’ Like a Girl to the Ice Bucket Challenge. These were some of the most shared and talked campaigns in the last year.
  • Only three of the 17 campaigns were entered by PR agencies (Edelman, FleishmanHillard, and Australia’s Fuel Communications) which means that the PR agencies were clearly positioned as the “lead” agencies on those campaigns. Even the Grand Prix winning Always #Likeagirl campaign was entered jointly by MSLGroup and Leo Burnett—and so in the more pessimistic formulation counts as only half a win for our business. Of the other winning campaigns, six featured PR firms in “supporting roles.” (And because of the way Cannes works, it is impossible to know whether those supporting roles were limited to generating earned media coverage for a campaign invented elsewhere, or included a genuine strategic partnership in the overall campaign).

    That means all but three Gold winners were entered—in whole or part—by ad agencies or other “creative” shops (a term which, when used at Cannes or in the marketing services sector generally, appears to exclude PR agencies).
  • So what’s it all mean?
  • Isn’t this us vs. them attitude old school stuff? PR agencies vs. ad agencies? What if things are different now? What if things aren’t so clear cut? Lord knows the average person doesn’t care, and increasingly, clients don’t care either. It’s not like they’re parents handing out allowances to each of their agency. They’re funding ideas that move the business, not line items.

    “PR is becoming the glue in a lot of integrated campaigns,” said Michael Frohlich, Ogilvy’s UK chief executive. “Does it matter that we don’t create the idea? One of the things we do is make someone else’s ideas even better. We can come up with the great idea, and we can make other people’s campaigns better. But clients are interested in integration.”

    Think back to the definitions – building relationships based on trust and understanding.
  • The things that make great marketing today are what PR has been about for years
    Think back to that list of award winners. Think back to the campaigns that you’ve noticed and shared. The ones you still remember. The ones that made you laugh, cry, think – What do they have in common?
    They’re all the things that PR has advocated for for years.
  • And it’s paying off. Authenticity, transparency and trust is really smart marketing. One need look no further than REI (closing on Black Friday), Patagonia (don’t buy this coat), Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A (advocacy on social issues), or Chipotle (sustainable farming)
    PR thinking is finally showing real business dividends.
  • Especially since, on the other hand, people are running, fast, away from traditional interruptive advertising – ad blockers, fast forwarding DVRs, paid subscription models.
    They’ve had enough of it.
    Marketers are finally FINALLY starting to realize that the best marketing is the content that people will seek out, that people will miss if it’s gone.
    Traditional marketers struggle with this. They’re used to paying big bucks for the hammer that forces people to consume their content. Now that the hammer has become much smaller and people can avoid, these marketers don’t know what to do. PR, on the other hand, never had the big bucks. We’ve always had to rely on the quality of our story. The creativity in how we tell it. The talk value of it.
  • Which brings us to this.

    So what’s PR and what’s advertising? What’s digital? What’s paid? What’s earned?

    #itsallPR - The PR Council, the United States’ only trade association for public relations firms, has made the journey to Cannes, France, where it is showcasing the creative work of U.S. PR firms into the global limelight this week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In anticipation of the festival, held from June 21-27, the Council debuted a new social campaign — #itsallPR— to highlight the breadth of creativity and innovation taking place across the PR industry. All PR firms, whether attending the festival or not, are invited to contribute their most creative content using #itsallPR.

    We’re competing against ad agencies with PR departments, big consultants, other PR agencies, digital agencies.
  • Oh, I can hear you all laughing now. Don’t you dare compare PR to marketing!

    I know, I know, I’ve heard all this before.
    Here’s the thing – PR always has these complaints. And I’m here to tell you that unless we stop complaining and start doing, creative agencies are going to continue to beat us at our own game.
  • It’s a TREMENDOUS opportunity for us. We are in midst of a dramatic shift in our industry. The pendulum is swinging toward trust, authenticity, and transparency. And fast.

  • Came across this quote a few years ago from a friend of mine and I love using it. Yes, we’ve got a great opportunity, but for the most part, we let it pass us by.
    Unfortunately, these qualities are very much the anomaly. PR hasn’t attracted the same boat-rockers, disruptors, and change agents that other fields have. Sure, we’ve got a lot of people who may recognize the problems with our industry but how many have really committed to making change? How many are willing to put in the work to manage upward and make some change in their org, with their clients, within the industry?
    I’ve come across more than a few PR-trained folks leave PR to go to a digital agency or a creative agency or a publisher, but I don’t see too many come back the other way.
  • Why?
    Because swim lanes are easy. Everyone’s got their responsibility. Everyone’s got a section on the status report. Everyone can remain focused on the job that they’re best at.
    We don’t rock the boat. We stay in our area of expertise.
    PR is comfortable with the status quo.
  • The reality is very different. Swim lanes and org charts make it seem very clear cut, but we all know things don’t work out that way. PR is complaining about marketing, marketing is complaining that their campaigns aren’t getting the media coverage, everyone thinks they should be doing social. No one’s doing measurement right.
    We call this “collaboration.”
  • That thinking has to change. It’s not about creating some massive Knights of the Round Table where every department, team, and business unit has a representative at the table.
    Marketing has become democratized. The lines separating advertising, marketing, PR, Digital, even consulting have blurred or disappeared.
    66% of people in an October survey by PRWeek and YouGov don’t even think we’ll be using the term PR agency in five years!
  • You’re not going to get an invite to the table
    You’re not going to get your boss to insist that you have a seat at the table.
    PR doesn’t just “get” a seat at the table.
    Your thinking is what will get you a seat at the table.
    Your clients and bosses aren’t following a playbook that says X% of the work goes to the PR agency, X goes to Digital, X goes to social media. They just want people who will fix the problem and fix it fast.
  • After all, we’re not very good guests anyway

    We bury our ideas in 67 slide decks INSTEAD of telling a story
    We use words INSTEAD of visual
    We present like we’re being graded INSTEAD or presenting to excite and inspire
    We think of big PR ideas INSTEAD of big business ideas
    We rely on best practices INSTEAD of carving a new path
  • You know, there’s this great quote from my former boss at Booz Allen – when I started the social media practice there in 2007, I encountered a lot of opposition from some really conservative government types. I had been complaining to him that even though I was the social media lead, they weren’t including me in their meetings. They were developing social media strategies and tactics without involving me at all. I asked him, as a Partner, if he could step in and tell these account managers that they had to invite me to their meetings.
    He laughed and said
  • He laughed and said -- "If you rely on someone else's mandate that you must be a part of their team, you will quickly become their adversary. You should instead demonstrate your value to that team so obvious that they are compelled to include you or they risk losing credibility with the rest of the team.“


  • We have to change how we think, how we do things, how we talk about ourselves.
  • Easier said than done, right?
    It all sounds good in theory, but I’m not the boss. I don’t have a cool title. I don’t have any authority to do all this stuff.
    I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be the boss to effect change.


  • You have to think of PR less as a workstream, as a functional specialty and start thinking of it as a mindset, as a unique perspective you can bring to marketing.
    Here are five things to do now -
  • You first have to recognize there’s a problem with how PR is perceived. You have to understand how lacking we, as an industry, are when it comes to creativity.
    Stop reading PR-only articles and blog posts. Stop going to PR-only events. Stop talking to PR-only people. You’re not only allowed to get out of the PR bubble, doing so will be necessary for your survival.
    Broaden your horizons and start checking out what other marketing disciplines are doing. Understand how they talk about themselves. How they present their ideas. Learn how they came up with the idea and how they sold it in.
  • Different functional specialties, same business goals
    "What we have in common is that we are all businesspeople. We may have different technical specialties — mine happens to be in finance, yours in communications — but we are all responsible for advancing our collective business goals.“
    Communications professionals have a seat at the table; to keep it, we must flex our business muscle. Just as we are expected to provide counsel on a potential crisis, we must be expected to provide counsel on a potential merger or acquisition. If we don’t, then our seat will be filled by someone who can and will. Aided Awareness
    Unaided Awareness
    Share Points
    Customer Journey
    CTAs
    USPs
    RTBs
    CMS
    SEO/SEM
    CTR
    CPM
    CPL
    Programmatic
    Net Promoter Score
  • All too often, PR people are given a problem and then we run off and try to find a solution to the problem. How often do we stop and ask ourselves, “is that really the problem we should be solving? Is that the real problem?”

    Tell Porsche Everyday story
  • Raise your hand – how many times has someone brought you something and then asked you to “PR it” or to “get us some media coverage”?
    How many times has that thing been really newsworthy and shareable? That’s what I thought.
    PR ends up being this afterthought to the idea – oh yeah, let’s see if we can get some PR for this.
    And what happens? It comes across like that, right? It comes across like this “spoiler” on this old car.
    We’re forced to try and make something, anything, work. After all, that’s what we do right? We drum up some media coverage. We “pitch” our stories, even if we become used car salesmen in the process.
    What would happen if we were the ones coming up with the big idea? What would happen if we were driving this bus from the beginning instead of jumping on at the end?
    Do we even know what a “big idea” is? We don’t train our people to come up with big ideas. We train them to be smart and detail-oriented.
    By its definition, a “big idea” is bigger than PR. It has to work across paid, earned, owned, and social. It has to work across channels. It has to impact the business in a profound way. It has to be newsworthy. It has to make him care. It has to make him share.
    For example, our Huffy client’s sales were down. That was just a symptom, not the problem. The problem was that no one even knew they made adult bikes. Every adult had a Huffy but no one has a Huffy. So we had to carve out a niche. We targeted moms – moms who weren’t looking to bike to work or compete in a triathalon. Moms who weren’t looking to cover themselves in Lycra and buy a bunch of high end gear. But moms who wanted nothing more than to hop on a bike and ride around with their kids for fun. Bike riding is supposed to be fun, not intimidating.
  • Coming up with ideas is easy. Getting it sold in to your boss, to your client, to the finance department – that’s the hard part. And unfortunately, we don’t do that part well either.
    Let’s look at another familiar campaign – this is this year’s Grand Prix winner at Cannes, Always LikeAGirl. This is their submission for the Lions.
    Man – I’ve got three girls and I love that campaign. It almost makes me wish I were a girl.
    Now let’s look at the exact same campaign, submitted by the same agencies, for the PRSA Silver Anvil awards.
    Wah, wah.
    How in the WORLD do we allow this to happen? This is how we talk about ourselves. They clearly have a very inspiring video submission, but we force them into a boring two page summary submission instead.
    This is what we do though. And not just with award entries, but with presentations, with deliverables, with how we talk about ourselves.
    We need to improve our presentation style and improve our visual storytelling abilities. We need to aim to excite and inspire rather than trying to explain every minute detail.
  • It’s the story of where your food comes from and how one brand wants you to better understand it
    It’s the story of corporate hypocrisy and how one organization fought it
    It’s the story of how our society demeans an entire gender and how one brand is sick and tired of it
    It’s the story of how families – of all backgrounds – come together and the brand that’s been the whole time.

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