Written by Charmaine Tanti.
Here at Red Agency we pride ourselves on having our fingers on the pulse of the PR industry and as those who work in the field will know, it’s a forever evolving beast! PR today is a different world to what it was even five years ago. Daily we’re carrying out tasks that didn’t even exist then, so the usual challenge of trying to explain what you do to your parents is only getting harder!
As Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt to change,” and this is how we do things at Red. We’ve adapted to the changes in the PR landscape and integrated new focus areas to the way we do business.
For a long time, the core function of PR was media relations. Liaising with journalists to set up publicity opportunities for clients is what the profession was known for. Though this remains a key pillar within our business, today it forms one part of the holistic approach we take to developing and implementing client PR strategies. Equally as important are our social media and experiential skill sets.
Social media: Social media is one force that has had a large impact on our industry. PR has always been about creating mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and its publics, so the introduction of social media which gives brands the opportunity to engage in two-way communication with their publics has revolutionised PR. Beyond day-to-day community management such as responding to comments and creating content to spark conversation, we develop exciting campaigns designed to invoke shareability and expand the brand’s reach within the social space and connect with new audiences. A recent example of this is the Sign My Name campaign we created and implemented for our client, aged-care providers, The Whiddon Group. To highlight the issue of cognitive decline, we deployed a campaign tying into Brain Awareness Week, asking Australians to write their name with their non-dominant hand on a piece of paper with the hashtag #brainawarenessweek written underneath. We then requested they take a selfie of themselves with their piece of paper and upload this to their social media channels to spread the message and inspire their friends to take part, and to further increase the reach and influence of the campaign we secured the participation of notable celebrities including Rove and Jackie O to do the same. The campaign was a huge success, having gone viral and reaching an audience of 20 million Australians. In addition, national mainstream such as Sunrise and news.com.au reported the story. All in all, a great result!
Today, if a brand fails to have a social media presence that it is using effectively, it is limiting its ability to create meaningful dialogue with its market. A few brands that I particularly love following on social media are Contiki, Coca-Cola and Oreo because they each create consistently engaging content.
Experiential: PR is about creating relationships, and what social media does for this online, experiential is one way we do this offline. Experiential campaigns bring brands to life for audiences by creating real interactions through sensory connections and activities. The concept behind experiential campaigns is that the experience manifested in the activity is representative of the product or service being promoted. We developed an experiential campaign for Jack Daniel’s by building The Bar that Jack Built to reaffirm the relationship with the 40+ blue collar market. To do this, we issued a call-out for Australians to donate time and materials to help us build the world’s first crowd-sourced bar in exchange for whiskey to remind this market of the authenticity of Jack Daniel’s. Once the bar was built, we issued big donators with tickets to an exclusive event which was entirely crowd-sourced. As a result of the campaign, the market’s love for jack was cemented with 10,000 new fans to the Facebook page and an estimated $178,000 donated material and time.
In this forever progressing world that is PR, we at Red Agency make it our mission to ensure we’re not just staying across the latest trends, but driving them. This contributes to one key reason why I love coming into work each day, because it means that no two days are the same and we’re always learning new skills!