PR Is More Than Media Relations

Posted on May 12, 2010 by cPR No Comments

When you sit back and look at the winners of the Silver Anvils, most have a couple of things in common.

1. They had measurable results that demonstrated that their strategies and tactics worked
2. The campaign was exceptionally thorough in its integration
3. The campaign was creative, original and innovative

And it is the last point that I want to quickly discuss. When most people think of PR, they think of sending out news releases and getting press hits. And, often, we see many entries come across that are simple media relations programs. Don’t get me wrong, media relations is important, but it is not the sole arrow in the quiver.

To achieve greatness in a campaign, PR practitioners need to “own” the third bullet from above (creative, original, innovative) to break through the clutter while framing an issue as only PR can:

Be creative in your approach to solving a problem.

  • When a well-known overnight delivery brand was losing market share because of the perception that they just delivered letters, the PR counselor came up with a creative solution that tied the client’s delivery system with a charitable cause by delivering Christmas trees and large boxed gifts to military families whose father/mother was overseas.

Implement original content and ideas that few have done before.

  • When a hair care company wanted to raise new awareness of its product line, instead of just going the news release route, they created a campaign that 1) encouraged women to love their hair through seminars, training workshops and online chat sessions, 2) raised awareness with teens about hair care and self esteem (think formative years) through a partnership with the Girl Scouts and 3) pulled back the curtain on “Hollywood hair” to show how anyone can be as glamorous as their favorite celeb.

Innovative strategies and executions go a long way in cementing a brand in the mind of a consumer.

  • When a body spray company was debuting its product, they wanted to visually showcase how the brand’s promise worked in real life for all to witness. In a “live your life through me” type campaign, targeted consumers got to vote on where to send one person to live the brand experience and then, thanks to a camera on the person, watch him use the body spray, become an instant celeb, party like a rock star and be the most popular guy there. Now, this body spray company uses the same before/after spray approach in a multi-million ad campaign… but the heavy lifting was done through PR!

Lesson learned: To be great, don’t fall into the box that says PR is all about media relations. Be creative. Be original. And be innovative. That’s what makes the best a Silver Anvil.

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