7 insights on the future of PR from Future Comms 15
Zoë Clapp presented an excellent case study from UKTV; a panel explored the Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) model; film maker Stephen Follows spoke about storytelling; and writer and comedian David Schneider delivered a hilarious session on working real time.
Here’s the round up I presented at the end of the day.
#1 The customer doesn’t care about blurring disciplines
The conversation in the morning was focussed on the role of public relations versus content marketing. Public relations isn’t content marketing but good content marketing can be public relations. Organisations shouldn’t become media companies for the sake of it but owned content and media have a role to play as part of an integrated campaign.
#2 Recognise the evolution of public relations
Public relations is shifting from publicity to influencer relations, owned media and community. In time every area of an organisation will be social. You can see the signposts already for customer service as people bitch and moan on Twitter; and through the use of internal networks by human resources. This is an issue that will continue to play out over our lifetime.
#3 Listening, data
We’ve got over our obsession with data in the public relations business thanks to the growing market of third party tools. All campaigns should start by listening to the conversations taking place in a market in the context of a product or service. This will inform insights to create content that will form the basis of engagement between an organisation and its audiences.
#4 Communities, hacking
The public relations business is benefiting from forward thinking practitioners such as Gemma Griffiths and Stella Bayles introducing a hacking discipline from the technology and search markets. Their respective #FuturePR and #PRresolution communities are a great place to experiment and learn from like-minded people. I’d also add my own #PRstack to the mix.
#5 New skills: search, paid and earned
Public relations needs to find an entrepreneurial streak and develop into new areas of practice such as paid amplification and search as a result of changes to the Google algorithm. Have an open mind with regards to investigating and experimenting with these new opportunities. Alternatively hire people with appropriate skills.
#6 Speed, agile workflow
Much of public relations is reliant on lengthy planning and approval cycles. The Internet doesn’t operate in this way. Workflow and governance has to change and shift towards a media model. At Ketchum we’re moving our client service teams to an agile newsroom model called StoryWorks .
#7 Sometimes silly shit just works but planning helps
The Ice Bucket Challenge has inspired a generation of brand managers to call on agencies to replicate the campaign. I’m certain I would have red flagged that idea at every stage. Creative ideas should be rooted in planning and human insight and motivation but there is no formula for creativity. Sometimes random daft shit just works.
The morning sessions at Future Comms 15 obsessed about the past and the role of public relations as disciplines merge. It was frustrating and told a story of the profession that I don't recognise.
The key lesson for me from the day is that we need look forward and confidently create our own story.
Image via Rachel Miller will thanks.