August 9, 2018
In a world of buzz words and bots, how can brands make sure their PR strategy makes sense?
I think it’s fair to say, lots of clients working with lots of PR agencies would say they encounter nonsense on a day-to-day basis. In fact, PR has got itself a bit of a reputation for buzz words and PR-speak that twists your head in knots. And for an industry whose daily bread is communications, that’s bad.
This is the whole reason behind the LEWIS campaign #SayNoToNonsense. But making a study of nonsense can be intriguing. It’s only by analysing our own absurdity and tautologies that we are going to resist falling down the rabbit hole. So, here’s what I think some classic examples of nonsense can tell you about how PR should work.
Don’t go to sea in a sieve
You remember the Jumblies? “In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea!”. Their enthusiasm might have been intense, but there’s certainly no hope of reaching your destination if your plan is full of holes. The current media landscape is rough waters, and it’s only by consulting expert navigators that you can find a way to reach safer shores. From fake news to going viral, it would be easy to find yourself taken by the current.
A successful campaign needs to start smart, with an understanding of what can be achieved in the market and timeframe you’ve chosen. An amazing creative idea will still only hold water if you can translate its central insights and action them with speed and precision.
Perspective is everything
PR people are famed for their enthusiasm. Yet there are some cases where a boundless love for your client won’t do any good. Like Alice bursting through the roof of the White Rabbit’s house in Alice in Wonderland, everyone can get a carried away with an intriguing new project.
The key is for PR agencies to take a more consultative approach. By advising on precision strikes that make the most impact on your target audience, we avoid the risk of media apathy. Matching strategies that amplify the reach of your campaigns with the right target audience is vital to success.
Don’t forget where your towel is
Just like the characters of the wonderfully absurd The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you don’t want to go on a journey without “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”. OK, so a towel might not be flash, but it can help you out in almost any situation. Well the equivalent in PR would be the phone; we live on our relationships with the media.
In a hype cycle that can seem nonsensical, it can feel like the media are speaking an alien language. But if you try to jump on every week’s next ‘hot topic’ it will be hard to carve out what your brand is saying and prove your expertise to your audience.
However, every new hype cycle seems to follow the same stages of the last one, making it easier to predict how new trends, whether micro or mega, will develop. This predictability can help you develop a strategy to maximise opportunity.
Yes, nonsense is pretty popular right now. From Boris Johnson’s latest gaffe to the next Love Island breakup, we’re living in a world of wacky headlines and outlandish stories. But that doesn’t mean that PR has to follow the herd to be… well, heard. The brands that make the difference will be the ones charting a clear path of common sense. It’s vital that your PR strategy mirrors this to ensure you don’t get lost in the maze. Why not get yourself a copy of our LEWIS Marketing Map to navigate your next campaign?