In part two of our interview with Arun Sudhaman, managing editor of The Holmes Report, we asked him how PR agencies can be more creative. He should know. The Holmes Report recently conducted a study about creativity with creativity experts Now Go Create and sponsored by our Omnicom sister agency Ketchum. Here’s what he said:
The broad answer is that it’s as much about culture as it is about content. Agencies have to inculcate a much stronger creative culture than currently exists. In advertising agencies, creativity is more a part of the agency’s DNA, whereas in PR agencies, creativity often is viewed as just one element of what the agency does.
In our survey, we asked which techniques are used to generate ideas. Most said group brainstorms. But that’s not necessarily the best way to develop ideas. Creativity will become more important in PR agencies as the media landscape fragments and we get swamped with more noise. Then, the ability to break through with a compelling idea will be even more important than it is now.
Image of Arun Sudhaman, courtesy of The Holmes Report
That’s a question we asked Arun Sudhaman, managing editor of The Holmes Report on the heels of a study about creativity his publication conducted with creativity experts Now Go Create and sponsored by our Omnicom sister agency Ketchum.
One of the findings that caught MMC’s attention was that the 650 interviewees named three campaigns MMC has worked on out of the 12 they cited as “best example of a creative PR campaign that drove business results over the past 18 months.” These were: P&G Moms, Head & Shoulders with Troy Polamalu and Depend Great American Try On.
So we followed up with Arun recently to ask him a few more questions about creativity in PR campaigns. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: Are you seeing any new trends in creative campaigns?
A: There are two trends that we’re seeing. One is an increase in integrated marketing communications programs, particularly in consumer marketing. While a campaign might begin with a “PR Idea,” many campaigns, particularly those in consumer marketing, include the whole gamut of marketing communications.
The second trend is the importance of purpose, or social marketing. To stand out in a crowded marketplace, marketers need to demonstrate that they care about people’s lives – not just their products. An excellent example of this is a campaign Electrolux did called “Vac from the Sea.” Electrolux’s idea was to recycle plastic debris from the ocean and turn it into vacuum cleaners to draw attention to the issue of plastic ocean waste. As one of the world’s biggest appliance makers, Electrolux had a natural stake in the idea as the company uses recycled plastics in its appliances.
Of course, not every campaign has to be purpose driven. The last thing you want to do is align with a purpose that’s not authentic to your company or product. And just as many campaigns that have tried to tap into a cause fail as succeed. It really depends on how the campaign is developed and executed.
Q: Are you seeing an increase in the central idea for integrated campaigns coming from PR?
A: Yes, but those ideas aren’t necessarily coming from PR agencies. Often they come from the advertising agency.
You can almost count on two hands the big ideas coming from the PR industry. A big part of the challenge is that clients may not be willing to accept ideas that drive an integrated campaign from the PR agency. Clients may say they don’t care where the big idea comes from, but I think they really do care — they expect them to come from the ad agency.
Whenever we interview CMOs, they always say they want more ideas from their PR agencies. It’s hard to believe that PR agencies aren’t coming up with those ideas. I think it’s a matter of PR agencies doing a better job of articulating how the idea can solve a client’s marketing challenge.
Check back tomorrow to see what Arun has to say about how PR agencies can be more creative.
Image courtesy of The Holmes Report
A recent survey of marketing decision makers about content marketing found that content in the form of articles, video and white papers generates the best ROI. Almost two thirds of marketers, 62.2%, said feature articles provide the best content ROI. Although video was cited by 51.9%, marketers felt this medium is both expensive and difficult to create. Despite its challenges, nearly 35% of marketers confirmed that content marketing is their top priority in 2013.
Another survey has confirmed the powerful effects online influencers with large social graphs have on consumer purchase decisions. Brand and retailers’ sites were most likely to influence an internet user’s purchase decision, followed by blogs, Facebook and online forums. And while Pinterest was low on the list, other research shows that consumers who click through to a retail site from their Pinterest page spend significantly more than consumers who click through from Facebook.
Last week I saw a blog post about marketing to boomer women that sounded authoritative. But it told only half of a story. The author advised marketers targeting Boomer women to recognize them as proactive health managers, vital and active. She quoted an AARP study that found the vast majority of Boomer women said they feel confident they are doing all they can to keep themselves as healthy as possible. More than 80% said they considered their health good or better and 62% said they have regular medical checkups.
The other half of the story is that what women say they do…or what they want to do…isn’t always what they actually do. According to the American Heart Association, a very high percentage of boomer women (and men) have health conditions that are often preventable. Reporting on 2010 data, AHA says that 69.4% of women ages 55–64 are overweight or obese. More than a quarter of women age 55–64 have high cholesterol and more than half of women age 55–64 have high blood pressure. These symptoms of heart disease, the nation’s largest cause of death, can often be prevented by diet and exercise.
Boomers, like all other generations, may think they are as healthy as possible. But if you want to understand health consumers, it’s always worthwhile to compare what they think with what they do. In the end, you may end up speaking to them as “proactive health managers, vital and active.” But maybe you might throw in a soupçon of health prevention messages too.
Oh those crazy awards shows. Was Jimmy Kimmel’s stunt with 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan on last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards show an attempt to attract the ever elusive younger viewer by co-opting Twitter?
For those of you who weren’t watching, Kimmel, known for encouraging Twitter and YouTube posts on his own talk show, got Morgan to lie down on the stage and asked viewers to tweet, ”OMG Tracy Morgan just passed out on stage during the Emmys, turn on ABC.” According to TwitterTV, he was successful in the Twittersphere; the message went viral with about 25,000 tweets. Whether the stunt actually attracted more viewers – particularly younger, Twitter-centric ones – for more than a few minutes is still unknown. I’m guessing it didn’t. People who love the Emmys and other awards shows tune in religiously every year. But those who don’t, a stunt like last night’s – which was pretty brilliant – is just more singing to the choir.
Image courtesy of Mashable.com
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Last week at the BlogHer annual conference, MMC asked BlogHer co-founder and COO Elisa Camahort Page for her insight about the future of social networking. One hint: think mobile. Click here to see what she said.