Keeping it creative: PR, messaging and credibility

By Susan Richter, Marketing Communications Manager

Whiteoaks Team Talk – Session wrap-up

It’s safe to say that the new normal is starting to become… well, normal. We’ve adjusted to new operating practices and are focused on ensuring business as usual, especially when it comes to PR and marketing.

This sentiment was reflected by recent research by the PRCA; according to its confidence tracker, after an initial period of disquiet confidence levels are surging. The PRCA’s director-general, Francis Ingham, says this shock has given way to “a calm confidence in the fundamental strength of our industry”.

But what does this look like? What issues are companies experiencing in the new environment? And how are they adapting their tactics? Where does creative fit in?

These questions formed the basis of our latest Team Talk Session. The informal session was attended by our clients and prospects who shared their own experiences and insights.

Live in the now, think about the future

One of the key themes of the discussion was that it is a critical time for brands and how they present themselves, and talk to their clients and the market. In fact, it’s never been more important to be human, authentic and relevant, something we discussed in our first Team Talk Session.

But it’s also vital that brands look ahead; as we move on how do we keep things fresh, keep the interest of our audiences and keep creativity flowing?

PR remains an effective tool for brands in the current circumstances and as we move beyond. In large part, this goes back to the fundamentals of PR which is building credibility and delivering messages effectively. The brands that are winning are the ones that have had their communications successfully distributed through the lens of a journalist resulting in authentic and meaningful stories being delivered directly to audiences.

The session also covered how PR can be used to unite owned, paid and earned media, elements that don’t work well in isolation. Instead, it’s this combination that drives improved results and, importantly, impact. Earned-led campaigns will drive conversations which can then be amplified across supporting channels.

And when creativity is added to the mix so much the better. Especially now when there’s more of a focus on boosting engagement, humanising communications and ensuring that how brands are positioning themselves now translates into a longer-term strategy.

Used correctly, creativity can drive competitive edge and create a unique experience to engage customers and prospects. It’s about making the audience stop and think, and making brands stand out from the crowded marketplace they are operating in.

Also, creativity isn’t just for B2C campaigns in fact there is a case to be made that this is more important in B2B communications due to the higher risks which are involved. It can also be shown in many different ways and could be as simple as tone or a visual. But a great creative idea, simply told, has more chance of sticking in the mind of the audience.

Out the box thinking

For example, with the massive spike in video calls and webinars in lieu of physical meetings and events, how can PR and marketing professionals fight the fatigue?

One of our clients in the broadcast sector used some out of the box thinking to make its virtual event stand out in light of the fact that the broadcast industry’s flagship trade show, NAB hosted in Las Vegas, was cancelled. ATEME hosted a 24-hour webinar series to maintain engagement with its global customers, with live sessions streamed via Zoom starting in France and moving across the world.

Adding value

PR remains an effective tool for brands in the current circumstances and as we move beyond. In large part, this goes back to the fundamentals of PR, which is building credibility, and forming the nexus around which other elements such as marketing and social media can add value.

In our next Team Talk session on 15 May we’ll focus on the topic of measurement, while also hearing from our clients about their issues and experiences so far. Keep an eye on your inbox and our social feeds to find out more.