Page 33 - AdNews April 2020
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      “It’s getting tougher to get cut-through for brands with tra- ditional media strategies, but strong creative helps overcome this,” she says.
“Creative and PR might be different disciplines, but it’s a symbiotic relationship. We have specific staff in Mango who are responsible for working with the creative teams to earned currency in creative campaigns. PR-led creative ideas are winning more awards, getting people talking and creating more fame for brands.”
And great ideas can come from anywhere.
“What clients want is a full-service solution that under- stands the consumer, the channels, and how the idea will play out across the mix,” she says.
“Agencies can operate in silos, but it’s more effective when there’s a collective approach. Our integrated model has been delivering strong results for clients; no idea or starting point is off the table and it’s the integrated team’s job to support each other and deliver the best result.
“Earned ideas are becoming much more central to inte- grated communications planning. Increasingly, clients are looking for campaigns that are PR-led, as opposed to a bolt-on publicity approach. Driving comms through PR first puts the consumer front and centre.”
However, tougher economic conditions mean there are fewer retainers, and the industry is moving to a project-based model.
Is the traditional press release dead or just evolving?
Skye Lambley, group managing director, Herd MSL: A press release has its place, but there are many other ways for organisations and brands to tell their story, both to the media and directly to their audiences. Gone are the days of sending out a press release to your target media list and expecting to generate lots of coverage off the back of it. Media, like consumers, expect bespoke stories that are created just for them in a creative and engaging way.
Kieran Moore, CEO of WPP AUNZ’s PR & GR: It is
not dead, but it is evolving. Interestingly we are seeing more specialised publicity and senior media roles being in demand, with our team members who are deep experts in certain types of media being called upon. The diversified media strategy is more impactful today than a press release. We still issue a press release, but tailored, unique pitching with exclusive content that titles can use exclusively is more effective.
Tabitha Fairbairn, managing director of Mango Communications, part of DDB: With so many sources of information now available, the press release is perhaps more critical than ever. Information is everything, and having the tools to effectively brief with accurate and consistent messaging will always play a key role in PR. As the channel's PR operations continue to evolve, it stands to reason that so will our core communication mediums. Will it always be a Word doc/PDF/email? Probably not. But being able to provide that information is essential.
Leilani Abels, founder of independent agency Thrive PR: It’s evolving and it’s richer in content so it adds greater value than it has before. The media release has a hierarchy of messages important to
a client and has to have, or link to, content that will work across multiple channels. The media release remains a solid central reference and a teaser for the stories you tailor and craft specifically for a journalist and different audiences.
Roberto Pace, managing director, Eleven & FleishmanHillard at TBWA: I think all audiences, journalists included, want information in the most effective, efficient way possible. A press release can still do that job, but it’s just the start. Journalists want a story that’s unique to their needs, and this requires further crafting of that story on both sides. Unless it’s for hard news, a press release on its own won’t do the job.
Ashford Pritchard, co-founder and director
of Kicker Communications: The press release is probably the most misunderstood and misused
form of PR content. It’s nothing more than a
way to help organisations share information in
a straightforward and efficient manner — and as such will always have a place, even as its form evolves. What does need to change is how the press release is crafted and distributed, to get the right story in front of the right media at the right time.

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