I was lucky to be a part of the jury for one of the most influential Hungarian PR awards, Kreativ Prizma (Kreativ is a B2B paper for the communications industry in Hungary). This year we had 89 applications and 46 of them got to the shortlist in several categories. It was quite interesting to see them after having lived years in the UK market. As a strategic advisor, I rarely see executions of PR campaigns. Here are 10 things that came to my mind about these applications:
- Most campaigns were integrated. They used different tools and channels and most of them included social media. It’s great to see Public Relations turning into a complex communications process with different ways to approach wide-range and well targeted audiences.
- PR activities usually involve a ‘good cause’ (at least as a side effect). This trend – using Public Relations for something good instead of direct sales support – is something we should all welcome and encouraging.
- Most of the applications (and the campaigns) had short videos included. Video storytelling is now an essential part of any comms activity targeting social media. Tell your story, show your video and share it on social…
- Reputation management issues had the biggest budgets out of all campaigns. Does this mean companies value their reputation very highly and that they spend a nice amount on protecting it?
- How do you define PR (and other sources of communication) in today’s campaign budget? When providing a range of earned, owned and paid appearances, it is difficult to see where PR ends and comms begins.
- Campaigns with the most outreach are still backed by ATL marketing tools. It was difficult to effectively evaluate applications with small social media budgets reaching only a few ten thousands, while some campaigns which had paid TV ads certainly reached hundreds of thousands, if not more.
- Some campaigns created microsites. Those can serve well during the campaign but are useless afterwards. Agencies and clients tend to abandon them and they increase the amount of digital trash (a separate blogpost on this coming soon…)
- I still noticed AVE being used as a performance indicator… Should I comment?
- Some members of the jury discarded a few applications with paid PR. Are we, PR practitioners, too shy to step into the content marketing arena? We are definitely not in the UK.
- One Public Affairs campaign was very well prepared, used lots of different tools and channels, had a great idea but then they created their “own” third party (an independent association) and undemocratically picked their members based on their business interests rather than morals. This would simply fail the CPD ethics test..
CIPR International had a tweetchat a few days ago and we found some trends for our profession:
- automation will seep into PR but will not challenge creativity, relationships and added human value
- global and local messages will also emerge and influence each other but without a coherent strategy it will remain as a mess of words
- crisis management will be a key issue and if brands are not prepared, they will definitely lose. If PR gets back up to the board level, we might have a chance to correct this before a crisis breaks out due to bad management.
I am excited to see whether these trend forecasts will become a reality, and how they will affect best practices. We’ll see!