In this guest post, Haystac’s national general manager, Jason Carnew (pictured below), says with all this talk of Cannes at this time of year, it’s a kindly reminder that the PR business needs to get its act together in terms of awards, work and judging…
All eyes on are Cannes as some of the best work in the business is being showered in the praise it deserves with heavy chunks of beautifully formed metal and endless glasses of rosé.
This already includes the Black Supermarket campaign by Carrefour and Marcel which shows just how powerful PR can be when done right. And, of course, we’re looking forward to seeing how our own work – Project Revoice – stands up against the best in the business.
But, Cannes should also remind every PR agency in Australia that, this time last year, one of the nation’s foremost marketers told us we needed to get our act together.
The call out came from Foxtel CMO, Andy Lark (formerly CMO of CommBank and Xero) in his wrap up from the 2017 Cannes festival when he said:“The PR profession needs to get its shit together and that starts with fixing both the work and the judging. Entries based on a mix of antiquated (ad equivalency and eye-balls) and short-term metrics resulted in stunts taking the limelight over effective campaigns. Earned brand power is all the rage, but there is little substance to PR’s new moniker. PR must create a new performance playbook.”
There isn’t a single person in the industry that doesn’t know where Andy is coming from. We’ve heard the same narrative in the trade press and at marketing conferences over the last few years and, over the last 18 months, we’ve personally heard the same thing during new business meetings, with marketers lamenting the fact that many PR agencies appear to be stuck in a viscous cycle where short-term metrics are driving short-term thinking and short-term results.
Andy’s article last year gave Haystac moments of self-reflection; particularly because it came at a time when we were in the middle of a major shift in how we approach our own work. Like many agencies we had added creativity, social, content, digital and integration into our skillset, but still we questioned if these enhanced offerings were enough to elevate the work into a completely new ‘performance playbook’.
We unwaveringly and wholeheartedly believe PR has the power to drive real brand outcomes and business objectives. To make it a reality we’ve employed brand strategists and creatives that understand the earned space, we’ve elevated our social and content offering, and increased how much we integrate with our sister agencies.
However, the most important drivers have come from a shift in our mindset and how we measure success. For us, measurement of success is not limited to short-term metrics. We now push ourselves to start with the desired brand and business outcomes and then work backwards to design integrated campaigns that are both creative and effective. This means we use metrics like app downloads, brand perception, traffic to site, SEO effect and share of voice. These don’t trump the likes of reach and quality of coverage, but they do push us to ask more of ourselves and our work.
We have brought new skillsets into the business, but also forced ourselves to first say, “if we had to measure our affect on X, how would we do it.” This means our team has had to learn how brand foundations are built and the role earned media can play in driving these foundations. It’s been a ton of work, but we are well on our way to delivering against our broader brand promise – to create campaigns that fuel long-term brand value as well as short-term engagement.
As Andy so eloquently put it, PR does need to get its shit together. We believe that it is, and that we’re looking forward to (hopefully) seeing this kind of thinking come through on the national stage this week when the PR awards are announced. We’ll be watching from here, celebrating every step forward that the industry has made to prove Andy wrong; PR’s new moniker is well earned.
In this piece, Doddle APAC CEO Justin Dery explains why retail marketers should look beyond traditional delivery options this Christmas. 2020 has been a year like no other, and marketers across the world, regardless of industry, have been forced to rethink brand interaction, upweighting digital and tracking rapidly evolving consumer behaviour. This year’s sales season […]
Following an extensive search, Sydney WorldPride today announced the appointment of Adam Zammit to the newly created role of Director, Partnership & Revenue. WorldPride – an international festival celebrating LGBTIQ+ culture and joy – will be held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere, when the festival comes to Sydney in 2023. Zammit’s key […]
PAW Patrol’s heroic pups are on a roll this summer and ready to spread the word about the importance of water safety, through the PAW Patrol Safety First! prosocial initiative. The water safety program, created in partnership with world champion swimmer and water safety advocate Michael Phelps, launches today with a public service announcement. Starring […]
Independent creative agency, The Core Agency, has created a new campaign for national in-home aged care and disability support provider, Just Better Care. Just Better Care is one of Australia’s largest accredited providers, delivering in-home social and lifestyle support services that enable people to live independently.Its network of over 40 franchise territories provides affordable and […]
Creative agency Andpeople has teamed up with active-streetwear label P.E Nation to create a custom-built augmented reality (AR) dressing room ahead of the label’s latest launch. The digital dressing room was unveiled to coincide with the launch of P.E Nation’s ‘Sustainable in Snow’ collection. In partnership with Andpeople and the globally recognised team behind the […]
From Airbnb to Calm and all the apps in between, the rise of app-based companies calls for specific app advertising solutions, according to Snap Inc. Following the launch of Snap Connect—a tool to help marketers learn about direct response (DR) advertising strategies on Snapchat—Snap has launched an advertising product suite built specifically for app marketers. […]
Ad tech vendor Adform had made a significant step towards promoting transparency in digital advertising, becoming the first global ad tech vendor to subject its tech stack to an independent audit. The audit follows a report released in May 2020 by the ISBA and AOP in the UK. The research, which was executed by PwC, […]
Actor Matthew McConaughey is shining a light on Australian Local Legends, as part of Wild Turkey’s latest ‘Wild Turkey With Thanks’ initiative. In the latest phase of the ‘With Thanks’ platform, McConaughey, who is the creative director of Wild Turkey, chats with Aussies who have stood with conviction, supporting their environment and communities throughout the […]
Queensland’s largest club, mutual insurer, bank and roadside assistance provider, RACQ, launched its new campaign on Sunday, shining a light on its membership model. It’s all smiles and verything is a little brighter when you’re an RACQ member, according to the company’s new campaign, ‘Membership makes all the difference’. It also revealed some of the […]