PR Lines Blurred by Fulfilment29 May 2017
PR as a primary communications discipline has always adapted timeously and rapidly to the changing landscape as technology continues to change the way consumers behave and interact with brands. Now Paul Reynell, strategist for Paddington Station PR, believes PR agencies will once again have to re-visit their toolbox when pulling strategies together to drive authentic content in the face of post-demographic consumerism.
“Consumer engagement and communication strategies have historically always been driven by two different teams or agencies and resulted in PR leveraging from consumer engagement to push content,” says Reynell. “Analysing recent research on consumerism trends, particularly the Millennials, it’s very clear that if a brand wants to remain relevant and maintain market share, its PR coms can no longer just leverage from CSI partnerships and consumer activation. It now needs to drive authentic content, and to this end, needs to play a bigger role in the brand’s consumer engagement activities.”
2016 saw Paddington Station PR invest in their first stand-alone product called Brand Travel. Recognised for its innovation, Brand Travel incorporates a process to identify opportunities for brands in a post-demographic environment. “Facing a future of polarisation, populism and post-truth, many brands are already experiencing market share erosion due to the lack of understanding and misconceptions in relation to the Millennials,” states Reynell. “One of the biggest impacts this environment is having on PR is the need for authentic content, often generated by the end-user. This means PR needs to take on a bigger fulfilment role to integrate experiential activities into their clients’ strategies.”
One of Paddington Station PR’s partnering agencies, Firecracker Events & Marketing ( www.firecracker.pro ), agrees. “If we look at global trends in relation to brand activities, it’s all about finding that unique experience or event that drives a multitude of KPI’s.” says brand strategist, Nicola Probyn. “And those KPI’s all feed directly into the brand’s marketing and PR strategies.
Firecracker has built a solid reputation over the years for servicing a host of entrepreneurs and projects that are of an international calibre and that have found their way to SA shores. Many of these events have joined the ranks of annual ‘must attend’ occasions. “Fulfilment, or events, has always been a primary service offering at Firecracker. Now more than ever, we see a bigger need for brands to host events or experiences, and to drive consumer engagement that can be included in the over-riding brand strategy to drive brand objectives. This is where the consumer mindset is – so it should be where the brands are as well,” concludes Probyn.