By Sarah Tourville
A phrase we hear regularly in the world of PR and Marketing is digital exhaust, meaning there’s too much content being communicated that brands are struggling to get heard above the noise. I completely agree as its the challenge we face at Media Frenzy Global as we consider the best ways to promote our clients and help tell their story. When I was given the opportunity to speak at Digital Summit Atlanta recently, I felt it would be a great platform to address this problem and help PR professionals and marketers consider different ways to ignite their PR storytelling and stand apart.
When preparing my presentation, I looked back at the history of PR and I was shocked to learn the first press release was written in 1906! This is incredible when you consider that for many PR pros this is still a go-to platform 112 years later. But if you are like Media Frenzy Global whose sole purpose is to build innovative and disruptive brands, traditional PR platforms sometimes outdated and dull. This is why we are on a quest to improve our story telling methods, to help our clients drive attention and connect with their audience.
Here are some ways our customers have ignited their PR story telling:
1. PPRO operates within a fairly traditional, conservative finance industry, but they don’t let this hold them back. Instead, they are the brand that shines brighter than the others because of their creative approach to storytelling. A great example is their presence at major trade shows like Money 2020 where they abandon traditional booth design and replace with a beautiful garden with fresh grass and flowers to reinforce their brand story of ‘grow with PPRO.’ Prior to this unique idea, PPRO created a trade show beach, where they imported sand and placed deck chairs for customers to sit, reinforcing their proposition to ‘relax with PPRO.’ Another example of their creative thinking in their presentations at conferences. PowerPoint is nowhere to be seen as PPRO turns a normal speaker opportunity into a ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ game show. This approach enables PPRO’s CEO Simon Black to engage with the audience, invite partners onto the stage to participate while educating the wider audience about local payment methods. Genius!
2. The media loves shock data which is why our client in the background screening industry is digging deep into their own big data to identify numbers and trends that tell a story. They know this is a far stronger strategy than conducting independent research with a consulting or analyst firm- which their competitors can easily do. Instead they want to scrape their own data sets to tell a unique and powerful story about vertical trends in their market. Their industry is evolving rapidly and the data they find will help identify trends and predict outcomes. Once this data is ready, we plan to integrate within their PR programs and share across multiple platforms. We know the media will be hungry for this data as its raw and authentic.
3. Storytelling you can touch is powerful, which is why AR and VR is dominating the marketing and PR conversation. Our client You Are Here is an expert in this arena and is known for constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to telling stories. Where I think VR is most effective is at trade shows, as my time at this year’s SXSW enabled me to experience NASA’s newest VR experiences which transported me to Greenland. I flew in low altitudes over Greenland’s most stunning scenery and dove beneath the ocean’s surface to see what NASA’s studies are revealing. The experience was incredible and it made videos and brochures which you typically see at trade shows appear lame.
4. Cogeco Peer 1 is a brand we love working with due to the integrated nature of the projects we are involved with. This type of marketing speaks to what we truly believe in, which is that PR should not work in isolation as it’s more effective when part of an integrated marketing program. The crucial part to figure out is how to take one brand message and relay that message across multiple platforms telling the same story but in different yet similar ways. As we prepared for their participation at SXSW this year, we looked at ways to tell their Map of the Internet story across multiple brand awareness platforms. We had a lot of fun developing branded assets and then weaved the same messaging through PR pitches.
PR has come a long way since the first press release but it’s too easy to get complacent and keep doing what we have always done. Think strategically and creatively about your brand and get ready to further ignite the conversation.