Why Nothing Matters More in PR than Creativity

niuton-may_pr-picture

Originally posted on D&AD.

Following the introduction of the new D&AD Professional Awards category for PR, Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR, offers some award-winning creative PR examples and tips. She explains why, in the ever-changing landscape of creative communications, PR matters. Continue Reading →

Consumer/Lifestyle Branding Digest, May 4, 2016


The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing
(Harvard Business Review, 20.04.16)

Dan Lyons’s book Disrupted is an often-delightful tour through startup culture, based on the author’s experience working at online marketing firm HubSpot. Despite taking the faux-curmudgeonly attitude of an anthropologist exploring the strange world of business dudes — is a sales funnel really that much of a novelty? — Lyons’s dissection of the startup world is warmly humorous far more often than it’s coldly cynical.


PR Gaining Greater Respect & Influence in Marketing Strategy
(Business2Community, 17.04.16)

Public relations is gaining greater leverage and respect in brand marketing. Many companies and brands are bestowing a larger role on public relations in their overall marketing and brand management strategy, sometimes even a leading role.


5 Subtly Effective Marketing Strategies You Never Considered Before
(Forbes, 14.04.16)

Content is king has become something of a buzzword in the world of Internet marketing. And 98% of marketers say this is their core strategy. To an extent, it’s true, but if you think you are going to post lots of content and reap the rewards you are sadly mistaken. There’s far more to making your business a success than that.


Top Ways to Use Data to Build Relationships
(Marketing Week, 08.02.16)

Consumers have a greater appreciation of their data’s value than ever before and how brands use it will ultimately determine whether they can build meaningful relationships with their target audience.


“#Content was never King. But great #communication and #teaching always have been and always will be.” —Marcus Sheridan


Why Awards Matter to PR

Brad.K

Originally posted on PRWeek.com.

The ever-shifting landscape has brought seismic changes to PR, and now creativity matters more than ever.

Continue Reading →

Corporate Branding Digest, April 18, 2016


‘Pure Michigan’ Campaign Under Fire as Water Crisis Worsens
(Ragan’s PR Daily, 11.04.16)

As scrutiny surrounding the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, increased this week, PR pros took to social media to express dismay at the state’s seemingly tone-deaf continuation of its “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.


Communications Teams Must Plan for Crisis, Former American Airlines Executive Andrea Huguely Urges
(Tulsa World, 31.03.16)

Failing to plan is planning to fail, crisis communications consultant Andrea Huguely said during her presentation at the Tulsa Chapter of The Association for Women in Communications’ workshop Wednesday morning.


Crisis of the Week: Valeant Effort at Communication Under Microscope
(The Wall Street Journal, 28.03.16)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is in the crisis spotlight this week, after announcing it was starting a search for a new chief executive, naming activist investor William Ackman to its board and blaming some of its problems on its former chief financial officer, Howard Schiller, who then responded to the company’s allegations against him. The company admitted “tone at the top of the organization” may have been a factor in its “improper revenue recognition.”


Engaging and Informing Employees During a Crisis
(Fei Daily, 23.03.16)

Most crisis communication plans depend at least somewhat on the ability and willingness of employees to come to work – but that assumption may not be valid.


“If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.” —Henry A. Kissinger


PR: The Evolution of “Spin”

Andreanna Moya Photography

Originally posted on Forbes.com.

PR sometimes gets a bad rap for being a spin cycle. I like to look at it a different way. Public relations, like all communications disciplines, has been marked by standards, strategies and tactics that roll along and change over time. Sometimes they even spin full circle, taking us on circuitous detours on the way to ending up back where we were.

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Your Turn to Celebrate Our 40th: Free Agile PR Seminars

Attention, communications pros: We’re marking our major milestone with several initiatives that give a fond nod to the past while looking to the future, including one targeted to you. The Havas PR team is authoring a book, Agile PR, scheduled to debut before Christmas from AMACOM. In the lead-up, we’re conducting seminars on agile PR—our term for expert messaging in a hyperconnected, always-on, complex world—and we’re offering the first 40 respondents a free seminar in the setting of your choice. (Staff training session? Client-invite event? One-on-one? You decide.) Click here to sign up.

Lifestyle/Consumer Branding Digest, February 17, 2016


The New Face of Public Relations: Tricks and Tools of Today’s Practitioner
(Marketing Land, 11.02.16)

The battle to earn consumers’ attention is on. But it’s not going to be won in a display ad or in the search box. It’s not going to be won on television or via in-store signage. It’s going to be won by brands that stop shouting at their consumers and start having conversations with them.


How to Become a ‘Craft’ Brand by Using Content
(Marketing Week, 11.02.15)

Big brands can tap into consumers’ obsession with ‘craft’ and ‘artisan’ goods by using content to change perceptions, even if their product is mass-produced, but they need a credible story.


3 Millennial Marketing Tips from Taylor Swift
(Entrepreneur, 19.01.15)

There’s no doubt that 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album release, Taylor’s world tour generated over $4 million per show — a small piece of her current empire. And that success rolls on: As the highest-earning musician in the world, Swift makes more than $1 million per day in revenue.


Why Building an Audience Is so Hard (And Why I’m Still Trying)
(Search Engine Journal, 24.12.14)

It’s easy to feel like you can grow a loyal audience in no time using the latest growth hacks or Twitter and Facebook tricks. But the truth is, it’s not that simple. Growing an audience is hard. You have to have talent. You have to put in a lot of work. And there’s no 1–2–3 solution.


“Brands need to pay attention to their writing as a differentiator re personality, too. Good writing is often undervalued in content.” —Ann Handley


Consumer/Lifestyle Branding Digest, December 16, 2015


What Publishers Should Learn from Brands
(MediaPost, 12.11.15)

Earlier this week I attended IIeX Forums 2015, a two-day event that brings together consumer insights professionals, market research companies and technology firms. The first day focused on behavioral marketing; the second, techniques like neuroscience and biometrics, which can measure certain behaviors that happen before the consumer is even aware of it. Attention and emotion are two types of “nonconscious behaviors” that were discussed extensively.


Make It Easy for Customers to Make Your Brand a Habit
(Business2Community, 05.12.15)

For the average person, the rise of mobile has made things easier. Traffic warnings and subway updates reach you wherever you are. Taking a high-quality picture can be as easy as lifting your arm. And cashing a check no longer means searching out a physical bank branch–and if you DO want to find a bank, mobile makes that easier, too.


How Coca-Cola Overhauled Its Marketing in 2015
(Marketing Week, 14.12.15)

Back in March this year, Coca-Cola introduced a one brand strategy where its four product variants, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life were placed under one Coca-Cola master brand instead of being marketed as separate products.


What One Direction and Trump Can Teach CMOs About the New Definition of Celebrity Branding
(Forbes, 10.12.15)

As brands seek to maintain relevance and momentum among Millennials and Gen Z, collaborating with celebrities presents opportunity and new complexity. It’s a move that requires careful consideration and the full involvement of chief marketers.


“Those who dismiss the value of PR nearly always seem to be the ones who need it most.” —David Alexander


Corporate Branding Digest, November 2, 2015


Employer Branding: Why It’s Time Marketing, Execs and HR Worked Together
(VentureBeat, 01.11.15)

When working at Virgin circa 1993 I recall the managing director of Virgin Games, Tim Chaney, claiming that the Virgin brand was one of the most recognized brands in the U.K. At the time, Richard Branson was building his empire on service/product promise, savvy advertising and word of mouth—well before PCs on desks with Microsoft Word and Google was commonplace. The realization of that time: the Virgin employer brand naturally inspired acquisition of talent, retention and loyalty of employees, and communicated a clear vision to optimize performance and engagement.


Even the Smallest Business Can Sink Its Teeth into These 10 Branding Lessons from Apple
(Business2Community, 28.10.15)

It’s difficult to imagine a more inspirational branding success story than Apple. Founded by two college dropout buddies who borrowed the money to build their first computers based on good faith and a promise, Apple is now America’s first $700 billion company. Moreover, it is one of the most recognized, respected and iconic brands in the world.


Chinese Companies’ Global Public Relations Imperative
(Forbes, 26.10.15)

“For many Chinese companies, ‘branding’ means designing a new logo, ‘marketing’ is the equivalent of purchasing ads on China Central Television (CCTV), and ‘P.R.’ stands not for ‘public relations’ but rather ‘pay the reporter.” David Wolf, a China PR veteran, shared this joke with me a few years ago. While it is certainly a generalization, Wolf’s words should not be taken lightly. He literally wrote the book on public relations in China and has spent the better part of two decades in the Middle Kingdom advising Western and Chinese executives on public relations and crisis management. His words hit on the critical reality that Chinese companies tend to focus on business activities linked to short-term performance, such as sales, rather than less “tangible” ones that are essential to long-term success, such as marketing, advertising and public relations.


3 Ways to Create the Company Culture You Want
(Entrepreneur, 06.10.15)

Successful businesses have learned to look beyond skills to whether prospective employees mesh with their company culture from the start.


“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” —Jack Welch


Cause Branding Digest, September 1, 2015


Here’s How Ethical Business Can Be Good Business, Too
(Quartz, 29.08.15)

From sponsoring the local Little League to developing environmentally-responsible technologies, US companies have long invested in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Today, they spend an estimated $2 billion in cause marketing and another $14 billion in corporate philanthropy (IEG, Giving USA). And for many leading companies, from Wal-Mart to JPMorgan Chase, that means investing literally hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.


Why Meaning Beats Marketing
(Triple Pundit, 10.07.15)

These days you’ll hear lots about growth-hacking, social media savvy, PR pushes, and ways to spend your advertising and marketing dollars. I think it’s important to add one more option to that list — one that changes the dynamics of all the rest. Beyond (and sometimes instead of) focusing on the above, you can work on one simple aspect: making your product more meaningful.


6 Challenges for Cause Marketing Outside the US
(The NonProfit Times, 30.06.15)

The overall success of cause marketing campaigns in the United States has caught the attention of nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, making such ventures in an international setting look tempting.


Bringing Cause Marketing Forward
(MediaPost, 10.11.14)

Marketing can be a fierce competition around the holidays, but for some companies the holiday season brings out their more humanitarian sides as well. As consumers start planning get-togethers with family and friends over long weekends, marketers tap into their customers’ sentimental feelings and bring their chosen causes to the forefront of their campaigns (those marketers who have causes, anyway).


“Over the last 15 years we’ve developed our brand into a global brand, and we wanted our giving to follow suit.” —Tommy Hilfiger