22 July 2007



It's interesting you should say that. I've recently started working with a PR agency (I'm an integrated agency planner) and the thing that struck me first away is that they don't really seem to get the idea of strategy.

But if I think about it, they are circling around one place with lots of different ideas.

I think what would help me and I'm not sure how you guys do it, is if they at least made it clear that they were approaching the same topic from lots of different angles with lots of different hooks, and why these different angles would work.

At the moment in my experience it seems to be more the case: we could do some lobbying and then we could do some press work and then we could talk to some KOLs etc. but not why and what it will bring.

Otherwise I basically agree with you. PR is about the public and getting them to talk about things, and as we all know the public likes to talk about lots of different things and in lots of different ways.

James Gordon-MacIntosh

Max, it could just be that you are at the wrong agency ...?!

But you are right, an awful lot of strategic thinking in PR is - often at best - a handful of slides that say "here is the commercial objective and here is the way that we will try and crack it with some stuff that will get media coverage/the ear of someone who might influence the people we want to get to as an end audience".

And that is more-or-less it.

This is driven by the fact that PR is tactic-led and relies on third parties to carry messages. For too many PRs therefore, success is getting coverage or getting a meeting with someone influential - from politicial to pop star, depending on the brand.

Too few focus on what the impact will be of that third-party endorsement - actually because that in itself is a really hard thing to measure, so generally, we try not to.

The thing that people don't really get about the whole "velcro effect" of good PR is that it has to be about lots of people hooked BY THE SAME OR A SIMILAR THING. Otherwise, you don't end up with a single bond made up of lots of hooks.

SO, the objective in all activity has to be the same - it's just that there are lots of little ways of achieving it. Glad that you agreed with the basic premise - and nice to know that someone from outside PR recognises the usefulness of it all.

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