The Gateway To Revolutionising Brand Relationships
By Kirsty McKinnon, Account Director, MSL London
There has been much debate about the changing nature of public relations, with the PR agency’s role moving from a traditional one of generating messages to that of a creator and aggregator of content. Multimedia content is now created and exploited across platforms as brands increasingly move to engaging directly with their consumers.
As consumers we have an insatiable appetite for entertaining, informative and inspiring content, whether it’s videos on You Tube, short blogs on Twitter or pictures on Pinterest. Brands now understand that to engage consumers they need to publish fresh and exciting content, so that they can connect with, win and retain new customers. Moreover, social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are revolutionising the way we communicate and start conversations with people we know and with people we have never met.
Behind The Scenes Videos
Take celebrity led campaigns. Up until recently, PR activity focused on ad amplification and placing celebrity interviews in national news and women’s weeklies. Now, these are just two of the tactics in a PR’s arsenal. Ambassadors now engage directly with consumers via Twitter, Facebook and live webchats, revealing a deeper connection with the brand. Behind the scenes videos are commonplace on Youtube – and clock up views often in the hundreds of thousands. This ad for cat food brand Sheba featuring Eva Longoria clocked up more than 50,000 views in less than a week.
What’s more, Reebok released a behind the scenes video of Australian model, Miranda Kerr, endorsing the EasyTone range on YouTube, which has received more than 30,000 views to date. The video reveals how she credits the footwear to helping her stay fit and in shape, despite caring for her young son and travelling across the world on high profile modelling assignments.
Brands are also using multiple platforms to draw attention to CSR-led initiatives. Take Specsavers, the UK’s No. 1 opticians, which has pledged £600,000 for eyecare charity Vision Aid Overseas to build a new school of optometry in Zambia’s capital Lusaka and to fund nine vision centres in Zambia. To bring this campaign to life and engage consumers, it released a film of broadcaster and journalist Fiona Philips visiting the country to officially open the first eyecare clinic and raise awareness of the plight of Zambians to have access to eyecare – something that us Brits take for granted.
The video was linked on Facebook and Twitter and a dedicated page set up on YouTube with a call to action for consumer to donate money to this cause.
Interestingly, once seen as the domain of mass market brands to curate content that can be used across multiple platforms, it is now commonplace to see luxury and prestige brands curating content with excellence. These brands are heavily investing in developing assets to announce and showcase their latest ambassador/s and product lines, or developing short films that creatively display their brand heritage.
Recently Cartier, the purveyor of fine jewellery, released a cinema epic: L’Odysee de Cartier and seeded it out on YouTube. The video focused on the brands history, its values and inspiration and its artistic and universal scope. Directed by Bruno Aveillan, the masterpiece has achieved more than 50 million views in two months. In addition, a leading designer fragrance TV advert featuring Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly was premiered simultaneously on their website and YouTube.
This has now achieved nearly two million views. So, although PR agencies are seen to be creating and aggregating content, the traditional role is still largely the same of generating messages and creating conversations with target audiences. The only difference now is that social media is the gateway to creating those relationships faster and allows us to be more creative on how we do this.
Originally posted on MSLLondon Blog.