By: Adam Goodreau
Every June, over 11,000 delegates from all over the world travel to Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France to celebrate creativity. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is known to many as the largest assembly of professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers. Gaining its inspiration from the Canes Film Festival, the seven-day festival awards and celebrates the best of creativity and brand communication within: Film, Film Craft, Media, Press, Outdoor, Cyber, Promo & Activation, Design, Radio, Mobil, Branded Content & Entertainment, Creative Effectiveness and PR.
How does PR make its way into an international festival of creativity?
According to Cannes Lions, “Public Relations is the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organizations and their publics/audiences.” To receive an award for PR at Cannes is to creatively demonstrate that there has been change within a corporate policy. Most importantly, that the change builds and preserves trust between any organization and its publics.
How does Cannes define change?
Anne Davis, PR jury president, says that the jury focuses on: “Creativity, innovation, freshness and ingenuity… Earned trust through influence powered by authenticity… Change. Change could be behavioral, or change in conversations, in minds, in lives, in societies, in laws… And then ultimately we asked the question, ‘Why does this work matter?”
What does this mean for you and me?
As PR professionals we should all be asking ourselves, “Why does this work matter?” Our work matters as we influence change. As communicators we have the ability to cause change within society by fostering interpersonal relationships. Through these relationships we can influence behaviors, policies, conversations and laws. In being influencers, we also have the ability to be creative. We can meet our audiences and publics through creativity, making the “story” compelling and relevant. Finding purpose and channeling creativity allows us to be effective agents of change.
By: Hannah Saltzman
On Friday, Facebook for Ireland and Spain is releasing a trial run of a new emotions feature called "Reactions." Part of the “like” button will now include 6 emojis to represent different emotions. There will be a heart for love, a red angry face for mad, a teary face for sad, a laughing face for laughing out loud, a surprised face for “wow” and a closed-eye smiley face for “yay.” According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook constantly gets requests for a “dislike” button. However, Zuckerberg does not want to turn Facebook into a place where people up and down vote a post, so he and his team came up with the reactions feature. Zuckerberg said this new feature will allow people to be sympathetic on Facebook. For example, someone might not feel comfortable liking a sad post so instead you can use the sad reaction button to make your response more appropriate. While they are testing the six different reactions in Ireland and Spain, every user can look out for the “LOL” and “yay” reactions.
By: Erin Antonelli
On October 12, Facebook announced it would test out a new shopping feature on its site. The feature, called Canvas, will begin testing in select areas of the country.
The idea behind Canvas is to cut out the middleman between Facebook and retailers. When users click on in-feed ads they will no longer be directed to the company’s website, but instead be able to purchase directly through Facebook. It also allows for users to browse through other items that the company sells. Currently, there are a limited number of brands. It is mostly larger retailers such as Target and Niemen Marcus. If Canvas is successful, however, the number of retailers could expand.
Facebook developed the feature in response to the needs of the user. Many users no longer look at Facebook solely as a place to connect with family and friends. According to Facebook’s research, nearly half the people who visit their sites were actively seeking new products. This feature will meet their needs as well as drive sales for the businesses they are purchasing from.
Facebook is not the first social media site to join in the e-commerce game. Both Pinterest and Twitter have seen success with shopping features. Facebook is, however, the largest with around 1.23 billion users. Adding a shopping feature could entice even more users or convince current users to spend more time on the site.
By: Allison Haworth
Many Snapchat users have probably discovered that the well-known filters that appear when you swipe right on your picture, a recent upgrade to the application, have gotten snappers deforming their face through the use of selfie lenses.
In order to get to these new selfie lenses, it is necessary to have the most recent upgrade. To get to the lenses, the Snapchat user must tap and hold on the screen while on the selfie camera view. Eight new lenses will appear on the screen and are ready to be used.
This remarkable upgrade to the app has gotten so much attention that it has attracted many new users. Snapchat has been considered one of the top players for social media, and through the development of the new additions; it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
This buzz about the new selfie lenses has created a large progression of publicity. Through all these new filters, companies believe it is a good idea to sponsor themselves via Snapchat. Although this branding doesn’t come with a cheap price, Snapchat is charging millions for an ad on one of their filters during peak seasons. Many Snapchat users don’t mind the ads as long as it provides them with a fun new frame to take a selfie with.
So get out there, test out the new Snapchat lenses and get your selfie on!
By: Paige Roberts
Public Relations and branding is everywhere; billboards while you’re driving down the highway, on the radio, television commercials; literally everywhere. But one source of PR and branding that has come to attention in recent days is, Will Ferrell.
Yes, the comedy legend Will Ferrell is more or less a walking PR campaign for a number of different brands. However he does so in a rather discrete way. He isn’t starring in commercials in order to endorse a product or promote a brand. He campaigned for Wonder Bread in his Nascar inspired movie, Talladega Nights. He supported Lego by starting in their recent animated film. And even advertised for, Little Debbie by naming himself the newest face of the sweet treat during his appearance on the, Tonight Show.
This unique branding technique inspired by Will Ferrell even has it’s own name. Adweek.com marked the term for this method as, “Ferrellvertising.” Some may think that it’s a silly way of branding for a company or even for Will Ferrell to be taking part in it. But when Wonder Bread went from being in bankruptcy to gaining $4.3 million in exposure (adag.com), who will really be laughing?
Next time you’re looking to sell a good or service instead of turning to your traditional PR firm for branding techniques you may want to consider the, “Ferrellvertising” method.
By: Jack Bernard
With the arrival of spring many things are changing, including your PR strategy. Crystal Richard, the PR director for Onboardly, has come up with five spring-cleaning tips for your public relations strategy.
1. Try a new style.
2. Clear the clutter and get back to your “why.”
3. Evaluate how you are using your time.
4. Rethink your press releases.
5. Add new tools to your daily routine.
How can you change up your PR strategy this spring?
By: Paige Garty
While the weather in Oxford is beginning to heat up, so is the attention that 72andSunny is getting. The LA-based advertisement agency was recently ranked in the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2015. The CEO, John Boiler, believes that advertising is all “about behavior, not messaging.” And this is exactly the focus for the agency’s latest campaign.
The “Ask the Google App” Campaign can be seen all over New York City. Frequently asked questions are posted all over the city’s landmarks to promote the usage of Google’s new app. The questions focus on the consumers’ behaviors and attitudes toward their potential, everyday thoughts.
Where most companies would create a commercial to get their message out, 72andSunny submerged their ads into locations that correspond with consumers’ questions. Some of their ads include signs outside of art exhibits that read, “Ok Google, what is Conceptual art?” Every ad is positioned in specific location or on a certain item where a person might stop to ponder what they are actually looking at.
72andSunny’s campaign is just one way how agencies are making advertisements a more customary and common part of our lives. Want to know what the other 49 Most Innovative Companies are? Go here: http://www.fastcompany.com/section/most-innovative-companies-2015
By: Rachael Booth
As years go by, trends and fads change. Whether it’s the transition from the Razor to the iPhone, or the typewriter to the computer; technology improves, and interests change. Even when it seems technology has reached its paramount of capabilities, something new is created and surprises us with features we never dreamed to be possible.
The economy is fueled by these popular and new industries. Today we live in an Internet based society where Apple dominates this generation of smartphones and computers. However, many have argued that Apple is finished and doomed. Analysts suggest that Apple is all out of ideas and society is transitioning away from their brilliant inventions.
Although this is a feasible accusation, Apple has been accused of this before and has responded with record-breaking sales of new inventions. For example, Analysts claimed Apple would be finished…
• Before the iPod came out in 2001.
• Before the iPhone came out in 2007.
• And right before the iPad came out in 2010.
As you can see, Apple has bounced back and proved critics wrong.
So what’s the future of Apple and how will they maintain their relationship with the public? It will be important for Apple to study the public’s attitudes and desires about future products and therefore keep their place as one of the most recognizable companies.
Although Apple’s next commodity has not been revealed, it is speculated that in three years, 485 million of these new devices will be sold a year. As our society continues to improve technologically, it will be interesting to see what the 2015 launch will be.
Brooks, M., (2015). The billion-dollar ace hidden up apple’s sleeves. The Motley Fool.
By: Tali Hunt
This is the story of another media company that had its start in a garage. Ben Nunery and Pat Jones decided to act upon their shared passion for using music and design. In 1999, they started a poster print shop in the garage of their rental home. Their company grew to become Powerhouse Factories in 2004, now located in Covington, Kentucky.
Powerhouse’s website states the following about brands and agency marketers:
“They told us our artistic disposition and “bands as brands” perspective was a unique approach to breathing new life into their otherwise stale consumer insights, and brand and consumer experience strategy. The cultural lens through which we viewed the world – brand, consumers and products – provided the dimensionality that was otherwise lacking from their traditional marketing approaches.”
Powerhouse claims that it is not a traditional marketing agency.
Powerhouse is developing itself as time goes on. They are continuing to work to develop the idea that content and product are one in the same.
They close their bio page on their site with: “The marketing landscape has changed. Powerhouse is committed to changing the agency game.”
With today’s digital media and the ever increasing pace that content is created and shared, should more marketing agencies work toward unifying the content and brands that they are promoting as one idea, instead of two dependent ones?
This information and more about Powerhouse Factories can be found at www.powerhousefactories.com.
by Paige Garty
You and your friends go on a hiking trip and to remember your good times you snap a ‘selfie.’ Later, you post that picture onto social media. Little do you know you and your social media followers are not the only ones who can see the picture from your hiking excursion. Ditto Labs in Massachusetts created new software that scans people’s photos from different social media sites for companies to track how their customers are responding to their product in everyday life.
1.8 billion photos are uploaded to social networking sites every day. This means 1.8 billion photos are being scanned every day from sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. The software allows companies to track the logos and patterns on people’s clothing, the location of the picture, and even reads facial expressions to determine the satisfaction of the customer.
The new program is a dream come true for marketing firms. They can now carry out extensive research with little effort and can find out vast information about their products’ consumers. Based on the results form Dittos Labs’ program, Advertisers can find out exactly how they should target their customers.
You may be thinking that this is totally intrusive and simply cannot be legal, but the director of Big Brother Watch (a group that challenges policies which it believes threaten people’s privacy) says otherwise. Emma Carr told MailOnline, “Social media companies are well within their rights to scan photos for marketing purposes, which will certainly come as a surprise to many users.”
I guess it is true what they say: be careful what you post on the Internet!
by Sarah Emery
Although birthdays are an exciting time of year for anyone, sharing a birthday with John Lennon (who would have turned 74 on October 9th) just makes my special day even more unique.
How did this young man and his fellow Beatles band members become some of the most iconic names in musical history? Although they had incredible talent and charisma, even Lennon himself credited their success in a 1960s interview to the fact they “had a press agent”.
The man behind much of the early success of The Beatles, Tony Barrow, started his career writing a slightly risqué alternative to his school’s newspaper. When hired, Barrow started with the mindset of promoting The Beatles with the regional press. He knew he could gain support for this new band from Liverpool organizations. Barrow soon began to branch out in his PR work, including ghostwriting articles and creating special Christmas records, helping The Beatles achieve more and more fame.
His job couldn’t have been easy. Take a look at some of the pictures and the comments that he constantly had to deal with.
What can students take away from the rarely told story of the PR mastermind behind The Beatles? Although even he admits that a lot of his good fortune came from being in the right place at the right time, it’s important to point out how he took advantage of his connections in his own community. Rather than taking the boys straight to London, Barrow garnered support from their hometown of Liverpool.
Obviously, Barrow is an incredibly successful agent who utilized every opportunity he had to promote his clients. How can we do this in our own work, especially with the Internet right at our fingertips? How can we emulate Barrow and start small, to hopefully make it even bigger than anyone could’ve imagined?
by Kaylie Kueppers
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) now has a new strategy for 2014-2016. They have adapted the past mission and vision to help the profession continue forward and allow the association to be the best for it’s members.
The new vision of PRSA is to be more focused on allowing public relations to lead the way of achieving goals. This means that PR will no longer just be another aspect of a company but now come before marketing and advertising.
The new mission will allow all members of PRSA to achieve their goals without discrimination and by having the correct resources available. This means that PRSA will continually be changing to be the best association for public relations professionals.
PRSA is also going to be focused on growing the association because the field of public relations is growing rapidly. This will allow for a more diverse field as well as more input from members.
This is a video created by PRSA explaining the exciting plans for the future.
by Kaylie Kueppers
Have you ever wondered why you are pulled to things like Google, Disney, and Netflix?
A study conducted by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) says that this is due to emotional linking.
Public relations use this emotional linking to connect you to their product through marketing techniques and branding. They do this by finding ways for the consumer to see their brand as positive. Many of the decisions we make are greatly dependent on emotional factors.
With this information companies are informed of which marketing and public relations strategies work and which do not. They can use the branding to their advantage to avoid competition.
Next time you search with Google instead of Bing, ask yourself, why?