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.