Re designing the World of PR [People Relations]


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The world is changing, fast, and our clients are facing huge transformations. There is a strong call for change, in the PR industry like everywhere. At a recent conference, our chief strategy officer Pascal Beucler was asked to stimulate a discussion on if the PR industry was ready for this change, the challenges we face and the power shifts we need to address, as an industry, to make it happen.

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Re designing the World of PR [People Relations]

  1. From “Public” to People Relations: Re-designing the world of PR for the Conversation Age. P. Beucler “Communication Challenges before the Change – Opportunity 2012”, Novi Sad – November 29, 2012
  2. The future does not fit in the mindsetsor containers of the past.
  3. The world is changing, fast, and our clients are facing huge transformations. There is a strong call for change, in our industry like everywhere.
  4. Too many PR agencies are still organized the way they were 10 years ago……and deliver the sort of services they used to deliver before the Social Turmoil started.
  5. >A recent Forrester Research, presented at the Global PRSummit in Miami last month, says the agency of the future will: >Think less about channels, >Develop a holistic approach, >Integrate channels and services, >Help drive both brands and corporate reputation.
  6. During the Holmes Global PR Summit, Marc Pritchard, GlobalMarketing & Brand Building Officer, P&G, invited PR companies to« take the leadership role the discipline deserves »,in the Conversation Age.Are we ready for this challenge?What are the power shifts we need to address, to make it happen?This is the debate I’d like to introduce through the followingpresentation.
  7. 10 Power Shifts>Ideas: Solidly grounded into insights & foresights>Data: What we need to extract the value from>Purpose & People: Helping businesses drive positive change>Reputation: The tree and the shadow>Content: Remarkable, liquid and linked>Emotional connections: Lefty-righty>Integration: Be holistic>Diversity: Be truly Global, not just « Globalized »>Storytelling: Be The Narrator>Value creation: Moving up the food chain
  8. 1. The Power of Ideas
  9. Insights-grounded Innovation. CEOs around the globe say that: > the key to survival is innovation, «People’s Inside Solutions» > the key to innovation is to get the best insights from people
  10. The Now & The Next.• Insights are about ‘now’, while foresights are about ‘next’. You need both the Now & the Next, to help clients anticipate: • Insights provide you with the capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of contexts, situations, issues and people’s expectations. • Foresights give you the ability to predict what will happen, or be needed in the future, to help your clients succeed in their business strategies.• This is how you help a brand or a company articulate community engagement and their business need > Connecting the business context and the conversation dynamics.
  11. Are we already there, as a PR industry?Not yet, obviously.The Forrester Research shows that clientsgive low marks to PR firms, when it comes todelivering big, strategic ideas, solidly groundedin insights & foresights.”Whether on the Consumer PR side,or on the Corporate one, it’s first of all aboutunderstanding what’s in people’s mind,where the society goes”.
  12. The power of collective intelligence:the worlds most valuable brands use crowdsourcing.
  13. Open Innovation at P&G.“One of the greatest challenges facing companies andtheir leadership today is the range and depth ofinnovation required to drive both top and bottom linegrowth.How can we deliver one without a trade-off on the other?For P&G, open innovation has been critical to resolvingthis dilemma:an innovation strategy we call Connect & Develop.”Dr. Mike Addison, P&G Global Business Development
  14. Power to the People.
  15. 2. The Power of Data
  16. Data Equity.The value of social data to businesses can’t be expressed by asingle number.But when companies take the right social data and apply the rightanalyses to improve decision-making, they create social dataequity.Data is the currency of the Information Age.
  17. Understanding People.• Invest in extensive ‘social listening’ capabilities to crack the sentiment code in real time.• People are talking, we should be listening.• People are taking action, we should be commenting, concluding and then counseling our clients on how best to respond. « Whether on transactions, interactions or content creation, data is whats helping us understand the behaviour of people.” (Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, chairman of the IBM Strategy Team, at the Global PR Summit in Miami).
  18. « Visualize, communicate, utilize the data ».The future of data will not be in acquiring more and more of it.The value to be liberated for Clients is in the storytelling arounddata, a wholly creative endeavour. “The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades... ...Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it” “I think statisticians are part of it, but it’s just a part. You also want to be able to visualize the data, communicate the data, and utilize it effectively” Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google.
  19. 3.The Power of Purpose & People
  20. The goal today is to rewire and reconnect Purpose, Performance & Peoplethrough Participation and Collaborative Social Innovation.
  21. Purpose Driven Marketing.In order to thrive in a social network world, companiesneed to better express and understand their purposeand recognize they are both economic and socialengines of their communities and countries.Areas such as sustainability, community service andcontributions to a greater good will be how Brands willbe increasingly evaluated.Good business is better business.
  22. Sweetness in the mouth, kindness in the heart:The example of Alpenliebe Perfetti in China.We’ve created with the brand an integrated year-longinitiative to: catalyze a kindness movement inspire millions of Chinese youth to appreciate, share stories about and engage in everyday acts of kindness.
  23. Source:
  24. 4. The Power of Reputation.«Character is like a treeand reputation like itsshadow.The shadow is what we think of it.The tree is the real thing.» Abraham Lincoln
  25. Building & defending our clients’ reputation.D. Roman, SVP & CMO Lenovo, talking about brand &corporate reputation: When people buy a product today, theybuy – or not – the company behind (Miami Summit).Taking care of the beliefs or opinions that are generally heldabout an organization, a brand, a product, is definitely our corebusiness.Reputation is our clients’ most valuable asset, which we’retaking good care of in challenging times..What’s challenging today is that the frontiers betweenmainstream media and social media are blurring, as onlineinfluencers are linking to media stories, while newsorganizations are quoting online influencers.
  26. Every crisis is global, viral, social.A good reputation is a solid asset, in case of crisis. It helps a lot,globally and locally. Of course, no crisis is truly local in thishighly interconnected world, as memes or hashtags can spreadglobally in seconds on the social web.Content Intelligence, Community Management and ContactStrategies will make the difference, if well mastered, when itcomes to efficiently engage with people and communities, hereand now.It’s critical to plan and prepare for crisis scenarios,It’s also important to respond to emergent crisis situationsauthentically, without over-reliance on scripted messages andworkflows.
  27. « Corporate Character », the next boundary to Corporate Reputation? “What makes you unique is your beliefs, your values, your purpose. You need this first.” Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, chairman of the IBM Strategy Team, speaking on “Corporate Character” at the Miami Global PR Summit). Iwata: We must become "Chief Collaboration Officers" and Curators of Corporate Character.
  28. 5. The Power of Content.
  29. Social is Content’s best friend.
  30. Liquid & Linked.• « Coca-Cola can no longer rely on 30-second-TV-centric brand communications…we must instead create the most compelling content in the world…we have to have fat and fertile ideas at our core. » (Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy & Creative, Coca-Cola).• Coke’s Content Marketing 2020: « Liquid & Linked » • « Liquid »: consistently creating content « so remarkable that it goes viral and wanders endlessly around the web ». • « Linked »: ensuring that their content « remains close to the heart of their underlying business goals. »• Remarkable content has the power to go viral, and viral content brings tangible results in terms of social shares, visibility,
  31. 6. The Power of Emotional Connections
  32. Reason leads to conclusions.Emotion leads to action.
  33. « Markets consist of human beings,not demographic sectors »• « Markets are conversations.Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked. »• « Human communities are based on discourse – on human speech about human concern »• « The community of discourse is the market »• « Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die » >12 years later, the Utopia turned real. Levine, Locke, Searle & Weinberger The Cluetrain Manifesto
  34. Be Lefty-Righty. How can brands earn emotional connections to people through social? By finding the right ways to connect with them as they’re connecting with others and the things they’re passionate about.
  35. Brand Essence and a Model forEmotive Engagement.« The fabric, the spirit, the persona, the sheer imagery iswhatever you make it.So when you think of your brand, what is it that you thinkor feel?If you had to use just one word to describe your brand’sessence what would it be?It is this answer that should inspire you to think about howit relates to a new genre of connected consumers orGeneration-C. »Brian Solis: Your Brand is more important than you think.
  36. 7. The Power of integration.
  37. Creatively engaging with People& Communities.Clients are expecting a deeper level of integration : they wantglobal solutions, not partial, « siloed », disciplinary-centric,answers.They expect us to provide them with the appropriate accross-the-board Engagement strategies.« The industry could be more assertive and aggressive aboutstaking its claim. There’s so much that the PR industry has tooffer in terms of engagement with consumers in their communitiesand making brands part of those conversations », as MarcPritchard stated it in Miami.
  38. Creative Connected Content.The future of PR is in the fully holistic solution clients areexpecting today: Content Creation + Communities Engagement+ Contact Management.M. Pritchard: Content Creation and Brand Integration is whatPR should mostly contribute to, today (Miami Summit).
  39. 8. The Power of Diversity
  40. Being truly global, not just« globalized »Being truly global, not just « globalized » (with teams ofexpatriates sent abroad) is not an option today: you needto be Indian in India, Chinese in China, Brazilian in Brazil,to deliver effective strategies and PR programms.Global clients expect you to be able to operate acrosstime zones, within different political, economic, and socialsystems and with varying media constraints.
  41. Viva La Difference!Diversity is also essential in terms of Talents’ management:• Deeper understanding between an organization and its publics,• Stronger employee attraction and retention,• Better performance and increased innovation with diverse talents,• Stronger corporate reputation. > The challenge is: how to ensure that every member of the staff knows exactly how to contribute to the greater diversity of the organization every day
  42. 9. The power of a good story
  43. Don’t underestimatethe power of a good story!Telling a good story is what’s creating attention, interest,empathy.M. Pritchard: Reporters, bloggers, consumers are all looking fora good story, and thats the message PR need to bring to the C-Suite (Miami Summit).
  44. Chanel has created a public domainwhich shares the story of thecompany’s history, as well asthe biography of its founder and namesake, Coco Chanel.The site is divided into a timeline of thebiography of Coco and a history of theChanel company, as well as a videohistory of its famous perfume, ChanelNo. 5, entitled ‘For The First Time.’
  45. 10.The Power of value creation.
  46. Move up the food chain• We need to move up the food chain and improve our ability to create inspirational brand experiences: the future of PR is to become the intimate voice of the people in the boardroom, as Marc Pritchard suggests it.• Elevate and liberate innovation across our organizations, to become our clients’ trusted advisors on a long-term basis.• People are less likely to listen to what you say but how a company acts. If they see signs of hype or being misled the social network or what we call “The People’s Network” will spring into life.
  47. From Agency Service Providersto Value Creation PartnersWhat clients expect:• Expert and senior talent on the front line• Flexibility• A genuine people focus• Data and analytics that reveal opportunities and elevatework• Fresh and surprising creative ideas• Creativity applied in the broadest possible sense - acrossstrategy, data analysis, media, and creative execution
  48. Merci.