Can new ideas and unique stories be a better evaluation than quantity of media coverage achieved?

Yes, the quality versus quantity war has been an ongoing one. Everytime one would discuss a PR campaign, “the number of media clippings” versus quality of “media coverage” is a never-ending discussion. Most times its difficult for brands to agree upon that even few good pieces of media coverage can create magic, instead of looking at the number of media clips achieved. 

So, can we work harder on showcasing how new ideas or one different approach can create a new campaign? Does it need a paradigm shift or simply a new environment? Can we walkthrough with our clients on the goals they intend to achieve, but convince them to take a new route?

Too many questions, I understand. But enough for us to ponder about. Any good campaign has always been about a brilliant idea, which probably seemed simple and filled the need-gap, but took time to surface. For instance, I remember the Dove print ad talking about the most common girl names in the country. And imagine the resonance those top five names created with the campaign. Those women felt special for that one day – for just having a common name – but reading their name all over the newspapers. You could attribute my happy memory of the campaign, because my name was on number 2, but then who doesn’t remember ideas that take a personalised approach. The campaign generated enough buzz, innumerable conversations, captured mindpace and I’m confident would have created impactful PR conversations too. 

Thus, emphasising that we need ideas that create their own space, rather than just pushing a brand to be visible in innumerable publications and without an interesting conversation starter. 

Great ideas also get converted to actionable on-ground events. And this is possible because of the simplicity of the idea and the fact that we could easily relate to the idea being actionable. Which reminds me of the “Earth Hour” campaign. It was a simple doable idea that saw public participation, social media conversations, audiences spending time to actually switch off lights. Conclusively, an idea that saw self-induced participation, interest from media to write about the public interest, an innovative story to share – all from an idea that could be easily implemented. 

Yes, great PR campaigns are all about impressive stories. But they also carry an element of being easy to implement, or easy to understand and easy to talk about. That’s what makes them memorable and worthy enough to get written about. And this is when the brand will witness amazing stories being written for them, because it has captured media interest. Then no one would look at how many clips this generates, but simply the fact that it’s a story that everyone wants to write about. 

Something for the road and for you to chew on. Bombay Sweet shop – is the latest entrant in Mumbai’s landscape for mithai, which intends to be reinterpreted, reimagined and recreate magic, when it comes to Indian sweets! It’s a simple idea of creating a unique experience around Indian mithai. But something that captivated all media. Each story talks how the founders wanted to go back to yesteryear memories and create experiences around sweets. Especially, when Indian’s love their “meetha”! To share a story that’s intrinsically Indian, can be a beautiful gift and toys with all ingredients special to us – will automatically generate enough visibility, beyond just keeping a tab on the number of media coverage (clips).

So, start with believing in a great story, make it relatable and memorable. Brands will walk the route of quality versus quantity, all thanks to the #IdeaTank that you generate. 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Pooja Trehan, VP, Communications & Public Policy.

Building brands through story-telling is what keeps me going! Having spent 18years in this industry, I am far more excited to experiment on what's next to unlearn. Worked with industries across FMCG, Oil & Gas, Technology, Fashion, Telecom, Media House, F&B and now Sports, my curiosity to craft a narrative only gets deeper. Marathons, Black Coffee, learning about Scotch and Malts, reading everything i can, travelling, are few of other personal passions that I happily pursue.

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