Movies have got us listening to every possible animal and alien – all of them had something to converse with humans. Interesting how we got dogs, rabbits, cats, lions, hippos, horses, donkeys, rats, birds, bees, Shrek’s of the world to speak to us, about what’s going on in their universe (there are many more, the list is long you see). We beautifully innovated on what any other species would communicate within their fraternity and in a way with us, humans.
So why am I talking about this? In all honesty, after-effects of watching “Hop” and “MIB International”, during my Sunday binges. It just got me wondering that our imagination has no boundaries, literally! We have easily curated our creative set of audiences and designed their communication focus with us. What really stays back or the ‘key-message’ here is our attempt to understand the woes and appreciation of the other side. That for me is value addition. And that is what we as PR & Communication professionals should focus on, till eternity. Dramatic enough? Okay, let me press this thought few more notches.
On a Clubhouse session, last Saturday evening, there were some interesting snippets doing rounds – on how PR can add value in the era of paid editorial! Absolutely valid question or concern if I may say so. This is what I was trying to emphasise upon. Whatever era it may be, but building brands through influencing decisions, will never go out of fashion. Communication is the “eternal black” in the brand building process. But we have to be clear, whatever be the times, focus on what value we bring to table. Never miss out on the reality-check to be value creators, for your brand, your client, your relationships – with media & influencers – or your organisation. This crystal-clear journey is what will ensure we never run out of juice (or business).
So, now going back to the audience set, we began this article with. When designing communication campaigns, simply focus on value-creation, be it your audience or your brand. The minute your campaign understands the need to create value for the focused audience set, you will ultimately evaluate what will work and what will miss the train. Create conversations that create value and impact your target audience, to either believe you or trust your promise. So, when Oogway (the turtle) told Master Shifu (the rabbit) that PO (the Panda will save the world), he had immense conviction in his words! That’s the sort of conviction we should live by and showcase in all our communication campaigns. Then, no Tai Lung (the leopard) can shake your world!
On the topic of creating value, a recent TVC by the ICICI bank got me hooked. A black & white visual rendition, showcasing the problem statement of collecting rent. With changing times, probably senior citizens felt incapable of getting their rent on time and ICICI bought alive a wonderful solution through their campaign – Rent@click! This is value creation in its more earnest form. So, if advertising campaigns, which have always been paid for, can influence decisions, and build brand trust, so can PR sustain for times to come – whatever the era – Paid or Earned.
Once we understand how to create value, on a sustainable and long-term basis, then whatever be the era – traditional or digital – we as communicators will be able to understand our audiences better and speak their language fluently. This is all we need to equip ourselves with.
At a recent PRPOI session, the discussion centered around the need-gap between the skillsets communication students graduate with (from various institutes), versus what the industry really wants (or needs). Some interesting solutions were highlighted by an industry speaker as well as a communications team member. Once again, what’s important here is how students learn the art of creating value for their target audience. Guess, once this basic element is understood then everything can be easily straightened out.
Just go back to the basics, sharpen it, and see how your role of a value-creator will always be the top priority for all stakeholders.
Save the world MIB style and anyone who doesn’t get you, neutralise their memory and kickstart again!
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