We have all heard that in order to stand out, we need to innovate and challenge established practices. But in a competitive PR landscape, how do we as consultants achieve this? It is no longer good enough to just create brilliant ideas for clients, we need to extend beyond traditional promotional tactics by moving away from what’s normal, comfortable and easy.
Don’t talk product, talk impact
Standing out from the crowd goes beyond talking about great product. We need to be positioning brands to talk about the real impact that they having on the communities and the people they are trying to reach. What are the benefits that innovation brings? This is far more appealing to consumers than the hard facts. Consumers are far more likely to relate to human interest stories. Even without the product being mentioned, brands are still seeing higher returns when they tell compelling stories. This is what will set them apart.
Embrace the synergy
For traditional PR experts, adopting social media practices has been slow and somewhat intimidating. But to generate the results that we want, leveraging social media is a non-negotiable with the two going hand-in-hand. The shift to digital has completely transformed our PR processes and we need to constantly evolve to match how people are consuming content and interacting. Changing our approach and mindsets to blend traditional and social media methods is how we are going to get the most out of our client’s brands.
Networking with industry competitors
This may seem counterintuitive but there is opportunity in creative collaboration with the competition. All agencies share common goals and we all have resources that can be mutually beneficial when shared. By reaching out, we are opening the door for collaborative possibilities which can stimulate innovation that benefits all parties. A strategic combination has the potential to produce big ideas that really stand out.
This seems obvious but as consultants we have the capabilities to innovate and improvise in any situation. Sometimes we might feel afraid that our ideas are unconventional but the reality is that we can pull off anything as long as we have solid insights backed up by research. It can be challenging presenting these bold concepts to clients who might be hesitant to take on something new. After all, they want results!
Innovation is going to continue to challenge brands and consultants to differentiate themselves from competitors. Those who fail to adopt new thinking are going to struggle to stay relevant. Those who continue to evolve with the ever-changing business environment and consumer demands are going to reap the benefits of standing out.
Written by Charmaine du Plessis, Account Manager, B2B