Innovation, innovation, innovation. This word infiltrated the communication world in recent years as professionals’ attempt to keep pace with the changing digital world. We, as aspiring PR professionals, must learn some of the tricks to shake up the work we produce for our clients, and provide greater results than ever before. It is time to think outside the box on how to achieve the goals of our clients. By looking at examples of other companies and following some advice from experts, PR strategies can get a much needed makeover.
One common theme seen in innovative PR is creating formal and informal partnerships with brands to help with promotions. You begin to reach multiple demographics and the results can be extremely powerful. An article in PR Daily illustrates how Burger King and Jeep used their Twitter accounts getting hacked as a promotional opportunity. The two accounts tweeted at each other, Burger King saying "Glad everything is back to normal," and Jeep quickly responded with, "Thanks BK. Let us know if you want to grab a burger and swap stories—we'll drive." A simple post created a lot of buzz for the two companies. These opportunities cannot be passed, which requires PR professionals to be sure to be monitoring social media.
Kleenex created an entre campaign that required them to be monitoring social media. They looked for people discussing they weren’t feeling well and then sent them care packages to help relieve symptoms. Giving back, as discussed in this PR Daily article, is one great way to create engagement and positive association with a brand. Many brands have this opportunity, but it’s figuring out how to make it work for you.
However, just looking at what other companies are doing is not enough to create an innovative idea for your client. Innovation is a process that takes time. There are questions PR professionals can ask themselves to help shake up their ideas and strategies.
One method is to pick a target market and walk through the experience of them using your product or service and trying to think how they would think and feel, and then how do you improve that experience. Think about the people who may have more challenges than others. It’s also important to think about how that specific target market would come to hear about your company, and how can you capitalize on those avenues of communication.
This creative and innovative process needs an environment to be free of judgment and criticizes inaction, not failures. Sometimes we have to try and learn from our mistakes before we get something right, but make sure the risk is calculated and not detrimental to the company. Foster a community that thinks differently and nurture the outlandish ideas, they may be the most successful. Take that first step to creating an innovative idea for your client, show the world your move.