Ellen Wilson, MCSA President
A public relations professional’s job is to create experiences. Creating a successful experience is where imagination and knowledge come in; you need to think of big crazy ideas, know who you are talking to, then figure out the smaller details to make it happen.
Waikato University’s ‘Management Communication Students’ Association’ (MCSA) travelled to PRINZ HQ in Auckland for a day in the life of PR practitioners. We visited a PR agency (Eleven PR), a recruitment agency (Velocity), a government agency (NZTA), and an in-house corporate team (Westpac).
All four of these company’s communication teams shared the same advice. To create a successful experience you need to:
– Perfect your writing skills; keep it punchy, simple, active and engaging
– Become a news addict; both local and international
– Embrace numbers; measurement and reporting
– Understand converged media; earned, owned and paid
– Have the utmost honesty, integrity and trustworthiness
– Network and build relationships, you never know where you are going and who you may call on
– Have passion for the work you are doing, it makes your messages much more valuable.
As a demonstration of experiences created by PR we were shown three main campaigns. Firstly, Virgin Mobile’s ‘Fair Go Bro’ campaign that used an unusual take on the “celebrity” endorsement for a global impact far above its media spend. Secondly, Smirnoff’s ‘Nightlife Exchange Project’ which featured sponsored parties and events to share the dance culture of major cities across the globe. Lastly Telstra’s ‘Hero Message’ which was a 60 second commercial featuring Men at Work song “Down Under” sung by groups of everyday Australians in support of their Australian team competing at the Olympics.
Imagination is more important than knowledge; thinking big and creating an experience using converged media is the key to success in public relations practice.