1. SCREW THE CHANNEL PLAN, WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS CHALLENGE?
2. EVERYTHING IS PR (cheers Faris Yakoub for that one!)
3. FRICTION’S GREAT FOR CREATIVITY BUT USELESS FOR AGENCY ROSTERS
4. DID WE CHANGE THINGS FOR THE BETTER?
As long as we keep these truths at the heart of every client relationship, we know we can make a real impact for their business regardless of the industry landscape or “thought leader” think pieces. As a modern comms agency, we don’t see the current landscape as something to be threatened by, instead we see it as an opportunity to prove what we’ve always known.
The right idea, in front of the right people, at the right time can have a real and tangible business impact.
How does this play out in reality?
What's your business challenge?
Briefing agencies used to be simpler. TVCs to the creative agency, JRPs to the PR agency, TARPs to the media agency.
But as the industry has evolved, the briefing process has lagged behind, rooted in the dial-up days. What we ask our clients to do is give us their actual business challenge and empower us to respond with the best possible solution – regardless of channel. Actually, we’ve stopped asking.
We take it upon ourselves to dig into the brief and client to see where real change is needed.
It’s why every brief that comes through our doors has access to our managing director, creative director and integration lead.
They are tasked with ensuring that we ask questions that get to the heart of the problem:
Do Kiwis give a flying fox about this?
Which Kiwis give a fork?
Where the funk do these Kiwis play?
Are we shaping culture or just getting in its way?
Once you start asking those questions, you move away from being scared of the modern landscape and instead get excited about the possibilities available to engage and influence people.
How you react to that statement says a lot about your approach to comms in 2019.
We find it ludicrously empowering.
If everything is PR, then anything is on the table to solve the business challenge in front of us.
With traditional gatekeepers disappearing, there is an opportunity for PR agencies to define themselves as the modern storytellers who understand that our actions tell a larger story than the words used in a release.
Or to put it another way, in an age where we have access to more information and tools than at any other point in history, we should be aiming to shift culture and society, not just BUs.
Friction is great for creativity but useless for agency rosters
We have worked, and continue to work, in all manner of agency mix. We are happy to work as a solo agency or one of ten agencies. As the lead agency or the agency brought on board for projects only. And we’ve done great work in each iteration.
Where we see effectiveness fall is when ego and politics come into the play, getting in the way of agencies answering the problem and providing real value to the client’s business.
And whilst we believe that PR agencies have the history, pedigree and responsibility of being lead storytellers, we’d also like to think we aren’t arrogant enough to think we can or should do it all.
Why ignore decades of experience, specialty and brainpower from agency partners if it’s on offer?
So to agencies I say – less pot shots, more jackpots.
To marketers – give ALL your agencies a chance to address your business problems. You’d be blown away with what we can do.
Did we change things?
AVE and OTS are as worthwhile as Y2K.
Which is why we ask ourselves ‘did we change things for the better?’ The change will be different for each client and brief but the positive change is what we value most – as an agency and individuals.
It's how working with The Iconic to cast the first plus-size male model to walk a swim runway led to their 2018 Swim Show being described as “the most inclusive and empowering show the world has seen”, driving the conversation about casting standards for the entire industry.
Or how a campaign to dispel misconceptions about Singapore being boring, clean and safe, saw us create a new travel sector – “neurotourism”. Want to find out how we can drive positive change for your business?