PR Can’t Die

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, PR IS HERE TO STAY, AND IT IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE

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Over the years there has been a debate around the relevance of PR in the post digital world. There has been major cut down on the use of paper in many large economies of the world and the consumption habit of consumers for text has increasingly shifted from paper to digital. We are more accustomed to bright screens and colourful images, which is totally different from what the newspapers serve us.

Some of have even taken the debate a notch higher by saying PR is dead. I definitely would not spend any time talking about their reasons for this assertion, but the truth is PR cannot die.

Truth be told, the way PR was done in the past has actually transformed into what we know today and as such the PR for tomorrow would equally evolve. To say PR is dead or will die is a strong proclamation in error. We thankful for the digital medium of information dissemination but it will never take the place of PR. As long as there are human beings on earth, as long as there are products to sell, as long as there are brands to promote, as long as there are offices to manage, PR would find its place in the world of marketing and marketing communications.

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There are a number of things PR achieves for us and highlighted below are a few;

PR gives credibility 

Marketers and brands are currently in a battlefield and the fighters aren’t called gladiators but sound-iators. With everyone screaming at you saying “I’m the best, I’m number one, I know what I’m doing” you need PR to authenticate your claims and get your sound beyond the clutter.

Thought leadership drive

A lot of businesses and brands want to be seen as a thought leader or subject matter expert. You may not be able to achieve this drive without the inclusion of PR.

Impacts your bottom line

Your sales and marketing drive are channeled to reach your bottom line. PR helps improve brand trust and compels your customers to believe in the brand whilst engineering loyalty. 

If you thought PR was just another increase in budget or an irrelevant expenditure you may want to rethink this. 

The Concept of responsible Advertising in Climate Change

THE WORLD IS HEATING UP AND NO ONE SEEMS TO BE TALKING ABOUT IT

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Advertising is beyond selling a product; it transcends connecting with the consumer; it is the ability to transform culture, effect a desired change, and compel people to take action. It is a no brainer to know that climate change is an important conversation in many parts of the world. The conversation, however, is seemingly silent in many parts of Africa, we be acting like it don’t concern us, truth is, as long as the continent remains afloat on the surface of the globe, it does. Otherwise, we all should build our own spaceship and move to Krypton, probably become Super Africans.

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This therefore makes it imperative for advertising agencies to champion the course by inducing and leading the conversation in Africa. Glaciers are melting, the earth crust is heating up, the ozone layer is depleting, and no one seems to be talking. I feel like even though we currently aren’t experiencing the harsh effects of climate change such as erratic thunder storms, heat waves, tsunamis and so on, Africa will still be dealt a huge a blow as we always get the worst end of the spoon.

Environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev in his book Corporation 2020 makes a compelling case for “responsible advertising”: a traffic-light system that highlights how long a product will last, where its materials come from and whether it can be recycled. Such an approach enables consumers to easily make purchasing decisions based on a brand’s ethical creds, meaning market forces would push advertisers into cleaning up their supply chains and operations. That would create much more impact than using marketing to merely start or support a debate - Bizcommunity.

The Sauce and the Spice

DESIGN THINKING – THE INGREDIENT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO KEEP UP WITH THE FAST-PACED EVOLUTION IN TODAY’S MARKET PLACE.

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The world is consistently changing and the speed can be likened to that of Arya Stark when she stealthily moved in on the Night Kind and drove a dagger through his belly in the recently concluded Game of Thrones series. Like the Night King, if businesses fail to take a hold of this speed or anticipate the next change (trend) then a dagger might be driven through its belly and put it out of business. Design Thinking is the ingredient businesses need to keep up with the pace (become agile) of customer evolution and ensure sustainability. My friend, Vin Diesel said in Riddick “if you can’t keep up, don’t step up”.

What is Design Thinking?

This is the art of adopting a process that keeps the consumer (target audience) as the focal point of your business. Many times businesses employ strategies as a result of data they dug up about their existing competitors – wrong move. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know what your competition is doing to reach your audience but it is more important for you to watch and anticipate what your audience is doing or what they might do. This way you’ll have a more pragmatic approach to reaching them, otherwise, you’ll struggle to adopt the right strategies to reach the consumer; you’ll become reactive instead of proactive.

Design thinking makes you proactive, not reactive – it eliminates the knee jerk phenomenon.

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Why Design Thinking?

It gives your marketing communication a direction and lays emphasis on designing marketing materials on purpose – brand proposition.

Designing on purpose builds relevance and leads to a culture that will resonant with the target market. Consequently, using purposeful design will also create a connection which will broaden the impact of all brand activation programs, and brand experience. The brand that uses design thinking as a strategic advantage creates things that people have to have - Bizcommunity.

This approach really can’t be overemphasized especially in this digital age wherein everything is ‘supposed’ to be connected.

International brands like Nike, Google, Apple, and Amazon have adopted the Design Thinking strategy and it’s a no brainer how they come up with products every now and then that you and I always have to have.

Super Power or Survival Strategy

WHY DESIGNERS ARE BECOMING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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These days every African is seemingly unapologetically conscious of his or her resources especially finances and they guard it jealously. Which is why whenever they want to make a purchase, the commodity with more value for money wins the choice battle. As a result of this growing consciousness among individuals, there is, therefore, steep competition in virtually every facet of business. For the sake of this article, we will be looking into the creative industry and the new survival strategy among the ones they call “Creatives a.k.a Designers”.

Currently, the creative industry has seen more and more of its designers dabble with photography as they are compelled to go the extra mile to deliver more value on the job as such, they’ve taken on photography – talk about secret superpowers. Do you want to survive in this creative jungle? You need to bring something other than great knowledge of all the design suites, you need a great eye for colours and images, hence photography. The knowledge of light composition and style adds a different kind of spice to your work.

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In terms of delivering value;

The gaping hole between designing and having the right images

Ever tried to search for African photos online? Daunting. I thought this was a joke as the internet is supposedly an archive of photos but try searching for photos of Africans doing something specific, you’ll almost not find. As more designers venture into photography with their knowledge of the specific needs of the creative industry, I am hopeful that soon we’ll close this gap.

Images are expensive

Trying to put together a photo session or even buy an image off of some stock site can be relatively expensive. In a view to deliver value and earn more, designers may take the pictures themselves and this way they’ll seamlessly get the right kind of image they desire.

The spicy ingredient

Designers with a relatively good knowledge of photography tend to put out better work as well as photographers with a relatively good knowledge of designing. The two go hand-in-hand (a couple).

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Creativity With Purpose

O2 ACADEMY CREATES FIRST OF ITS KIND 3D ZEBRA CROSSING IN NIGERIA TO CURB THE RATE OF CAR ACCIDENTS.

Source: Auto Report Ng

Source: Auto Report Ng

Creativity with purpose stems from the need to address a problem. Every great advertising content that was ever put out were those which were directly aimed at addressing a need.

Driving in Nigeria can be described as formula 1 without the race tracks as it nearly seems as if the traffic rules don’t exist, thanks to the necessary authorities, all that is being addressed decisively. Well, I am of the school of thought that believes that there’s no problem on the surface of the earth that’s solely dependent on one person or body to fix, gladly, advertising shares this belief as well.

An advertising school situated in Lagos Nigeria, O2 Academy, took to problem-solving by applying design thinking to reduce the rate of accidents and mortality on a Lagos road. In April 2019, O2 Academy designed the first of its kind 3D zebra crossing – now that’s one road sign many Nigerians seem not to recognize. I remember one time I chose not to drive because I was feeling a certain way in my body. I got to a busy road in Nigeria and needed to cross over to the other side so I stood at a zebra crossing, I was there for nearly 45mins –not kidding- before someone eventually stopped to let me through.

In my opinion, this is one of the most innovative solutions I’ve seen this year.

Kudos O2 Academy.

And just so you’d know; O2 Academy is the first advertising school in the Middle East and Africa, aside from South Africa, to win the Loerie awards.” The school participated in a Facebook challenge targeting students at advertising schools across the Middle-East and Africa. The students of O2 Academy won bronze for their campaign against cholera – Thisisafrica.