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It’s official: PR makes advertising its Bee-yatch

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Advertising Age recently published its findings and waxed melancholy about the state of advertising in the second half of 2009.

To summarize, take this as a warning-slash-really-bad-pep-rally for the industry:

It’s not getting a lot better, but at least it’s not getting any worse. And it probably won’t ever get back to where it once was.

Communications

I think it makes sense now. Don't you?

What’s this say to clients and other company’s creative types who us flacks want to love so, so much (call me)?

Find different ways to get in front of your target audiences. You know, do something you’re not currently doing to change the profits from going lower than the president’s approval ratings. (Hey, just sayin’.)

Does Ad Age have any recommendations? Glad you asked:

We found that there are pockets of strength: online and PR, for example.

So, why the change? Typically, it was make a logo and sand blast that on any embankment, billboard and mode of public transportation within a 5000-mile radius of your corporate office.

Well, that swooshing sound of all your cash going down the toilet has something to do with it. Couple that with the lack of interest in print products for anything outside of lining bird cages and creating cozy comforters for the homeless and you have an answer.

People have to look for not necessarily inventive ways to reach their target base, but definitely optional ways to sustain that catchy new mark.

Without a skilled PR campaign attached to a brand that directs folk to a billboard, or the very reason behind said advertisement, what good does it do the company? How long will it last? And where can find an ROI with a two-week blitz for a poster seen in your local parking garage?

Sure, some sleuth reporter will bump into the ad and write a story, but without a high-performance Web site or a strategic PR campaign, that story will have the longevity of “Jon & Kate: the Divorced Years” or new Coke (woof!)

“We are seeing a paradigm shift in our industry taking place as agencies grapple with how to deal with the new realities and manage costs to revenues. The industry is in for a fundamental, enduring reset over the next 10 years,” said Jim Heekin, chairman-CEO, Grey Group.

I like that – “new realities”. You know, billboards and print are still tangible but there’s this Internet thingy that’s really catching on.

I once heard in “Advertising 101” (not sure if that’s the real name):

Advertising is what you pay for, while public relations is what you pray for.

Anyone in the corporate arena wanna come with me to church this Sunday? I’ll drive.

PR really does “Ad” up

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“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” ~Will Rogers

Now I may not need a G.I. Joe with a Kung-fu action grip for my little man, but if he sees enough advertisements, desire jacked up on steroids takes in and off to the store I go.

However, if enough spineless jellyfish parents like me see that G.I. Joe purchases will be directed to the troops overseas, we see bald eagles flying overhead and hear “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as we slide that bruised credit card.

In other words, advertisements create impulse but PR can create emotion. And that befuddles this practitioner because more brands don’t use it effectively – if, at all – to increase awareness and try to impact the bottom line.

Recently, HuffPo published an irksome story, “The 12 Brands That Will Disappear by 2010.”

How many of these brands have you seen championing a cause, feeding kids in the Sudan or even appearing like they care about their consumers lately:

1. Avis/Budget Rent-a-Car
2. Borders
3. Crocs
4. Saturn
5. Hearst Publications
6. Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
7. Eddie Bauer
8. Palm
9. Condé Nast Publications
10. Chrysler

You think any of those giants could use a CSR campaign, grassroots outreach or media relations? Oh, before you answer, #11 on the list was the infamous AIG.

Any takers on PR yet? Call me.

Written by theflak

May 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm