Internet Week Offers Lesson for Advertisers…and Publicists

During last month’s Internet Week, creative minds and prominent voices in the digital world descended upon New York, and with it, I had the opportunity to hear the perspectives of a number of individuals who are helping to shape the way we use the Web. One of those people was Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) President Randall Rothenberg, who, in his opening remarks during the two-day Innovation Days conference, made a point about the structure of creative teams at advertising agencies that seemed to be as applicable to the field of public relations as it was to digital advertising.

One of the slides he presented (pictured) emphasized how advertising agencies’ creative teams ought to now include technologists alongside writers and designers. It’s a regularly debated issue in that industry, but it’s an important point equally applicable to account teams in public relations.

Collaborate Digital and Traditional Media

Publicists focused on digital and traditional media need to coordinate their efforts – not work in silos – for similar reasons:

The influence of mainstream media extends to Twitter: While a reporter might not decide to cover a client in the print or online edition of their publication, they may decide to tweet about it to their followers. A tweet by an influential journalist could just as easily ricochet around the Web and generate interest in a client.

Blogs are a catalyst for conversations in mainstream media: Good reporters are always on the lookout for story ideas, and it’s important to know what they’re reading online. Often, these outlets are niche blogs published via Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress. And while they may have a smaller audience, they can also drive conversations among influencers in that particular space, and that might also include members of the media. A mention on such a site could lead to tweets by an influential journalist (see above) or depending on how quickly word catches on, coverage in a more widely-read (or viewed), general-interest outlet.

Online video drives the news cycle: When the trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo surfaced online this spring, it drove conversations and buzz for the film (and questions about the source of the leak), which is not due out until December. Understanding how video might be used to generate attention for your client is an important part of PR, especially given the number of outlets that now seek to supplement their coverage with it.

While these are only a few examples, you can see in them how the skills of traditional PR blended with the opportunities presented by digital can benefit a client. And, with the pace of technological change only increasing, having your traditional and digital teams working hand-in-hand on a complementary strategy will help a client take advantage of the best means out there to generate attention for them.

Posted by: Matt Caldecutt, Account Supervisor