Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mumbai, Stockholm ahead in PR creativity: Global expert

Smaller countries – also emerging economies like India – are ahead in the PR creativity race, according to global experts.

Colin Byrne, CEO, Weber Shandwick Europe, says, “We tend to think that London and New York are the creative centres of PR, but it is increasingly places like Stockholm and Mumbai. It is a bit of a wake-up call for the industry. A lot of what I saw from the UK was pretty pedestrian.”

Byrne is on the Cannes Lions PR jury this year, where Gatorade’s Replay won the Grand Prix out of 571 entries to the Cannes Lions PR category.

Arun Sudhaman reports that 12 Gold Lions were handed out this year, with advertising agencies again proving more successful than their PR counterparts. Sweden’s Prime PR submitted a strong performance with two golds: for Carwinism on behalf of Audi Sweden, and Kraft Foods’ Save Christmas campaign.

“The other conventional PR agencies to win Gold Lions were Fleishman-Hillard, for a consumer campaign on behalf of the Papa John’s pizza chain in the US, and Italian firm Barabino & Partners, which scored two golds for Heineken’s Auditorium Football campaign,” Sudhaman reports.

The jury, which was rather disappointed with the performance of the more mature PR economies of the US and the UK, praised the work done in Sweden, Brazil, Australia and Spain. While the US won two golds and three silvers in addition to its Grand Prix, the UK bagged just four Silver Lions. The Asia-Pacific region won six silvers while Germany secured three golds and one silver.

“The small countries are giving the large countries a run for their money,” says Paul Taaffe, Jury President and Global Chairman and CEO, Hill & Knowlton. “Those markets have a tradition of risk-taking.”

As “the quality of entries was not enough” in categories like crisis communications, public affairs and internal communications, no awards had been given this year.

Dovetail PR into marketing: Jain

Archana Jain, Managing Director, PR Pundit, says that “norms rendering PR as distinct from marketing are no longer appropriate in this age of consumerism, in which consumers aggregate all messages in making a decision to interact with the brand or company”.

In an interview with Ashish Pratap Singh of exchange4media, she says, “Since marketing and communication is all about perceptions and not a battle of products, we believe in winning the battle of perceptions creatively. Thus, we pursue a systematic approach to gaining insights that drive ideas and creativity for effective, smart PR campaigns to build brand reputation. We strive to communicate brand promises in a fresh and relevant manner.”