‘The term “play nicely” is often used to describe the happy collaboration between all of the marketing disciplines when they are brought together by a mutual client.’ – says Ginny Paton on House PR in London
What does this suggest? That we’re all little children who can’t treat each other with respect, let alone work together professionally? The implication is that we’re jealous of the share of budget they’re getting which might otherwise be boosting our own figures.
To be honest, that impression is just plain wrong. There have been numerous times when I’ve sat around the boardroom table with creatives and digital experts from the leading firms, to discuss our mutual clients. There have been times when such meetings have not only been insightful – they’ve been truly inspiring encounters.
We’ve had the chance to share ideas that cross the boundaries of marketing disciplines, while also learning and teaching a little too. Priceless.
Such encounters are a part of the job, and increasingly so. The best campaigns will always work across all the strands of marketing. I really think that PR agencies should be taking a close interest in their clients’ broader approach to marketing, and they should be fighting to get involved. The days of the PR silo are over.
So, make it your mission to work with other partners to deliver truly boundless campaigns. People bandy around the word ‘integrated’ all the time – but many PR agencies still aren’t getting it right.
Oh, I’ve had some interesting experiences in those meetings too – every discipline brings along its own jargon and attitudes, and that can lead to some amusing ‘lost in translation’ moments.
But the important thing is that we’ve been a part of some creative ideas that were truly successful, and which worked right across all platforms.
So, going back to the start of this blog – PR consultants shouldn’t be thinking about playing nicely. They should be thinking about how they take lead of the discussion. This is a challenge, when we’re sat alongside the impressively-budgeted ad firms.
But that’s where our creativity comes in – that’s our bargaining power, and our way of gaining trust around the table. So, think big by harnessing your unique skills to take control of the multi-agency meeting.