Adam Honeysett-Watts is Director of Conservatives in Communications and works in the financial technology sector
Last week, I caught-up with Andrew Marshall, vice-chairman of Cognito – a City-based consultancy, which took a chance and gave me my first (paid) PR job over 10 years ago. As I approached their offices I was greeted by one Charlie Morrow, who, in turn, was my first ever hire. Turns out I’m pretty good at spotting talent! It’s great to see them doing so well.
Over coffees, Andrew and I exchanged a couple of stories and ideas. He is entirely to blame for me writing this blog about 10 PR things to consider in 2020 and beyond. I don’t intend for this to be an exhaustive list, rather a download on what’s front of mind. I’m sure other Conservatives in Communications will have their views. So, here goes – in no order:
1. Purposeful communications
What is the point in what you’re saying? We should ask that every time. People receive many communications – too many in fact – so relevance is key to influence.
There is an abundance of data out there and PR professionals should tap it to create hyper-focused campaigns that reach specifically targeted audiences.
It’s 2020. Get with the programme. If your PR person or agency doesn’t ‘get’ social media, switch them. In addition, social media should be in the mix not an afterthought.
4. Authentic voice
With the rise of populist politics and digital – think Trump, Boris and Salvini etc. – people expect to hear from others – not firms – about what they’re thinking and in real-time. Try it with your senior executives.
5. Human emotion
With technology playing a bigger role, we must be mindful of retaining that ‘human element’ in all communications.
6. Story telling
Like social media, if your communications people can’t string a sentence together then don’t hire them; they’ll only disappoint you in the long run.
Where investment should be made is in training communications people to use more audiovisual, including photos or videos, as these are just if not more powerful than the written word.
8. Specialist skills
Those who demonstrate a deep understanding of their clients’ requirements will succeed. For me, it must be boutique firm over big agency every time.
9. Team collaboration
Integrated marketing and communications are essential to deliver results for your stakeholders. It’s bonkers it’s taken this long for some to realise.
10. Top table
PR, like public affairs, is integral to the bottom line. It warrants a seat – and a separate one – at the top table e.g. CMO or Director of Communications.
If you have ideas for the group or would like to get involved, please email us.
This piece was written for our website.