Arm yourself with ideas

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“Improvise, adapt and overcome” may be the unofficial slogan of the US Marines, but it’s also how PR professionals have navigated through the changing media landscape.

In the battle to raise the profile of our clients, our performance is no longer simply measured on print column inches. We’re fighting for likes and shares on a range of fronts. Ensuring that we not only target the right audience, but they’re also engaged with our messages is part of the drill, and creativity and planning are perhaps our best weapons.

It’s not enough to have an idea – you need to be able to execute it too.

Take this blog for example; this was not how I’d envisaged it developing.

I’d spotted an advertorial on the Liverpool Echo website and loved the creativity of the PR team for TJ Hughes in putting together a shopping list for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex ahead of their recent visit to Wirral.

It got me thinking about how we conjure up ideas for content for our clients.

Events like royal visits or themed awareness weeks can boost the creative process.

One of my personal favourites is a PR stunt we organised for a client in 2011 for British Sausage Week, when, with the help of a local butcher, we created a “builder’s banger”.

We’ve also been able to link with the nation’s fascination with all things royal – tweeting after the birth of Prince Louis to promote a development named after an ancient king and using news that a royal residence is undergoing repairs to promote new-build homes with similar names.

Like any good journalist, a PR pro needs to be able to combine the ability to produce “diary” content and generate “off diary” ideas that are not time sensitive.

Planning plays a key part in both, but even the best laid plans can go wrong.

A year after a request from PETA, the PR team for Greggs grabbed headlines with the launch of vegan sausage rolls during Veganuary. Rivals at the Poundbakery, however, were quick to point out that they’d been selling them for years!

And, while January may seem to have been dragging on without an end in sight, at Active PR we are busy brainstorming ideas to deliver PR campaigns throughout the year with military precision.