One of our Account Directors, Kyra Washington recently spoke to Telum Media about the journey of content, brand engagement and what makes her tick in this ever fast-paced PR industry. Check out the full interview below.
Working with brands that want “disruption”, what communication strategies have you found most effective?
I’m fascinated about consumers’ journey to content, how and where they interact with brands, who and what is truly influencing their decisions, and which types of content engage them. Today, successful communication strategies are the ones that tune into a customer’s emotions and give people what they want, not necessarily what they need.
Our research, which was released in conjunction with WE Communications and YouGov, found that earned media placements are regarded as the most influential sources of news and information when it comes to driving consumer opinions about brands and products, and sharing across social media and other platforms. The key for brands to take advantage of the power of earned is to ensure it is not isolated. It must be deliberately amplified and complemented with other types of branded content across devices, platforms and channels for full impact.
With the changing PR landscape, I also think insights and analytics are equal partners with creativity and content. By understanding what is driving and motivating consumers to engage with content, brands can be significantly more effective in creating true engagement that will result in brand attraction and sales, versus just impressions and eyeballs.
What are the major differences between handling a local brand and a global brand?
I don’t think there’s any major differences when it comes to managing a global or local brand. Having said that, global brands have a responsibility to be local. We’re unmistakably and increasingly interconnected, as growing Internet access, travel and trade accelerate the integration of global markets and the worldwide exchange of ideas, information, people and products. We need to have a firm grasp of what it means to be global and what it means to be local.
How do you keep on top of the ever-changing trends in the PR industry to keep your brands in the consumers’ minds?
We are reading every day, and not just the headlines. The volume of different platforms and channels that consumers traverse throughout the day is tremendous. As communicators, it’s our responsibility to be interacting with and engaging on every device and channel so we can direct the influencer, and uncover what brands need to consider as they understand the motion and trajectory of their storytelling.
How do you measure the success of your work for clients?
Measuring ROI is extremely important so we set KPIs across all aspects of a campaign. When it comes to evaluating media coverage, we’ve developed our own proprietary method to measure value. It’s not just about the number of clips or the reach, we look at context, message penetration and value in relation to the brand’s overall objectives.
In addition, being part of the WE Communications network, we also have access to the Brand Agility Index (BAI) which allows us to measure our client’s campaign successes. The BAI is compiled by ranking brands out of five in areas including a campaign’s scalability, relevance, the speed in which it responds on social media, engagement, originality, personalisation and sentiment. WE achieves this by analysing all conversations and engagement levels from brands across news, blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, and importantly we are focused on measuring the impact of our work on business objectives not just outputs. Google Analytics can help us expand our reporting capabilities, telling a more holistic story about target audiences. I love it because it gives us a better understanding of how PR is working with other marketing initiatives to achieve our ultimate goals. A tip – when sorting through the dashboard, make sure you’re keeping overarching goals in mind and narrowing down your metrics to best support these efforts.
What skills are vital for a PR to have in the modern communications industry?
Persistence, attention to detail and to be an all-round people person. You also need to be tenacious and confident when sweating the hard stuff. I’ve been a consultant for many years now and it’s the hard, tough conversations that turn the leaf with a client or land you a promotion.
Where do you get your news from?
I’m obsessed with Huffington Post.
Favourite blog or online influencer?
The Espresso by Gary Bertwistle.
This article originally appeared in the Telum Media PR Alert.