Friday 13 December 2019

AdLib: Content is king in new PR age

Media & marketing...

TV presenter Lucy Kennedy is to feature in 'I Love My Age' campaign.
TV presenter Lucy Kennedy is to feature in 'I Love My Age' campaign.
Sharon Murphy WHPR
Chris Upton of Boys and Girls.

Michael Cullen

As the PR industry presents its annual awards in excellence at a lunch in the Shelbourne Hotel tomorrow, the days when consumer PR was all about banging out press releases and hosting fancy receptions with leggy models at the latest 'in' venue are history.

Now the focus is firmly on content.

Wilson Hartnell Public Relations (WHPR) consumer boss Sharon Murphy says the trick is how to make stimulating content for target audiences.

Content captures consumer attention by having a wow! factor. WHPR created content for the launch of Lucozade Alert with an idea called 'Engage Your Brain'.

The agency brought over Dan Dzoan, former world record holder for the fastest one-handed Rubik cube to film a new Guinness World Record bid to solve two Rubik cubes against the clock.

The film was the second most watched viral video in Ireland in 2007, amassing over 600,000 YouTube views. Adidas' 'All In' totted up over 250,000 views in 2013 - the most ever for sports branded content in Ireland. AIB's '#The Toughest' campaign showcased GAA content for social platforms. The Open Gate Brewery, which Diageo launched last November, uses social content to highlight its latest experimental beers.

Bord Bia brings food recipes to life in two-minute online videos. WHPR produced content telling the Eason bookshop story as the nearby GPO was blown to smithereens during the 1916 Rising.

To roll out Pfizer's Health Index, the agency's healthcare team produced info and motion graphics. Sharon Murphy's guidelines for content creation start with finding an idea which fits the brand. Promote the consumer pitch with a point of view linked to the brand. Thirdly, be authentic. Try too hard and you end up looking silly. Finally, make it worthwhile and avoid taking shortcuts with culture content.

Murphy says PR is still about responding quickly. "We've always had to put a filter on ideas and focus on what's news," Murphy says. "Ideas not newsworthy enough simply don't see the light of day. It's made us self-assess more and push ourselves hard to deliver results." She expects bite-sized, disposable content to play a bigger role in future.

WHPR's content talent pool comprises creatives, graphic designers and videographers, working alongside client service and planners. Producing quality content calls for handsome resources. Murphy - who has just been listed in PR Week's Global Power Book - expects to see more PR agencies taking to 'native advertising' with paid-for editorial sitting seamlessly in newspapers and magazines, while respecting guidelines on disclosure and transparency.

* As further evidence that content is all the go in marketing these days, WPP's MEC media agency is rolling out its Wavemaker storytelling client tool. First off the library shelf is Yoplait yogurt's 'I Love My Age' idea first conceived in France by Publicis.

It will be rolled out in Ireland in September with a distinctive 'green' flavour, in tandem with TV3 and the Irish Independent.

There will be profiles on all types of individuals aged from one to 100, including vignettes with celebs like TV3 presenter Lucy Kennedy. MEC's other clients include Vodafone, Netflix, SAB Miller and Visa.

Aoife Hofler has been made the agency's deputy MD. Hofler joined the agency three years ago, having worked at Mediaworks and with Vizeum in Dublin and London.

While at Vizeum, Hofler handled the Swedish flat pack furniture brand Ikea. Coincidentally, MEC is also on Ikea's international roster. The two agencies are set to compete for the business soon.

* With Ignite's Mark Nolan, Jonathan Ryan of Kellogg, MCCP's Shane Doyle and marketer Annette Ni Dháthlaoi stepping down as council members, the Marketing Society has four council vacancies to fill. Three of the positions are on the general panel and there's one vacancy for a market researcher to be elected.

Remaining on the council are Ipsos MRBI duo Louise Soye and Mark Walsh, Kellogg's Claire McFerran, Avril Collins, Murray, Anita Mullan, B&A, Andy Pierce, Core Media and Chris Upton, Boys and Girls, pictured. Society chairman Michael Clancy of MediaVest says nominations can only be made by current members.

Election forms must be signed by the nominee and returned by midday today.

The society's annual general meeting will be in the Residence club on St Stephen's Green on July 14. An extraordinary general meeting will immediately follow to allow votes on constitutional amendments. All members are free to attend.

* Ogilvy is rolling out ads for the AA's new life and mortgage protection policies. The account was previously with Brando, now part of In the Company of Huskies.

AA life insurance includes the Best Doctors service free of charge. Best Doctors is an independent company separate from the AA.

It provides AA policy holders with a second opinion on diagnoses and treatment for people with a medical condition.

On the PR front, Aidan Pender's PR360 will handle Liffey Valley Shopping Centre as it undergoes a €26m revamp. PSG and Revolve also pitched.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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