Global Insights Magazine Issue 11 - Edited by Ansel & MĂśllers Germany 2013
Inside this issue
3 5 8 11 Shaping tomorrow
We provide the content
Direct line to the client
The world is a marketplace
Voices from industry and science on the meaning of PR
Opportunities and risks for PR in the age of the social web
PR manager â€“ an image salesman?
International PR: Self-representation across country borders
PR wins ...
PR’s role in a company’s success
Companies are increasingly putting their faith in PR. They see it as an important building block for reaching out to and attracting the attention of staff, customers and multipliers. The current media change in particular is boosting the role of PR, as communications approaches such as “I’m telling you I have a fabulous product” become less effective. Instead, it’s about content – that is to say, content that is useful, entertaining or simply interesting – and giving customers, free
“Shaping tomorrow” – Voices from industry and science
Challenge to PR on an international level The increase in the globalisation of communications also presents exciting new challenges for PR. The buzzwords include cultural specifics, differently structured media markets, legal specifics and the definition of responsibilities. For those of us who work in PR, our task is to develop effective long-term strategies for PR on an international level. Jörg Huthmann, press officer of the CLAAS Group Functions and effects of B-to-B PR Professional PR that is set up for the long-term is particularly important in the field of B-to-B. After all, we communicate complex subjects and connections that often require explanation, and we deal with target groups who are experts in their fields. Increasingly, we reach these target groups through the ‘new media’ - and this is where we can utilise sensible synergies. However, it is important to interlink all the channels, whether print, media or online, and give them the same message: one voice to the customer. Jens Bredemeier, marketing director central Europe Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions
of charge, something that takes them forward. This is nothing new to those of us in PR. We have always known that companies can really make themselves stand out from the crowd and catch people’s attention with relevant and really good content. Sent to the right recipients using the right
The role of PR in the marketing mix To us, PR is a constant in the marketing mix – but we don’t think much of fixed definitions. Quite the opposite, in fact. We are convinced that interlinking the various channels and measures is an important element in successful communications strategies. In view of the increasing importance of dialogue orientation and content marketing in particular, PR can offer a genuine added value.
channels, it creates lasting authenticity, wins trust, and ultimately creates a positive image. As markets merge and the world becomes more digitalised, this premise applies both on a national and on an international level. So companies have nothing to be afraid of – PR will run the race for attention for them! Happy reading,
Jochen Ansel & Katrin Möllers
Thomas Brückle, Marketing Director Geberit Germany Current development in PR Surveys on the future of communications have shown us that the main challenges are perceived as being digitalisation, the fragmentation of audiences, the increase in acceleration and the permanent use of media. In particular mobile communications and big data management, but issues of topicality and the quality of content are also becoming increasingly important. Prof. Dr. Simone Huck-Sandhu, Professor of Public Relations, Pforzheim University Germany
Constantly changing communications market In view in particular of the constantly changing communications market, exchanges between the various disciplines are tremendously important to us. Especially when we’re dealing with complex areas such as brand strategy, brand and market positioning. That’s something we can all only benefit from.
Michael Meier, Managing Director Schindler Parent Germany
2 // editorial
What can PR do? 9 theses on the meaning and possibilities of PR
1 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 7 8 9 4 // theses
PR creates values:
“We provide the content” Blogging. tweeting, posting messages - today it’s possible to communicate with anyone else in the world at any time. Apparently it is no longer necessary to use the detour around traditional forms of media in order to share messages with the public. So what does this mean for public relations? Global Insights Magazine (GIM) spoke to Katrin Möllers, managing director of the PR and event agency Ansel & Möllers, about the opportunities and risks for PR in the age of the social web.
GIM: Some experts are predicting the downfall of printed me-
PR for the image:
dia; others consider the current heated debate on the subject of Web 2.0 to be hype. What is sure is that the Internet is changing the media landscape. So will PR only be an online activity in the future? Could it even be in danger of becoming extinct?
With a long-term, strategic alignment, PR can boost the development of the image of a brand, a product, a company or an individual.
Katrin Möllers: My personal opinion is that printed media
PR is on trend with the new brand communication. At the heart is content – and this goes deep down, transports values. Customised for any and all target groups.
PR networks: PR works particularly well in a mix with other marketing measures. It supports campaigns and adds depth to content.
PR works laterally: PR messages can be distributed across a broad spectrum of communications channels, from print, TV and radio to online and social media.
PR works in depth: Highly complex topics are ideal for PR because no other discipline can present and explain backgrounds and associations with this level of precision.
PR influences the agenda: In the first step, PR reaches influencers and can change their agendas; in the second it can even influence the public agenda.
PR creates trust and friendliness: Continuous communication with the target groups (media) signals closeness and radiates openness.
PR creates desire:
will continue to exist in the future. It has its own purpose, and its own place among the various media, and it will continue to hold its own in the future. However, it is true that we can’t turn back time, so it’s going to be even more important that we make proper use of the opportunities the Internet has to offer. I actually think that if anything, PR is going to become even more important. After all, we communication experts have to adapt to the new possibilities. We certainly have the right tools.
GIM: What are these abilities? KM: We can tell stories! Or you could put it differently: we provide the content. No matter who a message is meant for, be it an editorial office or a Facebook user, good content is always required. Today, every company has a presence on the social web, and it has to be filled with life for the long-term. Dreary navelgazing and self-adulation won’t do in the long run.
Editorial media placements are perceived as neutral and objective. They quickly and effectively create interest in the brand and the desire for its products in the relevant target groups.
GIM: So what do companies have to provide?
... what PR can’t do by itself:
KM: There is a demand for content with added-value – and
Work in isolation of the brand strategy and build up brands on its own. PR works exclusively in symbiosis.
this has always been the issue in PR: how do I formulate my messages so that they are of interest to the reader, the listener, the viewer? What will my addressees find helpful, useful, entertaining? What will provide them with orientation when they are making their purchasing decisions? What sparks emotions?
GIM: So good content is enough? KM: A strategic course of action is at least equally important in PR. If we are working on a communications strategy for a company or organisation, we ask ourselves: which areas does the client wish to occupy, and which does he have to occupy? What content does he consider important, and what is important to his stakeholders? We in PR have always worked to identify relevant and appropriate topics, preparing them for the particular target group – journalists, retail partners, end users, staff etc. – and then placing them. And today we also use the social web for this. GIM: So has nothing changed? Aren’t PR managers facing different challenges today from those of years ago?
KM: Yes, they certainly are. It used to be that PR addressed a medium or a journalist first. There might have been a customer magazine and a business report so it could address customers directly, and then one day there would have been a website. Today, in Web 2.0, companies communicate directly with their target groups, permanently and in both directions. It’s a tremendous opportunity, but of course it also has its own risks.
GIM: And what would they be? KM: Website operators can no longer control who comments on their content. Communication is no longer a oneway street. You have to deal with it. What is wanted here is open and transparent dialogue. Another difference: today, it is easier than ever before for anyone in a company to address the public without first discussing this with its PR department. As a communications manager, you have to be prepared for this. The social web also means a loss of control. So it’s even more important to get the workforce on board as
interview // 5
Highlights in the media world
quickly as possible. To set up rules for communicating in the social networks. To motivate and educate people. Of course, in order to do all this, PR people have to be familiar with the various platforms and channels in Web 2.0.
GIM: A lot of companies are now creating the position of a social media manager. What will this manager’s role be in corporate communications?
Olympics 1960: There are 2194 accredited journalists. It’s the first time TV rights have been granted for the Olympic Games. The footage is flown from Rome to the USA. Olympics 2012: There are 21,000 journalists reporting worldwide. The BBC offers 24-hour coverage on 24 channels, including the Internet and its own YouTube channel.
KM: It is certainly a good idea for one person in the company to be responsible in the main for its social media presence. However, it is also important for all the PR and marketing measures to be interlinked. An example of a negative scenario would be if a company speaker acted as he always has done, issuing his painstakingly formulated press releases to a precisely defined list of people, while at the same time a young social media manager takes care of Facebook and the rest – without the two of them ever having anything to do with each other. The key factor is to integrate the social web in PR for the long-term.
Finland has the third highest newspaper consumption in the world: 483 copies for every 100 residents. In Spain, 39% of the population prefers the print version to the online version. In Germany, 71% of the population prefers the print version to the online version. On 31 December 2013, America’s Newsweek magazine became the first publication to stop printing a paper version; since January 2013 it has only appeared online in the USA.
GIM: So what would you suggest?
If it were a book, Wikipedia would consist of 2,250,000 pages.
KM: I believe it is important that the subject be the respon-
660,000,000 people use Facebook.
sibility of the PR manager. In the best instance, PR would lead the way in a company’s social web activities. Of course, the press centre has to cooperate closely with the other company departments for this. Incidentally, companies can also make good use of social networks for customer services, technical support, market research and so on. The subject for the various channels can be drawn from a shared content pool and prepared for the specific target audience as text, images, videos and so on.
Four billion people visit YouTube every day. 72 hours of footage are downloaded every second. 200,000,000 people use Twitter. Every day, Google handles 1,200,000,000 questions. 1000 Google queries create as much CO2 as a car does driving 1 kilometre = 12,000 km of search queries every hour 209,990,000 emails are sent every day, 80% of which are spam.
GIM: Have the traditional media and editorially conveyed
In Japanese homes, at least one TV is on for nine hours every day.
content passed their best-before dates? Do we even still need journalists?
KM: In view of the flood of untrustworthy content of questionable origin that is available in the Internet, independent content and well-researched news will continue to be of importance. There will also continue to be a requirement for good journalism, online as well as in print. It’s in everyone’s best interest. The challenge for publishers is to find ways of still being able to make money with good quality journalism.
What else happens in a day
GIM: Today, journalists use the Internet as a source of informa-
The earth travels 2,600,000 km around the sun
tion, and a lot of their research is done in social networks.
2753 books are published
KM: As far as PR is concerned, this is a way of communicating with journalists indirectly. If, for instance, an expert makes comments on certain industry topics in a blog over a long period of time, then this is a way of generating awareness of that individual and his/her company and making a name for themselves as a competent contact in this field whom the media will then approach independently.
6 // interview
Katrin Möllers has been a managing partner of Ansel & Möllers for ten years and heads the agency’s PR department. Before that, she was a speaker and PR manager, and so understands what is required of a PR manager both by an agency and by a company.
573,687 people buy a TV 783,561 laptops and PCs are sold In the UK, 2425 mobile phones are dropped down toilets 2,500,000,000 billion cups of coffee are drunk
media world // 7
Direct line to the client
See ... seduce ... The sales advisor: Knows his target group inside and out; knows exactly what stories his clients want to hear; wins their trust and knows how to show his products in the right light. Isn’t that what a PR manager does? The image seller The time-honoured image of the sales rep who polishes handles and touts products to others may be too one-dimensional for comparison with what a PR consultant does. And yet the comparison serves us well, since they both offer something. In one case, it’s socks, vacuum cleaners or cars. In the other, image and values – or perhaps just interesting stories. Rallying for one’s own cause A salesman strives for success in business using powerful arguments that he places with the customer with complete accuracy. To achieve this, he has in-depth discussions with his customer and learns his preferences right down to the tiniest detail. He presents the right solution in a dialogue that is based on partnership, advises him with the decision, and offers a specific benefit. The PR consultant also has an in-depth knowledge of his target groups’ requirements. He knows what topics the public is interested in and how to present them so they catch people’s attention. Timing is just as important for an issue as the added value in the content of the information. If he is able to link the topics skillfully with messages and values, he will develop a positive image for the company and create authenticity and trust. But what does he do to win over his audience? It’s all about the story While the sales advisor repeatedly lists the advantages of his product, in PR it is not enough to keep feeding the public the same information over and over again. The highly-critical PR audience, led by journalists and bloggers, is not interested in empty phrases. It is interested in backgrounds and contexts, wants facts and prospects. It obtains its information through a wide range of channels: print media, events, the Internet and social media. There it finds an extensive range of information, and anyone who offers well-prepared, organised information is a winner. So PR specialists are required to add
8 // image …
substance to their clients’ content and provide surprises with original stories. Produce content In order to achieve undivided awareness, PR consultants develop an entire network of topics with an endless array of new hooks and angles. And to do this, they go down deep. They dig, scrape and quarry to bring to light anything and everything that could be of interest to the public. It is not enough for them to know that a particular manufacturer’s screws are used to join components together. They want to know why the thread can do it! Or how it will benefit a carpenter. They speak of their first-hand experiences, of the latest findings and trends, and quote experts, from studies, surveys, tests and other projects. PR is becoming less about the placement of individual messages and more about the developing and telling of stories. So clients shouldn’t be surprised if their PR agency asks for a two-day workshop to seek and find excellent content. Content in bite-sized pieces Once the PR consultant has brought to light the subjects and content, he processes them according to the target groups’ requirements and as appropriate to the various channels. For journalists and bloggers, this is done to journalistic criteria. Technical knowledge is served up in easy-to-digest portions, the facts summed up and supported by films, photos, infographics and quotes. Sales are closely coordinated and intermeshed through various channels such as print media, online portals, broadcasting stations, blogs and social media.
It’s a complex process, and one that PR consultants use to stage their client’s stories. They are able to seduce their target groups with intelligent content, and sell them image and value as well as values – their motto: “The fish is the one who has to like the worm, not the angler.”
… salesman // 9
Right into the press – PR creates awareness
The world is a marketplace
HANSA – guerrilla campaign with “Shower-to-Go” shower bike Starting situation: HANSA Metallwerke AG manufactures high quality, innovative mixers for the bathroom and kitchen. As a craftsman brand, HANSA has a traditional image. Task: To create an occasion at which the brand philosophy “Experience water” can be experienced. Rejuvenate the brand image and address new, and especially younger target groups. Implementation: Promotion tool with entertainment value: since 2010, the shower bike has spent the warm summer months travelling all over Germany, cooling people down with the “Shower-to-Go”. The focus is on locations that are particularly original. Broad effect achieved by linking with cross-media measures such as a microsite and Facebook. Result: Face-to-face communication with over 1200 participants, a high level of reporting in print and online, a high click rate on the microsite, growing awareness and significant increase in the number of Facebook friends.
BPW Bergische Achsen – competition with cross-media links Starting situation: BPW Bergische Achsen KG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of smart suspension systems for the commercial vehicle industry. In 2011 the company launched ECO Disc, the first trailer disc brake that allows discs to be replaced without removing the brake calliper. Task: Target group-appropriate promotion of the new ECO Disc, highlighting its economy and the time saved. Increase the level of familiarity and dialogue with commercial vehicle mechanics. Implementation: Competition to change brake discs in a race against the clock. Entry process with video, inclusion of YouTube, Facebook and microsite. Local competition with promotional truck and ECO Disc exhibit to find out who is the fastest “ECO Disc changer”. Result: A record 2:23:95 minutes! Ten appearances in two months, high number of participants (100 participants) and response (50 YouTube videos), high click rate on the microsite (4330 page impressions), nationwide reporting in all the relevant trade media. Competition to be continued annually.
HECO-Schrauben – international PR for medium-sized company Starting situation: HECO-Schrauben GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of screw and fixation systems for wood processing and concrete construction. The company’s markets with the highest turnovers are Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands. Task: To increase the awareness of HECO on the core markets. To position it as a quality brand and the provider of innovative solutions. To create synergy effects. Implementation: Transnational PR based on a timetable. Linking central elements and local adjustments. Focus on classic media work: address opinion formers using print and online media. Targeted dispatch of press releases, articles, user reports, interviews, white papers etc. Maintain contacts by visiting editorial offices and press conferences. Cooperations with local partner agencies of the E3 network on local markets. Result: Continuous nationwide reporting in the regions’ main trade media, excellent personal contacts with journalists, noticeable image improvement.
10 // cases
The world is getting smaller. Modern technologies and cross-border trade relationships are making the globe shrink. For years, companies have been facing the challenge of asserting themselves in global market events. Professional self-representation in the international arena plays an elementary role. Coca Cola, Apple, McDonald’s – there’s hardly a corner in the world where these strong brands are unknown. Over decades, their parent companies have adopted countryspecific programmes to forge a global presence. However, international PR isn’t just an issue for major companies. Medium-sized companies will also find it worthwhile to expand their PR activities along with their export activities; it’s simply a question of organisation and method. When in Rome … Every country on this planet has its own complex media landscape. It is the product of historic, cultural, political and economic influences. No two media systems are the same, and even in countries that speak the same language – such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland — the media work in different ways. The importance of PR also varies in the individual countries, which results in country-specific practices in PR. International PR is a delicate undertaking in which a good knowledge of the local PR landscape and markets and the ability to proceed with sensitivity are just as important as having excellent personal contacts. It is difficult to provide these skills from the mother country, which is why it is so important to work with local PR partners. Apart from knowing the language, they will also be familiar with the laws of their countries and have the required contacts to journalists and opinion formers.
Global – international There is no general formula for international PR. Every company should use its targets, structures and resources to decide for itself how to address its target groups in the export countries. PR theory is divided into two particular areas: global and international PR. A transnational PR programme is being developed in global PR that provides standards and messages beyond country and cultural borders in order to utilise synergies and create a nationwide image. International PR in the narrower sense differentiates between country-specific, local programmes. This makes it possible to address target groups more precisely and achieve a higher level of acceptance locally. Ideally, transnational PR is the perfect combination of global strategy and local adaption – “think global, act local”. What structure? Global PR is organised in many different ways. Models such as “Lead agency guides country agencies” and the cooperation with an international agency network such as E3 have proved successful. What is important is that all those involved get together at a (virtual) table, work strategically, have lively discussions to support a high level of transparency, and that everyone pulls together. Challenges · International team management: work together with virtual teams · Language barriers and intercultural differences · A balancing act between standardisation and country- specific adaptation · Project management: objective, exchange, transparency, synergies, efficiency, quality, costs
international PR // 11
PR across country borders – statements of E3 PR consultants Print media are still held in high regard in Finland. The use of digital media is increasing, but Finns rely on the main newspaper chains also in web. Ownership is centralised while the channels are scattered.
In the USA, social media has greatly increased the journalist’s scope of duties. The 24hour news cycle is more important than ever. Lots of journalists also have their own blogs or use Twitter. It’s essential to do that now.
Anna-Mari Vimpari, Recommended Finland
Tracy Hartman, Aloft Group USA
China’s media landscape is highly fragmented. There are only a few ‘genuinely Chinese’ media. Journalism is still quite young in China, which is why many journalists are ignorant and not very objective. Major events generate a lot of coverage. Mike Golden, Adsmith China
It’s ironic: In the digital era we live in there’s still an audience that’s willing to read thoroughly and collect a few gem magazines that offer premium quality and top-class contents. Our challenge is to bring our client’s aspirational in-depth stories closer to these media because of their spirit of going-beyond the basic to satisfy their demanding readers. Content and storytelling skills are more important than ever. Véronica Gros, Igriega Spain
Swedish journalists are quite sensitive when it comes to ‘advertising’, partly due to Sweden’s long social democratic history. In general they prefer short and precise press information and many of them are fairly critical of the business world. Krister Bolin, Recommended Sweden
I’d describe the situation in Portugal at the moment this way: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. Crisis communication is becoming increasingly important in this age of Web 2.0, and PR is also going to become more significant because it helps to build trust and image.
Paula Gustavo, Media Consulting Portugal
Adsmith / China Advertigo / Romania Aloft Group / USA Ansel & Möllers / Germany Audacity / USA Base One / UK BBC / Belgium Bernstein / Germany BMLab / Russia Bruketa&Zinic / Croatia Café Design / Hungary D.A.G. Communication / Italy Epoka / Poland Igriega / Spain Kimauskis 2.0 / Finland Maitri Advertising Works / India Mandate / Singapore Media Consulting / Portugal Netural / Austria Oz Branding / Israel Preferendum / France Rainfall / Romani Recommended / Finland Recommended / Sweden S´P´S Marketing / Austria SanderWerbung / Germany Schindler Parent / Germany TANGRAM / Liechtenstein TANGRAM / Switzerland Truly Deeply / Australia Van Heertum Design / Netherlands
PR is ...
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