Thought Leadership

Are PR and Experiential Marketing Becoming More Closely Linked?

Molly Aldridge

Managing Director

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The challenge moving forwards is to continue to come up with new and innovative stunts and experiential marketing that provides a strong PR platform for media consumption creating that desired “water cooler moment”. 

Molly Aldridge, Slam PR

PR and Experiential Marketing have become more and more inextricably linked.  You can have one without the other of course, but to offer more bang for your buck, as well as creating increased overall brand awareness, ensuring both marketing activities are run at the same time is the best communications strategy you can employ. 

Targeting both media and consumers directly has always been the holy grail of communications and with the digital age upon us now even more important than ever, particularly given the influence of social journalism and consumer advocacy.  In an ideal world the experiential activity generates media interest and intrigue as a by-product of the direct to consumer activity, but often brands or even marketing agencies miss a trick by not combining the two.   

Stunts, experiential (or guerrilla) activity are becoming more and more common place amongst big blue chip brands (such as the British Airways Beach with Kylie in Covent Garden to a gigantic Tutankhamun sailing down the Thames for the new exhibition) and now tends to be created for brands by any of the marketing disciplines – from advertising to Events to PR.  Experiential activity only works if the idea is clever and memorable enough to create stand out and impact – and as a result, if handled correctly, can result in large amounts of column inches across both on and off line media.  This, if you are a very lucky brand manager can happen organically, but 9 times out of 10, needs a little push from a hard working PR company to ensure media engagement and subsequent coverage.
 
The challenge moving forwards is to continue to come up with new and innovative stunts and experiential marketing that provides a strong PR platform for media consumption creating that desired “water cooler moment”.  Every brand from Coca-Cola to Adidas to Nokia is doing some form or another of experiential marketing and creating true stand out relies upon creative and often simple ideas.  Take the recent T-mobile “Life’s for Sharing” ad concept – a simple idea of everyone dancing together at Liverpool Street tube station and shot in to an ad (followed up by all inclusive Karaoke in Trafalgar Square with Pink – created in to another ad).  Interestingly campaigns that have focused on creating “content” for experiential activity are often the most exciting and memorable, providing strong media and consumer engagement – this is counter intuitive to marketing with “content being king” over execution/marketing discipline allowing multiple marketing channels and maximum impact if the content is right.
 
PR agencies are constantly challenged to offer creative experiential and direct to consumer trialling of our clients’ products and always propose complementary PR amplification as part of this marketing activity. Experiential activity and supportive PR are the best form of creating a media buzz, providing real consumer engagement and advocacy and ultimately (and most importantly) helping to impact bottom line product sales.  Do I think they should play out together?  Hell yes.

Molly Aldridge, Managing Director – Slam PR

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Guest Author

Molly Aldridge

Managing Director, Slam PR

About

Molly is Managing Director at Slam PR. http://www.devriesglobal.com/en-gb/offices/london