Public relations officers, don’t fire your designer just yet

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Public relations officers (PROs) are using creativity as a tool to attract people in the media industry and it’s obvious that the designer is an integral part of the PR process. Well, I hope so.

Social media is the new ‘in thing’. It’s the hottest tool for the really cool. PR professionals are now using these tools to expand their message and it works – if done correctly, of course. But is it creative to go this route? Or is there a more creative route? Social media is cheap and touches all corners of the world. It’s because of this that the message sometimes gets lost in the clutter. It may seem creative to someone who is new to social media, but simply creating a bland Facebook fan page is not going to make me jump for joy and sing a happy song.

You’re now wondering what my point is, for sure. Well, here it is: following a trend does not make it creative. Just because a service is cheap, does not make it the best option.

Consulting with your creative specialist can do wonders for your social media PR campaign. Just updating your fan page won’t attract traffic. Creating a fan page that utilises well-designed elements using the many tools provided by Facebook and the like will leave a lasting impression, such as the new ‘profile picture feature’. Using press offices like www.mypressoffice.co.za also gives you an opportunity to customise what you’ve put out there in such a way that it retains your original website’s look and feel. If you choose to ‘spray and pray’ on Twitter (not recommended), link your viewer to an interactive mini-site that encourages the viewer to respond in a fun way. If you choose to go the YouTube route, do it with quality videos and stylish Flash content.

As for email press releases, one needs to be a little more creative than sending a dull, typed-out message with images. I’m sure you think I’m going to suggest the HTML route… I’m not. HTML is great, but it’s not exciting anymore. In fact, viewers often don’t bother reading these blind marketing attempts as they come across as boring sales pitches. How about sending a personal email with a link that directs your recipient to a clever Flash presentation, that ends off with a ‘download the PDF’ option? Better yet, you could actually attach a SWF file to the email with a link to download the PDF. Even if they don’t use your release, they’ll always look forward to seeing your next Flash movie.

Basically, what I’m saying is: don’t let social media be just that. Ad some spice in order to shine above the rest.

And don’t fire your designer just yet.

Don't forget to click on the Find-a-Creative tab and advertise your creative services for FREE. If you'd like to showcase your work or would like to write an article please email info[at]sacreativenetwork.co.za @thesacreatives

2 Comments

  • Reply November 11, 2011

    Mike

    Very well said.
    My one additional comment is to perhaps steer away from Flash content since it can limit your audience and has other “issues” around security vulnerability and performance on devices. Even Adobe has admitted that Flash does not have a future on mobile devices and browsers and will be developed for Adobe Air only in next versions. So I would recommend taking your advice on board and diving into newer ways of getting great design delivered to potential clients. PDF’s are becoming more and more powerful, or HTML5 web pages, even video content delivered streaming online. Whatever the delivery technology, your point is a very valid one – don’t lose sight of good design along the way.

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