I was just reviewing some of the 2015 ‘future of PR’ genre of articles through Twitter and there’s a lot of talk about collaboration, about taking our lead from brands who are having to offer ever more value to customers in order to stand out. I believe that PR as a discipline absolutely does need to do this but that what we offer should largely be about value-add anyway surely?

Adding value is not optional

Adding value is not optional

Regardless of how content is created and shared, the value of PR will always be the implied endorsement of whichever brand – media, opinion leader or otherwise – gives our clients airtime. Whilst I agree that we must add value, we now have many more ways to do this and this has significantly changed the way in which we must evaluate it.

 

I feel that what needs to happen now is a seismic shift in the way many organizations interpret what we do. The fundamental thread that still binds all our activity together will be the way in which we take what a brand has to offer and make that engaging for the audience. This, it feels to me, is the real value. This is what clients should be judging the PR on; not on the column inches or the social reach, but the way it makes people feel and the way they behave as a result.

 

Which brings me onto collaboration. I wholeheartedly believe, even more so since starting The Forge, that client collaboration is the only way to achieve the best result.   In a big agency environment where you’re hamstrung by procurement agreements and evaluation structures and worse still key message paradigms or God knows what else, it’s a genuine stretch to achieve.

 

But when the buck stops with you you’re always going to go for collaboration, a shared interest, a shared success and a shared sense of achievement.

 

If you can nail collaboration and make it work genuinely, not in a forced awkward way, but one that means something, then that’s the route to genuine value add. Emotionally you’re more likely to care about the outcome and invest that extra value of time and passion.