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29th May 2013

Some people say that the world hasn’t changed much with the advent of social media and that, by and large, the same rules apply.

Well the video below shows a technology-driven vending machine with iPhone integration, using hidden web-connected cameras to record a film for YouTube and other social media sharing. All of which resulted in global editorial. If you can show me a similar PR example from before 2005, I will buy into the argument above.

Until then, I will beg to differ and instead argue that, in actual fact, many things in what we do have stayed the same. But that doesn’t make it right.

Because, let’s face it, most of us would rather not think of new stuff. There are fewer problems to solve, not as many risks to take. The results are pretty much known – even if they do diminish over time, having been questionable in the first place.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a “let’s burn everything and start again” approach to the world.

But I will ceaselessly, and remorselessly, argue that many of my colleagues in the PR industry who have been arguing that PR should take a seat at the top table, and that depth of strategic thinking, insight and consultancy was all they needed to get there, are wrong.

All of those are laudable things for the Great British PR industry to develop.

But if we can’t then turn those insights, strategies and platforms – so artfully developed – into great creative ideas that deliver the goods, then we’re screwed in our fight. There’s no point having it and we might as well go back to second class status and be happy with it.

Because for all that we may try to out-think those in adland and marketing-land (if such a place exists), until we can come up with better creative ideas than our chums across the waters, we’ll never be taken seriously.

Because thinking is a great thing. But it’s ideas that sell.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is a Managing Partner at Hope&Glory PR

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