The Carrie campaigns win PR Idea of the Week

You can’t have failed to see - or at least been told about - the couple of social content campaigns that are running to support the launch of the Carrie re-make.

No? Okay, here are a couple.

One (rather more famous) coffee shop number and another (slightly less famous but still cute) bathroom-based job...

Why you may ask do I choose to bring these little films to your attention?

Because I think these are rather wonderful examples of taking something that has questionable media value and doing something clever.

I don’t know if you’ve read the reviews? They’re not good. They’re bad in fact - “not worth the bother” and “predictably flashy and pointless” were my favourites.

And yet there are these films that are lovely examples of circumventing bad news and nevertheless connecting with punters and getting them talking.

Which brings me to my point

There is a real tendency in our industry to say no. Or, even worse, to say yes and then do a half-arsed job.

Let me explain

Many is the time that a client - more often than not a marketer - has announced cheerfully that they’ve got a really great thing that “needs PRing”.

We sit and we listen. Internally we roll our eyes, or sigh deeply, or do whatever else we do when slightly frustrated and a trifle woebegone. Then we try gently to tell the same client that what they’re doing/what they’ve made is rubbish. Boring rubbish. Un-PRable guff.

And perhaps, in the days when our only tools - the only tools we were expected to know - were the media, that may have been true.

But those days have gone. And those days have gone not because anyone else has figured that media bit out - they haven’t and I don’t think they ever will. They’ve gone because clients expect us to have a box of tools with a rather wider variety of options for getting the job done.

That doesn’t mean that we should say yes to everything - there is too much of that if anything, resulting in crap work where the most positive outcome is a couple of positive blog posts because favours have been called in.

It means that we need to get our heads around the problems we’re given and get creative with our solutions. Whether that means being social or doing something that gets to punters direct but has some media or social halo, whatever it means to you.

The days of just saying “no” or of “punting some stuff out and hoping that it’ll stick despite the fact no one believes in it” are gone. We need to start thinking about how we’re going to reach punters using all the tools at our disposal.

And I say that point because, in the world of the modern PR, there are (or should be) many ways to skin a cat. So we’d better start using them so we can say “yes” a little more because otherwise someone else will be more than happy to do so and - as in the case of Carrie - do a pretty good job.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is founder and Managing Partner at Hope&Glory PR. He is also author of Ideas of the Year 2012: an incomplete compendium of the best ideas in PR during the year. He’s idly contemplating doing it all again for 2013.

Creative Moment Awards 2020