We have always expected the same things from a public relations person. It is either a lot of media workers are invited to learn about a planned event, or to muster whatever kind of publicity or exposure that might be gained.
This is, however, the era of digital control. Not only are the ways of marketing changing, PR relations are evolving, too. Or, at least, they should.
The main thing is that, a brand cares too much about “whether the media will like this” instead of actually focusing on what’s important: the customer. The publicist, as to respond to the brand’s demand, is forever coming up with ways to “look good” for the media, or to catch their attention in any way possible.
Still Waiting for Media Exposure? Let It Come by Focusing on Customer Satisfaction!
The way we receive messages have changed. We are more willing to actively seek out what’s new, what’s hot and what’s the “it” topic nowdays. It might be nice to hold a conventional press conference from time to time. But it might not be effective as “focusing on the client, and let the rave review be your best publicist”.
Here’s a fine example:
From Milan to Tokyo in an Instant
Picture this. You are taking the subway in Milan, and your stop is Moscova. The carriage door opens, but you find yourself in a totally different place. Asians are everywhere, and they are speaking Japanese. Signs and notices are written in Japanese, too. You do a double take. Wait. Aren’t you supposed to be in Italy? What? This isn’t in Milan? It’s in Shibuya, Tokyo! What would your reaction be?
Actually, this is an event planned by Fastweb, an Italian telecommunications company. To let its users really reach out to others, Fastweb offers the experience to virtually “move” around in the actually world and rely on your senses to feel what it’s like to “teleport”.
Fastweb’s purpose is to show a slice of what it Shibuya, Tokyo is like, by transforming a Moscova subway carriage into something locals ever seen before. They even went so far as to hire native Japanese “actors” to play certain parts: Geishas, students and standard Shibuya girls… You name ‘em, they’ve got ‘em. Even the broadcasts, notice boards, maps, construction signs, magazine and newspaper stand are in Japanese.
Fastweb also set up a QR Code poster board to allow curious Italians read translations of the Japanese ads. There was even a Shibuya checkpoint set up in the Moscova stop, just for the sheer fun of it!
Unexpected Surprises Come from Innovation: The Key to a New Digital Era
When a setting made on a scale like that, most first reactions will be to post it on Facebook or Twitter for friends to find out. Then more people will know about this, and spread the message on and about. This form of sharing cool, funny or amazing stuff has become of one the main networks of social life. Similarly, the best media platforms are always on the lookout for interesting events such as these. Fastweb set a great example in how to gain media exposure without having to actually persuade anyone to tag along. Kind of brilliant, isn’t it?
This is the new PR of the digital era. Are you game?
References: YouTube, http: //www. immaginapuoi.it, Fastweb Facebook
About the author
Internet Marketing Observer: Mika
Born in the 60s, and enrolled in the consumer marketing industry for over a decade.
Experienced Brand Strategic Planning, Product Innovation and all the way to Product Launching and Marketing.
Follows the status of traditional marketing as well as changes in Web2. 0 and Social Media.
Blog: jabamay. blogspot. com