dustDustin Chick is Head of Strategy for Ogilvy Public Relations and has extensive communications experience, having managed various multi-national brands and campaigns over his 15 years in the industry. He’s in the habit of making big, bold statements:

Write a blog post on PR they said. Make it 300 odd words they said. That’s like asking a nerdy chemistry geek to explain nuclear cold fusion. On Twitter. Without exceeding the 140 character limit. #sigh.

So avoiding the obvious temptation to lecture, the game has changed.

Public relations is no longer about “PR this” slapped onto the end of a brief (often as an afterthought). PR is no longer about just amplifying, it’s wholly about influencing. It takes longer, but it means more to the brands we serve.

Why influence then? Well … media don’t care about scratch and sniff billboards because the people who read, watch and listen to them don’t care either. Instead, making brands a credible part of the consumer mind set (and therefore their conversations) is the foundation of building a sustainable and credible “PR Brand”.

PR campaigns which have cracked this, are successful not because they generated lots of coverage (you’d be surprised how often this is the brief); but because what was said was relevant (read credible), how consumers were mobilised was not about marketing to them and because the influence which was created was seeded through content that actually matters. Yes I said it, actually matters. All this thrown into the mix with immediacy, that ability to follow the consumer attention span online, offline and online again.

Brands are getting it right. And it’s about time too. In Brazil efforts to save water did just that … Have a look at this good (although a little old) case study. It won PR Silver at Cannes. But it makes the case loud and clear for where the future of PR sits. A future which is credible. A future which is seamless in the conversations it generates. A future founded on influence.

Indeed, peee aaaar is dead. Long live influence.

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