Brand PR roadshow. What’s the impact for brands when a PR agency steps behind the wheel?
The roadshow (or whistle-stop tour) is a tried and true tactic for Brand PR.
Following in the footsteps of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, brands have been taking it to the streets for years to generate awareness. However, with a change in media consumption, one can no longer expect camera crews to wait in earnest for the next pit stop, but social media, in the form of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, tells a real-time story to followers. It’s certainly still buzzworthy.
What’s new to this formula is a public relations agency behind the wheel. A New York public relations agency recently gathered up all their clients, tricked out an RV and took off for the Wild Wild West, as featured in the New York Times.
From a public relations agency perspective, I respect the ingenuity of the firm and their dedication to putting themselves in the hot seat in the name of their clients. And really, what better way to address symbolic leadership than employing senior executives to drive the bus?
From a client perspective, I have to wonder if each client feels they are getting the same love and attention. Is the paint on the walls just an added aesthetic, or do viewers really feel the brand promise? What makes the cabinet knobs stand out from the kitchen faucets? Are the brands symbiotic? Do they regularly target the same consumer?
We, as publicists, highlight our clients’ products or offerings for their own brand attributes and unique propositions. Traditionally, though, and for good reason, our job is to stand away from the spotlight to let our clients shine. #PRRV is a great stunt to bring visibility to the agency – a one-stop, home goods public relation shop – but misses the mark on highlighting the individuality of the included brands.
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