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article imageOp-Ed: Edelman's perspectives parallel modern branded content solutions

By Michael Krebs     May 22, 2011 in Business
Speaking at the Holmes Report's Think Tank Live summit in Prague last week, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman positioned the opportunities for public relations companies along 'complexity' lines versus the 'simplicity' produced in advertising agency circles.
The overlap between advertising agencies and public relations firms received more shape last week in commentary by Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. Speaking at the Holmes Report's Think Tank Live conference in Prague, Mr. Edelman was responding to a GolinHarris study that uncovered poor rankings among PR firms on brand strategy and planning for their respective clients.
“I think we have to redefine the problem,” Edelman said, according to Holmes Report coverage. “We have to explain to the CEO that he/she is not selling to the consumer. It’s a stakeholder universe. Ad agencies are brilliant at simplicity. Complexity is where PR agencies can win.”
This balance of simplicity and complexity can yield more dynamic results for marketers, both at the corporate position and at the brand level, particularly when understanding that "the stakeholder universe" is a thought-leader universe. Stakeholders are investors, customers, policy-makers; they are community organizers, and they are employees; they are presidents of companies and of countries; they are literate, cerebral, and they have opinions.
The complexity that Mr. Edelman addresses can only be implemented in long-form explanatory environments, and ideally these are executed across numerous platforms and in a woven manner that furthers the overall narrative.
Consider the simplicity and complexity equation in the recent UPS marketing campaign:
In the second half of 2010, UPS launched a new branding campaign around the "We Love Logistics" theme. From an advertising point of view, "logistics" was the overarching simplicity term. However, the logistics theme was multi-faceted and somewhat abstract, and the challenge for the UPS marketing team was in conveying what logistics meant to UPS' customers and prospects.
In order for UPS to showcase its logistics solutions, the company's communications teams had to implement a long-form narrative and to thread the complexity line. This was accomplished through a branded content program, constructed by a custom publishing team at Washington Post that produced long-form video and articles and housed them within a custom content module. The end result was a complexity play delivered digitally and one that earned UPS an innovation award.
It is this pursuit of complexity channels that is driving the latest innovations in branded content, and it is here that we can expect to see the next generation of communications solutions across multiple platforms. And from this innovation, we can also expect to see meaningful investments in internet infrastructure and in video and in the modern publishing enterprise.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about edelman, richard edelman, branded content, Public relations, Advertising
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